The Palace Restaurant is a Durango landmark and tradition, having functioned as a restaurant under its current name for at least forty years. The Palace re-opened its doors under the ownership of Chef Paul Gelose on October 3rd, 1997. Located in the original historic Palace Hotel, built between 1890 and 1893, the restaurant retains the elegant character of late 19th century Western architecture and design. The heyday of gold, silver and coal mining poured money into Durango and its Main Street buildings.
The Palace was no exception and to this day, the restaurant retains the feel of its opulent past, where a prospector with his gold or silver nuggets traded in for hard dollars could come eat like a king. We strive to retain the authenticity of the turn of the century style, creating a casually elegant and fun atmosphere complemented by a menu that is both modern and timeless. Whether sipping margaritas on the patio on a warm summer day or enjoying a center cut filet by the fire in our dining room on a cold winter’s evening, our space is one of comfort, good food, and attentive service.
We believe a kitchen should be utilized to make as much from scratch as possible and that is our practice. We strive to not only serve an excellent finished dish to our guests, but to prepare as many of the components that go into that dish. Everyday, we start with fresh produce and basic ingredients and prepare all of our own soups, sauces, salad dressings, desserts, and house breads.
Paul Gelose, Owner
Chef/Owner Paul Gelose purchased the Palace in 1997 and has turned what was a 30 year old, but struggling, restaurant into one of the most favored dining establishments in Durango. As part of his heritage, Paul was exposed to the richness of Italian and Sicilian cuisine at an early age and acquired a passion for the kitchen in his youth. A native of upstate New York, Paul moved out West to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1981, to begin what would become an extensive career in the food arts. From 1990 to 1997 he owned and operated three Telluride favorites, the Powderhouse Restaurant and Bar, Joe’s Catering and Giusseppes at the Plunge. From 1996 to 1997, Paul took a break from the mountains and moved to Chicago to be Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef. It was the opportunity to purchase the Palace Restaurant that brought him back to Colorado.
Prior to restaurant ownership, Paul acquired much of his culinary experience in American and European Hotels, including positions as Sous Chef, Stein Erickson Lodge, Park City, Utah; Second Pastry Chef, Hotel Adula, Flims-Waldhaus, Switzerland; Chef Tournant, the Five Star Kulm Hotel, St. Mortiz, Switzerland; and, as Banquet Chef at both the Sheraton Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Sheraton Monterrey, California. In 1987 Paul had the opportunity to intern at L’Escale , Carry-le-Rouuet, France, a one star Michelin restaurant and Le Petit Nice, Marseille, France, a two star Michelin restaurant. Paul has traveled extensively, including a visit in 1998 to Penang, Malaysia where he worked in the Hindu Temple Annalakshim’s kitchen. Paul’s traveling has given him an understanding of the regionality of world cuisines which influences his personal culinary style. Paul received his culinary degree from SUNY at Cobleskill, Cobleskill, New York and his BS in Hotel/Restaurant Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. When he is not at the restaurant he is enjoying life in the San Juan Mountains with his wife Carolyn or at the local hockey rink.
Love the palace!!! Especially wing night! Green chili mac and cheese! Great salads and Bloody Marys so good!
Chicken and dumplings is a must! Excellent and kind servers. Simply amazing and fun location. Part of the real Durango experience. You'll love it!
One of the best places to go anytime for whatever occasion... excellent choice!