Foodies and wine lovers flock to northwest Colorado for its abundance of picturesque vineyards, family-owned orchards and annual food and wine festivals. Once it’s dinnertime, however, these culinary connoisseurs seek out a little Grand Junction gem called 626 On Rood, a modern-American restaurant featuring innovative dishes and nearly 40 wines by the glass.
Although the menu is packed with gourmet entrees like butter-poached lobster tails and grilled quail, you won’t want to miss the six-ounce buffalo tenderloin medallion, a tender cut of meat immersed in a red wine-juniper-rosemary marinade. The medallion is covered with panko (flaky, Japanese-style bread crumbs) and pan-seared for a light, crispy crust. It’s served with roasted fingerling potatoes and finished with a shiitake red wine sauce.
For the perfect wine pairing, peruse the extensive wine list, which offers more than 70 bottles and nearly 40 by-the-glass options. Or you could opt for the Call Me A Cab wine flight, a sampling of three medium-bodied red wines with well-structured tannins and dark berry flavors — a great match for the buffalo tenderloin.
After dinner, explore downtown Grand Junction, where you can stroll along tree-lined streets to find vibrant music venues, outdoor sculptures, lively brewpubs and historic buildings.
Photos courtesy 626 On Rood and the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau (exterior).