The Crestone Eagle, August, 2014
by Mary Lowers
Dining at the historic Windsor Hotel in Del Norte
The Windsor Hotel in Del Norte, CO was originally erected in 1874 to serve the fortune hunters who were after the mineral wealth in the mountains.
In modern days, rather than losing the brick edifice on Grand Ave., the community got together to renew and preserve it. The Whitehead family, including general manager Steve, his son Certified Sommelier Kodi and his wife Chef Regan Whitehead have created a hotel experience harkening to the nineteenth century, with all of the amenities and comforts of a five-star twenty-first century establishment.
The Windsor Dining Room has a reputation for serving some of the finest fare in the valley. I got the chance to lunch there with Crestonian Tom Whitehead, brother of Steve, and his nephews teenagers Gage and Jimmy. We were seated in the high-ceiling light-filled dining room featuring crown moldings and western oil paintings. As we waited for our meal we nibbled on a basket of warm soft bread baked in-house.
Regan and Kodi make food and drink their life’s work. They met while working at the legendary Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and moved to Los Angeles, CA to further hone their skills. “In LA we would go out and eat different cuisines, and now we can create them.” The cuisine created is what could be described as “new American fusion based in French cuisine.” The couple are dedicated to “give the valley something you can’t get anywhere else.”
Our plates arrived for lunch. The food looks familiar but included fresh nuances. The house burger had lots of fries and caramelized onions to add crunch, the fish n’ chips featured a unique malt vinegar aioli, and my steak salad was just divine with scrumptious blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. The service was excellent. There was plenty of food even for hungry teenagers. Luckily we still had room for dessert, made in-house. We ordered a dark chocolate soufflé and strawberry rhubarb cobbler. They were wonderful. The Windsor features individual desserts and desserts big enough to share.
Our meal was a wonderful experience. The dining room is open for brunch on Sunday, lunch from 11am until 2pm except Saturday, and dinner is served from 5pm. The Bistro BARbara is a delightful bar featuring many spirits from small regional distilleries and handcrafted cocktails created by mixologist Kevis Haas. The wine list, created by Kodi, is excellent, and wine pairing and tasting are regular features at the Windsor. The hotel offers facilities for weddings, meetings and family gatherings. A unique dining adventure at the Windsor is the Sunday family-style dinner with a new and different menu each week.
I hope to make many more trips to drink and dine at the Windsor Hotel and highly recommend you check them out.