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Still, I kept dropping by Amato's to enjoy the brews and views. And a few weeks ago, bolstered by a smart server, I got brave enough to try the food again.
"How's the pumpkin beer?" I asked the server as I took a seat on the patio.
2501 16th St.
Denver, CO 80211
Region: Northwest Denver
"Eh," he replied. "I liked the Dogfish Head pumpkin better." That was an encouraging sign, since I consider Dogfish Head Punkin the best pumpkin beer of all time.
"We just tapped Great Divide Yeti," he then confided. "It's not on the list yet." Sold! The massive, chocolatey imperial stout is one of my favorite cold-weather beers of all time, and since fall was in the air, it seemed especially appropriate.
The server quickly returned with my beer and the elk sausage plate: slices of smoky, pungent sausage, caramelized onions and soft chunks of apple bathed in a brown-ale sauce, along with toasted bread swiped with a blend of goat cheese and mustard. Both elements were fine on their own — but together, they created an impressive harmony of tart, savory and sweet.
At the server's prompting, I decided to give the lobster mac and cheese another chance. It was vastly improved, now loaded with the sharp bite of Romano, and creamy with a blend of white cheddar and butter. The chunks of lobster still didn't do much for me; next time, I'd probably sub bacon and pair this dish with an IPA. Much as I love the Yeti, it didn't cut the richness the way a bitter finish would have. And there will definitely be a next time.
While Amato's doesn't yet feel like it's at the forefront of the craft-brewing industry the way that the original Breckenridge Brewery did, that meal revived my hopes that the kitchen will continue to evolve, like the industry itself. And in the meantime, there are all those brews...and the unbeatable views.
After the plates were cleared away, I sat back in my seat on the patio and sipped beers until way past my bedtime — enjoying the great outdoors the way it's meant to be experienced.
This place is all hype. Super slow service and looong wait for food that you regret ordering as soon as it's put in front of you. Not even the views or saving a drive out to Aurora for some Dry Dock could get me to make a repeat venture to this blase restuarant trying to fool patrons into thinking it's a hip brewpub.
Uhh, breck brewery doesn't serve bangers and mash, been going there since 94. Also, yeti is exotic? And this place isn't a brewery, why compare it to one? Just tell us it sux, that's what I got out of my attempts there. In my opinion, the atmosphere at Alehouse is shoulder to shoulder in a toolbox full of tampons.
I can't imagine expecting anything more from a brew pub in a ski town. Why even bother with the food? Most tourist towns are on for the party knowing that most are there on a one-time visit.
I never expected more from Amato's than what you've described: well-crafted but mostly uninspiring beers with a few seasonal gems, sub-standard food, and a great view. The first two are par for the course at Breckenridge outlets throughout the Rockies and the third is courtesy of the family who had the foresight to build their business in such an amazing location. Still, a nice place to drink a beer and eat some wings, but I'll save my big bucks for places I can get either amazing beer, amazing food, or both: Falling Rock, Euclid Hall, Hops & Pie, the Cheeky Monk.
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