SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Telluride can no longer claim the honor of hosting diners at the highest elevation restaurant in North America. That honor now goes to Arapahoe Basin’s newly-opened il Rifugio at Snowplume Bistro.

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Prior to the door opening at 12,456 feet at the top of the mountain at Arapahoe Basin, Telluride’s Alpino Vino was king of the hill while sitting at 11,966 feet.

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Colorado-native, Chef Jarrod Wright was busy Wednesday slicing imported meats and cheeses by hand.

“I’ve worked at a lot of really cool restaurants but this is hands-down the most unique,” Wright says.

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The European-style bistro serves up salads, paninis and meat and cheese boards along with soups, desserts and espresso from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily. The liquor license is expected in the next few weeks.

Getting a seat inside requires you to pack you skis. The location, while beautiful, does bring with it lots of challenges for the staff, procedure-wise.

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Jarrod Wright (credit: CBS)

“We have to bring up clean water, take down dirty water, take up clean dishes, bring down dirty dishes. We have no running water up here. It makes it a logistical issue,” Wright explained.

Everything they need to operate the place with is brought up in the most Colorado-style possible.

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“(Snow)cat, snowmobile and the lifts do the heavy lifting,” Wright said.

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And the reviews from customers are so far so good.

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A couple visiting from Golden told CBS4 finding the little bistro was a “welcomed surprise.”