by Tracy Block

Supporting more than a half-dozen local vendors and deeming itself “Colorado Proud,” Ten Mile Tavern (TMT) is Copper Mountain’s local ticket to flavortown. A mix of delectable modern eats with worldly influences (from Mexican to Korean to Thai) and 20 drafts on tap at a time (from 10 Barrel, Dillon Dam, A.C. Golden and Outer Range, just to name a few), this foodie, sudsy pit stop is ideal for an early-bird après or a late-night bite.

An exterior view of Copper Mountain's Ten Mile Tavern restaurant

With a newly rolled out menu featuring a plethora of not-so-small plates to B.Y.O. burgers, there’s a taste for every palate. However, for those craving TMT’s signature pizzas, fret not; the Tavern’s still got you covered with hearty fixes, from cheese and pepperoni to roasted eggplant parm and buffalo chicken. The cheese-based soups are sure to warm you, inside and out, as will stacked sandwiches like the Burning Stones cheesesteak (note the oozy, signature queso) and the bison-based buffalo meatloaf hoagie (which is brag-worthy by Chef Brady’s standards).

When it comes to those facing dietary restrictions, the new menu caters to a wide variety of “safe” items. If you’re of the gluten-free variety, chow down on a hearty order of chicken drummettes, where you choose the sauce (a slather of green curry is messy, but well-worth the comforting Thai influence). The chorizo beef nachos are overflowing with the goods, like tender Angus, a deep ragu featuring the signature spiced ground pork and red beans, pickled peppers, melted sharp cheddar and a kicked-up, smoked chipotle sauce. Vegetarians: There are several selections waiting to be forked – the wild mushroom tostadas are a trio of oyster, cremini and shitake, dressed with a salty kiss of cotija on a crunchy, corn crisp. For a lighter choice, the green apple salad is equal-parts tangy (thanks to the apples and goat cheese), citrusy (from a hint of fresh oranges) and earthy-crunch (because, who can say ‘no’ to hazelnut granola).

Chicken drumettes at Copper Mountain's Ten Mile Tavern restaurant

Since dinner is served until 10 p.m. every night – don’t worry, you’ll have until 11 p.m. to guzzle from the taps – you can cozy up to the lengthy bar solo, or a high-top with hungry company, to whet your appetite. The cast iron-clad, braised short rib crock is slow-roasted to perfection, while the Colorado striped bass gets a turfy flavor upgrade, bathed in chorizo compound butter. Agree to splurge on an order of the lobster and crab mac and cheese, which goes above and beyond with its topping of Asiago crumbs and crispy prosciutto. And, if you’re sweet tooth just so happens to be acting up, it’s peanut butter chocolate cheesecake to the rescue!

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