Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily

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August 19, 2014
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Small plates and big flavors at The Osprey Lounge

Don’t be surprised if, when hiking or biking on Beaver Creek Mountain this summer, you’re overcome with a craving for barbecue. It just means that the backyard smoking grill is fired up at the Osprey, wafting the smell of smoked bacon and Colorado lamb sausage over the breeze.

“We really wanted to create a concept to enhance the Beaver Creek summertime experience,” explains David Sanchez, Food & Beverage Director and Executive Chef at The Osprey. “This summer, Chair 12, the Strawberry Park lift, will be the main access to the mountain. It’s a great opportunity for us to offer a wonderful dining option at the base of the chairlift.”

A new concept for The Osprey at Beaver Creek, the smoking grill will be the inspiration for—and the provider of—the menu for the restaurant.

“The menu is going to feature different grilled and smoked items, like a 14-hour smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked Colorado lamb sausage and our own smoked bacon,” explains Sanchez. “We’re also looking at items like a cold smoked trout salad and we’re making our own lox. Most of the main items on the menu will be done in the grill and smoker.”

Open throughout the daytime from lunchtime onward, the backyard barbecue will be offering traditional lunch items like sandwiches, wraps, salads and other entrées. The same menu will be offered indoors in case of a less-than-perfect weather day, allowing guests to still enjoy “smoking gourmet grilled goods,” says Sanchez.

In the evening, the barbecue will still remain the inspiration and source of the menu, but with a twist. Keeping with the tapas style that is part of the Osprey’s culinary reputation, the restaurant will offer small plates that are easy to share and savor.

“We’re taking the smoked and grilled meats that we used for lunchtime but will do something more upscale and gourmet for the evening,” says Sanchez. “We will be able to do some different things that are playful, but more intriguing. We might create something like a smoked trout fondue, or use the brisket for a bruschetta.”

In addition to the grill and smoker, the Osprey also utilizes ingredients that are grown in its garden, such as herbs and some vegetables.

“For example, if we have choke cherries, we’ll use them to create our own original sauces, say a chokecherry sage barbecue sauce,” Sanchez says.

Utilizing the ideals of farm to table cooking is important to Sanchez: He uses the term “estate cooking,” alluding to the term “estate grown” in the wine world. “Whatever we can grow or source locally, we incorporate it into our menu,” he says.

Though the menu will change according to the season and in regards to what ingredients are in season, the overarching theme of the Osprey’s menu will be infused with rich outdoor flavors that will perfectly reflect the beauty of its Beaver Creek setting.


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 19, 2014 02:07PM Published Aug 19, 2014 12:44PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.