Where extraordinary flavors, exemplary service, and passion meet.
Established in 1979, Harwigs has been serving our community exceptional French cuisine for nearly two decades. Located in the oldest standing wood structure in Steamboat, Harwigs is nestled into a piece of history and has leant its name to the history of that building. Built in 1886, the building was originally a drug store and by 1908 became Harwigs Saddlery and Western Wear. This tie to Steamboat’s Western heritage is just a small part of what makes this restaurant a local staple.
Harwigs is more than just a restaurant, boasting the only wine cellar in Steamboat. A beautifully constructed room with a wine corks laden ceilings; there is an air of old world elegance and comfort about the space that makes diners feel right at home. Stain glass windows and walls made from recycled wood wine cases add to the historic feeling. If the atmosphere alone isn’t enough, the staff at Harwigs excel in their dedication to provide wonderful service along with an unforgettable experience. Growing up in the kitchen, JJ Harwigs head chef, was able to learn and hone his skills working with his father. Today he follows his family’s traditions while pushing culinary boundaries and creating his own signature dishes.
On a crisp fall evening or chilly winter night, we recommend sidling up to the bar for the finest martini you’ll find in Steamboat. Not into martinis? Their ever changing wine list includes over 700 selections that have been hand selected by owner Jamie Jenny and sommelier Mike Lang. Alongside an order of escargot, prosciutto wrapped dates, and the perfect French onion soup (it takes 3 days to make) it’s a combination that cannot be beat. In the summer and fall months, be sure to stop in for Thai Night on Tuesday nights featuring a menu of Thai inspired delicacies that change each month.
We sat down with JJ, head chef of Harwigs, to hear what he loves most about living in the Yampa Valley and what drives his passion for creating culinary masterpieces.
Tell us about yourself:
My name is JJ and I was born and raised in Steamboat Springs (I have yet to grow up).
What it was like growing up in Steamboat:
Steamboat is unique because of the emphasis on activity and nature. As a kid, I spent most of my time outdoors, involved in almost every sport, which introduced me to a wide variety of friends. Eventually I focused my attention on soccer, dirt biking, and ski racing. However, one of the greatest components of Steamboat, the community emphasis, was already ingrained from childhood because of the wide variety of friends gained from playing outside. I also was fortunate to be raised in a restaurant where my father taught me the importance of hard work and attention to detail.
What do you love about living here?
The best part of Steamboat is the community. It is very rare for an entire town to embrace the neighborhood mentality. The residents of Steamboat take care of one another, and business owners support each other. The other best part is the outdoors, the activities and the town that never grows up. Sports, costume parties, river festivals, winter carnival, tournaments, all things that bring people together, see large participation. Everyone who lives in Steamboat appreciates the outdoors, plays on 2 or 3 teams, and participates in fundraisers and support local business.
What activities do you love doing here?
I enjoy playing soccer, skiing, dirt biking, mountain biking, rafting, and camping to name a few. Also, just being outside with my dogs.
Tell us about Harwigs:
Harwigs has been serving the community for almost 40 years. We take pride in our commitment to local agriculture and fresh ingredients. “Passion” is a word most commonly used to describe Harwigs from the award-winning wine list to the constantly changing and evolving menu with the detail of service. The restaurant business demands a high level of commitment and attention that is only possible if you love what you are doing.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The inspiration for my cooking is derived from the outdoors. Most of my dishes are brain children of back country skiing with my dogs or mountain bike rides. Walking around in the woods looking for chanterelles or fiddlehead ferns, wild berries and baby spruce are all ingredients and sources of inspiration. The annual evolution between winter and summer provide continuously fresh ideas and products to experiment with.
What are some of your favorite local products?
Everything has a season; part of the fun is the challenge of when and how to showcase ingredients in their prime. That being said, I am a sucker for chanterelles, squash blossoms, Colorado lamb, and natural chicken.
For more information or reservations at Harwigs, please contact The Porches concierge.