Kimberly Nicoletti

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July 3, 2014
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Beaver Creek’s Black Diamond Bistro

Black Diamond Bistro offers fresh, housemade, upscale cuisine in the heart of Beaver Creek — without the surcharge. Located within The Charter, Black Diamond Bistro strikes a unique balance within the niches of bar, hotel and dining menus.

The bistro’s curved, thick granite bar is the perfect place to watch a high-definition game, set against a large, stone wall decked out with liquor.

The spirits Black Diamond pours include Colorado companies in every category, whether it’s a Breckenridge bourbon, a Woody Creek vodka, a Colorado microbrew or a Palisade wine. House-infused liquors produce light and fresh summer cocktails, such as the strawberry-elderflower spritzer and the pineapple and vanilla margarita.

The narrow deck provides intimate seating against the backdrop of Beaver Creek’s aspen- and evergreen-laden mountain, and tables inside open to views of the greenery.

Inside, executive chef Dan Kent and his team stand ready to serve up their latest creation: locally sourced, made-from-scratch pizzas from the bistro’s new pizza oven. Kent uses organic flours, makes his own pesto and sauces, and grows basil on the deck for each pizza. He covers the basics with standards like the Margherita, vegetarian, Greek and meat, and then gets creative with pizzas like The Texan, piled with braised brisket, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and barbecue sauce.

Perhaps the best part of the pizzas, beyond the fresh flavors of pestos that have an uncanny way of both popping and blending into the whole, involve the wait time, which is virtually none. The bistro’s new pizza oven bakes pies in about 5 minutes. Kent also offers gluten-free crusts.

His starters and salads range from beer-battered onion rings and panko-crusted pickle spears to Mediterranean antipasti and summer berry salad with blue cheese, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette.

The main entrée menu reads like a fine dining establishment (reflecting Kent’s past), only with prices reflecting more of a bar/bistro. Kent focuses on environmentally friendly sources of food, so he obtains his pork and chicken from free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free farms in Colorado and ensures quality salmon by buying verlasso salmon, which the Monterey Bay Aquarium certifies.

To the freshest raw ingredients, he blends his creative flavors, coating the salmon with a coconut green curry sauce characterized by green onions, soy sauce and ginger, which add the perfect amount of spice and heat — not too much to overpower the dish and just enough to bring a zing to it. He pairs the pork with a creamed corn polenta, which delivers a slightly sweet flavor. Seasonal vegetables accompany the Angus flat iron steak grilled with garlic butter, the pan-seared Colorado half chicken and the housemade potato gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms and tomato consommé.

The “Pub Grub” is hardly that, as Kent serves Asian-style braised pork brisket sliders with napa cabbage slaw and pairs Angus chuck burgers with sweet potato fries, serves his chicken sandwich with sriracha aioli, and sandwiches his classic turkey and ham club between fresh wheat bread from Aspen Baking Co.

The desserts at Black Diamond are not only luscious, they’re also a great value. For $6, your taste buds will melt into the classic vanilla bean crème brûlée or the chocolate chip brioche bread pudding flavored with caramel. And, this summer, Kent debuts a gluten-free Santiago almond cake with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, topped with whipped cream. This flourless cake is so light and satisfying, it’s hard to believe it’s gluten-free.


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 28, 2014 03:46PM Published Jul 14, 2014 09:02PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.