Brenda Himelfarb
Special to the Daily

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December 29, 2013
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Black Diamond Bistro at the Charter at Beaver Creek offers apres-ski comfort food

Who doesn’t like comfort food? It’s the perfect fix after a hard day of skiing. You’re tired — yet, in a good way. All you want to do is indulge in familiar eats — your reward after a full day of invigorating, yet rigorous rides. And that’s where the Black Diamond Bistro at the Charter at Beaver Creek comes in. It’s a panacea for your body as well as you brain with a menu that’s simply delicious.

The menu is rooted in two cuisines — comfort and contemporary — from the hands of Dan Kent, a talented chef, originally from Texas, who worked at Larkspur for seven years and then Red Sky Country Club.

“The goal of our menu is to be affordable and of good value,” Kent explains. “I like comfort food, and that’s kind of where the menu begins. We have some twists on classics and make everything from scratch. I’m not here to recreate the wheel. I’m not into molecular gastronomy. I like solid French cooking techniques. That’s how I was taught and that’s how I’ve been cooking for 20 years. We’re doing things the right way.”

And by doing things “the right way,” Kent and his crew have hit everything right on target. To begin, the bar menu, with its starters and “pub grub,” includes appetizers such as homemade chips and salsa, Maryland crab cakes with sririacha aioli and apple slaw, red pepper hummus with cucumber raita as well as Kent’s Texas take on fried kosher pickle spears — fried in panko crumbs — which only whets your appetite. Then there is a French onion panini with gruyere or a braised brisket panini with cheddar cheeses — just two of the bistro’s grub that will more than satiate your post-skiing hunger.

Of course, the bar menu would not be complete without an exceptional choice of Colorado drafts or bottled beer, as well as a complete selection of affordable wines by the glass or bottle.

Organic, local, delicious

Entrees further demonstrate Kent’s skill at introducing maximum flavors from his use of organic and local ingredients. His signature dish, lamb osso buco, is presented over a gorgeous dish of homemade spaetzle and a combination of colorful winter squash. Another favorite, Pacific cod with roasted olives, tomatoes and salsa verde, comes with a potato cake that combines the ingredients of a baked stuffed potato: sour cream, onion and a bit of cheese.

For dessert, the apple galette with salted caramel ice cream is not to be missed!

The kid’s menu includes many favorites: mac n’cheese, hot dogs and chicken tenders to full entrees like grilled Colorado natural chicken breast and pan­roasted wild salmon — all for $9 or less.

The Black Diamond Bistro’s setting — in the Charter at Beaver Creek — with its wide windows overlooking the mountain, is just beautiful — a fine place to go apres ski or for a relaxing, informal dinner. The bar area is casual, yet tasteful, complete with a fireplace and television sets, though not blasting. The dining room is comforting with a welcoming sense of warmth.

And there is an additional perk. The bistro is just a short walk to the Vilar Performing Arts Center, which makes parking your car and eating dinner there a natural move.

And a tasty one, at that.


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 29, 2013 11:24PM Published Dec 31, 2013 11:26AM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.