La Montana replaced by The Mountain |

La Montana replaced by The Mountain

Co-owners Dan Black and Laura Fisher pose outside they new restaurant, The Mountain, with their head chef Russell Goodman.
Brooke Bumgarner

Summer Hours:

Tuesday to Sunday

Bar opens at 4 p.m., food service begins at 5 p.m.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, the dining room will close at 9 p.m. A late night happy hour will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays.

— Pig Candy, a maple-chipotle candied bacon, Yampa Valley Caprese and Chicken Under A Brick are just a few of the specialties The Mountain Comfort Food and Spirits brings to the table with an inventive menu of locally and naturally sourced delicacies.

Co-owners Dan Black and Laura Fisher opened their new restaurant on July 8. The restaurant replaces long-run La Montana on the second floor of the business complex at 2500 Village Drive near the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

The name of the new restaurant, The Mountain, is a bit of a play on words that makes people think about the English version of La Montana.

“He’s all about the food, and I’m really about making it a home away from home atmosphere where people can come in and create new memories,” Fisher said.

Although Black’s background is in fine dining, he decided to take a different approach when settling upon comfort food for The Mountain’s menu, which he said was really the basis for putting their whole vision together.

“I think, as a chef, the single most important concept is where food comes from,” said Russell Goodman, The Mountain’s head chef. “So at the highest levels of cuisine that’s at the front of recipe development and that’s paired with a very elaborate style of service. Precisely executed and thoughtfully sourced is what we’re aiming for here.”

In today’s restaurant world, aside from growing food allergies, the consolidation of species, Goodman explained, has caused big problems for the industry and food sources simply do not offer the same diversity of species.

“We care about the garden it was grown in, and the ultimate end result is a better product to the consumer and less environmental impact,” Goodman said. “There are direct health and wellness impacts in the choices we make.”

The restaurant will feature no steroids, no hormones and no antibiotics in any of its meats, as every single ingredient will be sourced from natural farmers who do not use any of the three.

Because of Goodman’s special attention to sourcing and concern with the quality of his ingredients, many things can easily be made vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and even celiac-level gluten-free, Fisher explained.

A notable feature of the restaurant is that there will also be no peanuts used in the kitchen, so for those with one of the above dietary restrictions, The Mountain will provide many tasty options.

“Because this area was settled by folks who had to figure out a way to create a sustainable food supply system, it has an inherent agrarian history,” Goodman said. “The hope is that the restaurant won’t just be a place to get a bite to eat but also brings back the spirit of the food and the land that existed 100 years ago.”

“We’re really trying to make sure that we are environmentally conscious and sustainable,” Fisher added.

Instead of using a traditional plastic menu, the duo has instead invested in sustainable menu boards made from beetle kill pine and have also constructed napkin holders from collected tree branches.

“Timing of food is a really big thing for us,” Black said. “In my fine dining background, getting food out timely can be difficult. We want to be able to get food out fast, especially if you have children.”

The co-owners agree they do not want their restaurant to simply be a special occasion stop, but instead, they hope it becomes what they call a “home away from home” where everyone can enjoy a delicious meal. They also welcome the idea of hosting special events such as rehearsal dinners, birthday parties and more.

“I knew Russell was the guy we had to have up here, he knows exactly what we want to do,” Black said.

“We are motivated behind the concept of having truly natural, honest food,” Goodman added.

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