Duke’s, the real bistro in Bluff

by Mary Cokenour
In 1997, Amer and Cindy Tumeh invested in property, just outside of Bluff, to open up hospitality cabins. Within two years, the Desert Inn and Cabins was created and has only continued to flourish, but something was missing.
In 2015, that something developed into Duke’s Bistro, which serves lodgers, locals and visitors with amazing breakfast and dinner selections.
On a long trip back from gallivanting around Historic Flagstaff, AZ, the warm, welcoming lights of Duke’s was a beacon to two hungry travelers.
Right now the bistro is in winter hours, 5 to 8:30 p.m. (ish), as the sign states, Monday thru Sunday, and it was already busy.
Many tables were taken, and the rest filled up quickly as time went by.
Duke’s is what I would call a “high end” bistro with absolutely beautiful décor; exquisite tables, chairs and place settings.
Normally, a bistro is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant, serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting.
We were wondering if our casual dress would define us as “not belonging” in this type of dining environment. Boy, were we anxious about nothing!
We were greeted with smiles, and our server, Nona, was awesome – attentive, friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Duke’s and the menu items.
While many items are not locally sourced, this is due to Duke’s policy of finding only the best, quality foods to serve its guests.
Desserts, soups and sauces are made in-house; the staff is well trained to know the ingredients which is very helpful for those on special diets, or with food allergies.
As I stated, I consider Duke’s high end, but the menu prices are not very much different than other local eateries.
So, let’s get to the food; we ordered burgers which come with oven roasted potatoes.
The Anasazi Burger is seven ounces of ground Angus beef with all the fixings, and they’re not kidding.
Nona asked if I’d like Swiss or Cheddar cheese, to which I responded “Yes!”
In other words, I received both cheeses and at no extra charge! The fixings were piled high; the burger was perfectly cooked at medium-well. The pretzel bun was not overly salty, toasted with wonderful flavor and texture. The potatoes were lightly salted, rustic, fluffy inside and a great accompaniment to the burger.
Roy ordered the Pineapple Delight Hamburger; seven ounces of Angus beef, grilled pineapple, slices of avocado, fixings, on that delightful pretzel bun with oven roasted potatoes.
Again, the burger was cooked to a perfect medium-well; the pineapple and avocado sliced thin to meld with each other, instead of fight for dominance. I did have to swat at his hand as he kept trying to pilfer my potatoes.
While the described desserts sounded mouthwatering (homemade cinnamon ice cream…oh my!), we were very content with the meals we had just consumed. We made sure to tip Nona well; she deserved it, and home we finally went.
While Duke’s will be closed on winter holidays, they do offer catering for a holiday party in a separate, private room. Simply call them and speak with the manager who will happily work out all the details with you.
Personally, I look forward to warmer months when the breakfast menu comes into swing again. Now who doesn’t love a great breakfast before going adventuring?
Duke’s Bistro at Desert Rose Inn, 701 West Main (Route 191), Bluff, 435-672-2303, 888-475-7673 www.desertroseinn.com

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday