Black Hawk is an interesting place. I sometimes tell people who haven’t been, that it’s a mini-Vegas smack dab in the center of the mountains. Historically, gold was struck there in 1859 was long known for it’s mining and milling. Then in 1991, they passed a ballot allowing limited-stakes gaming in Colorado, where two small casinos opened. The rest as they say, is history. This mountain city brings in $88 million annually in taxes to the state’s tourism, and now the amount of casinos, hotels, and restaurants are wide.
One of the newer hotels Ameristar, stands tall above the rest. Inside they have 536 rooms, with panoramic views of the mountains. They have a roof pool and a large (7,000 square foot) spa. US News has even named Ameristar amongst the top 10 hotels in Denver.
Inside Ameristar, one of their restaurants is the acclaimed Timberline Grill. The restaurant is a bit of a Colorado escape, as you can’t hear the “ding, ding, ding, ding” of the slot machines, or gamblers just beyond their doors. The restaurant was built with walls of reclaimed timber, that includes a hand carved wooden bar, roaring fireplaces, and features Colorado cuisine in the steakhouse. It’s almost like you enter a cabin, and forget where you really are. My only complaint is that without windows (inside a massive hotel / casino like this), it can be a bit dark and I just personally love natural light.
Their menu offers sections with the likes of raw/chilled, salads, grilled, braised, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes and pasta. Even though I’m not a huge red meat eater, I always remind myself that steakhouses generally have great seafood selections, and Timberline is no exception to that rule. And with all the sides that they offer, you could make a meal of just those!
We started with East and West coast oysters (pictured, top left with a beautiful presentation of a lemon wedge, crostini, mini Tobasco and mignonette sauce. We also ordered a large cheese plate with local, Colorado cheese and honey, and imbibed on a dirty martini and Rodney Strong pinot noir.
For dinner, I went for the King Crab Legs that came with sriracha aioli, garlic butter and lemon. He went with the 20 oz. Ribeye. Look at the size with the whole roasted garlic on the side!
I really enjoyed the presentation for each dish, and although not over the top, I loved the follow through. I also enjoyed asparagus with lemon zest, and potato gratin with Tallamook white cheddar on top of it.
Everything at Timberline is meant to be top notch. It’s perhaps more expensive and reservations are recommended, but it’s the kind of place you go to unwind and dine throughout the evening over good food and drinks. The table was covered with the exquisite dishes and true to form of a steakhouse, everything is is done big.
For dessert, even though we were stuffed to the brim, we enjoyed the creme brulee, that came topped with fruit (a nice touch).
If you’re a gambler, or looking to pass through Blackhawk I know that Ameristar is the latest and greatest hotel in the area. We stayed on the 21st floor (thanks to Ameristar for the invite and for hosting us to see and stay the night) and the views are spectacular. There’s a rooftop pool with fire pits, a spa, and four restaurants. The most notable of course, is Timberline Grill that makes for a nice getaway inside the casino.
Even as a non-gambler (just not my thing) the food was so delicious and the service so thoughtful, that we would absolutely be back.
Learn more: ameristar.com/black-hawk/timberline-grill (note they’re closed Monday and Tuesday)