Two slabs of halloumi rest directly on the grate of 8100’s wood fire grill. Chef de cuisine Douglas Hudson stands at attention, giving the soft squares their exterior sears.
“It’s a simple apparatus,” explains executive chef Christian Apetz of the expansive grill that stands as a backsplash to the restaurant. “We use white oak out of Glenwood Springs, and it imparts just the most amazing, magical flavors on food.”
Bites of the halloumi are firm and snappy; a dense and salty cheese set on the plate amidst swirls of rosemary-spruce syrup, cured black olives and preserved lemon. While the unripened cheese calls for a crisp and zesty glass of alboriño, prep your taste buds with a Leopold’s Gin Spritz, a refreshing craft cocktail brought to life by the dynamic Colorado spirit.
In the heart of Beaver Creek, 8100 is the bread and butter of what Apetz does best — comfort and refined cuisine in company with unwavering hospitality.
“We want this place to be a family environment,” Apetz says, reflecting on moments when his own daughter runs happily through the nearby kitchen with dough in her hands. “A place where anyone can come and relax and feel at home.”
Let sommelier Dan Walsh give you even more reason to unwind as he pours his choice wines alongside every dish. Local goat cheese on the mizuna salad is silky and bright with its strawberry and Marcona almond contemporaries, nothing short of summer with a glass of Rhone Valley rose.
Fired up on the grill next are heirloom tomatoes, pureed for a rustic summer soup, served with a Taleggio tuile and topped with a fresh herb flower.
The kitchen really shows off its mountain sophistication with a braised Colorado lamb dish, served over house-made pappardelle, Grana Paddano and seasonal mushrooms.
The Shetland Island organic salmon is a standout, too — dry aged in house, the fish falls right away from the fork, silky and tender over black rice, shishito peppers, red beet puree and finished with a lemon-horseradish mascarpone.
Leave room for more? Just say “s’more” and you’ll get your very own dessert kit to take outside to the cozy fire pit at the base of Beaver Creek mountain. Roast your marshmallow with the same patience as the setting summer sun — fire in the sky just like the warmth and vibrant orange at the tip of your stick. •
PICTURED: Organic salmon with black rice, shishito peppers, red beet puree and lemon-horseradish mascarpone.