Rootstalk, a Breckenridge restaurant that opened in December 2020, quickly gained popularity with Summit High School graduate and former Denver executive chef Matt Vawter at the helm.
The restaurant features seasonal menus, and in the spring, it introduced a tasting menu that Vawter said has been well-received among residents and visitors. When he opened the restaurant, Vawter said he wanted Rootstalk to feature fine dining menu options without feeling stuffy.
“I want this to be a place that’s known for great hospitality, great food and just a gathering place for locals and tourists alike,” Vawter said in December 2020. “I learned how to cook in this county. … I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned over the last 13 years back to my hometown and share it with the people I grew up with.”
Rootstalk opened at a point in the pandemic when businesses could serve customers only through outdoor dining or takeout, and while some braved the Breckenridge winter and sat outside, Vawter said there was no looking back once the restaurant was allowed to serve indoors.
“It’s been a really fun summer thus far,” Vawter said in September. “We’re still growing into this space and trying to do better every day.”
Rootstalk, 207 N. Main St. in Breckenridge, focuses on the apres-ski crowd from 4-5 p.m. before dinner from 4 p.m. to closing time, which depends on how busy the restaurant is. Vawter noted that Rootstalk typically takes reservations until 9:30 p.m. during the busy seasons in town.
The restaurant building, which was a residence in the late 1800s, features a cellar dining room that was added when Rootstalk moved in for an interactive experience with chefs, as diners can see the cooking process when seated downstairs.
“Everyone’s been pushing hard,” Vawter said. “We’re all just focused on trying to perform better.”
Rootstalk served seasonal highlights like tomato salad, gazpacho and cheesecake over the summer in the restaurant’s sixth iteration of its menu. This winter, the menu features classic items like French onion soup, braised rabbit and seared duck breast.