Ragnar’s – In the Rendezvous Saddle at the top of the South Peak chairlift
Open for lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. seven days a week. Sleigh ride dinners are Friday through Sunday nights. Snowshoe tours with a gourmet lunch at Ragnar’s also are available.
Reservations are recommended. Call 871-5150.
Whether for a moonlight sleigh-ride dinner or a gourmet mid-day ski break, Ragnar’s is a must-do for anyone looking for a genuine Steamboat Springs experience.
“If you’ve experienced champagne powder, you’ve got to experience Ragnar’s,” said Lawrence Jaconetta, executive chef for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
Named for the late Norwegian ski jumper Ragnar Omtvedt, Ragnar’s stands alone not just in its fresh and hearty Scandinavian cuisine but also in its location among the slopes and forests of the ski mountain.
Sitting in the Rendezvous Saddle at the bottom of the High Noon ski run, Ragnar’s is the highest restaurant in Steamboat and a welcome sight to skiers and riders weary of crowded cafeterias.
It is open for lunch every day and, in the spirit of its motto “Velkommen til bords (Welcome to the table)” features a generous menu prepared by chefs John Faris and Chad Anderson.
Lunch starters include the popular Golden Onion Soup and Fiskesuppe, a Norwegian-style creamy seafood chowder.
Smoked Salmon Lefse – a potato quesadilla layered with smoked salmon and Jarlsberg cheese and served with a tomato-caper salsa – is among appetizer options.
Smorrebrods, or sandwiches, include the Ragnar’s Rueben with Austrian Blaukraut, remoulade and melted Jarlsberg on dark Norwegian rye bread.
The Weinerschnitzel – a lightly breaded veal cutlet with capers, lemon, horseradish and sauce demi glaze – and Swedish Meatball entrees are sure to catch the eye and taste buds of the hungriest skiers.
The Norwegian Salad with Washington smoked trout, Prosciutto, hard-boiled egg, asparagus, tomatoes, Jarlsberg and toasted almonds is among lighter lunch selections.
All dressings and soups are made from scratch at the restaurant.
Lunch prices run from $4.50 for a cup of the soup du jour to $19 for the Weinerschnitzel entree.
A Ragnar’s lunch is the highlight of a gourmet snowshoe tour offered by the ski area.
Ragnar’s is perhaps best known for its dinners, which start with a romantic sleigh ride from Thunderhead.
Bundled up in wool blankets, visitors will be enchanted by quiet, moonlit slopes and sparkling snow-covered trees.
“Being on top of the mountain and watching the moon come over the crest is just gorgeous,” Jaconetta said.
As soon as the sleighs arrive at Ragnar’s, visitors will experience a uniquely warm greeting from staff, whom wave from the restaurant’s windows.
Diners can expect superior service from Ragnar’s veteran servers and staff, some of who have worked at the restaurant for more than 15 years.
Once inside, diners order drinks and sit down to a hearty Smorgessbord platter with smoked salmon, pÃ•te, seafood cocktail, antipasto and gourmet cheeses.
Visitors then enjoy soup and the night’s specialty salad with dressing du jour.
There are at least eight entree choices including Tout de Mer a combination of lobster, shrimp, scallops and wild mushrooms sauteed in a light Chardonnay and cognac cream sauce with fresh dill and served in a puff pastry shell.
A Pomegranate Duck Breast and Herb Grilled Venison are among other selections. Ragnar’s chefs also offer seasonal vegetable dishes.
Diners don’t have to worry about choosing a dessert. Ragnar’s serves a dessert medley that includes mousse, pastries and fresh fruit.
Soothing, live entertainment accompanies Ragnar’s dinners, and diners also choose from a full bar of drink options and an extensive wine list.
The restaurant also offers a children’s menu.
Sleigh ride dinners are offered Fridays through Sundays and additional nights during the holidays and spring break.
Diners should set aside about four hours for the sleigh ride, dinner and Gondola rides.
All inclusive prices generally are $79 for adults 18 and older, $65 for teens 13 to 17 and $50 for children 6 to 12. Rates for holiday, Valentine’s and specialty wine dinners vary.
Reservations must be made for the sleigh ride dinners and are suggested for lunches.
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Yampatika, an environmental education nonprofit based in Steamboat Springs, will host its 22nd annual Wild Edible Feast on Thursday evening, May 26, at Aurum Food & Wine.