A new Revolution: Gastropub brings rotisserie meats, global flavors to Beaver Creek Lodge | VailDaily.com

A new Revolution: Gastropub brings rotisserie meats, global flavors to Beaver Creek Lodge

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com

BEAVER CREEK — The good life revolves around good food. And at Revolution, the newest restaurant in Beaver Creek, there's plenty of good food to go around.

The concept is chef/owner Riley Romanin's brainchild and his second Beaver Creek restaurant. He also owns nearby sushi and seafood joint Hooked, where he learned firsthand dining well is much more than food on a plate.

"I saw that people enjoyed the entertainment value," Romanin said. "There's an excitement that comes with seeing your food prepared right in front of you."

Exhibition dining is alive and well at this gastropub, where much of the plating happens before hungry eyes. "Meat jockeys" donning pinstripe aprons, rolled up sleeves and loosened ties arrive at your table with a cart full of food fresh off the rotisserie. They slide tender meats and vegetables off skewers and chop them before adding a few finishing touches — a sprinkle of salt, the squeeze of a lime or perhaps a finishing sauce. These same jockeys artfully construct steak nachos or the porchetta poutine in front of diners, sans plate. The broth for the tortilla soup is poured tableside; likewise, at the end of your meal, decadent caramel-roasted bananas are drizzled atop a milk chocolate dome dessert as you watch.

ON THE SAUCE

Not surprisingly, the circle is a prevalent theme at Revolution, from the global flavors — Mediterranean to Mexican, curry to chimichurri — to how most of the meats and vegetables are cooked: slowly rotating on the rotisserie. Everything from lamb, chicken and porchetta to 7X Beef, a purebred Japanese variety raised in Hotchkiss, and the calabacitas — red and green squash and Caribe peppers stuffed with panela cheese — are skewered and slowly spit fired. Whatever you opt for is served with homemade flat breads, like warm na'an and homemade corn tortillas, and plenty of sauce options: midnight blue aioli, yogurt ranch, pepino-avocado salsa, honey horseradish, chimichurri and red chile salsa

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"America is hooked on sauce these days," Romanin said. "One of the things I realized with Hooked and my own dining experiences is it's fun to play with flavors and have options. People love to be creative. We put six sauces on the table and then carve meat for people and let them decide what their favorite combination is. We like to say we took the egotism out of the menu."

TO START

Start your meal with a cocktail, either a refreshing caiparinha, a Brazilian specialty made with cachaca, muddled palm sugar and lime or opt for one of three housemade mixers — blueberry lemonade, basil strawberry or watermelon black pepper — paired with either vodka, gin, rum, bourbon or tequila, all from Colorado Spirits. Our waitress, Anna, recommended pairing the watermelon black pepper with tequila. She's a genius, that one.

You might be tempted to skip the popcorn, skeptical about how Madras curry and white chocolate might play together. Don't. The sweet and savory flavors keep your hand reaching for handful after handful. Even people who usually pass on popcorn dig in.

The menu is playful, and while the preparations and presentations are unique, the flavors are familiar. The apple salad is a play on a Waldorf salad with thinly sliced green apples, shaved celery, candied pecans and raisins, all dressed with a lemon honey aioli.

Back to the aforementioned nachos, which Romanin came up with as a solution to previous poor nacho experiences: either naked chips or, worse yet, soggy specimens at the very bottom of the pile.

Freshly fried corn chips are spread evenly on a foil sheet in front of you, and topped with bite-sized hunks of rib-eye beef, five types of salsas and sauces, including a smoky red chile salsa, cilantro cream sauce and a housemade chili-cheese sauce and then finished with diced tomatoes, jalapenos and black olives.

The night we were there a family of five ordered the nachos and all three kids, preoccupied with various iObjects beforehand, were intrigued enough to put down their devices and watch the construction before digging in to the dish.

"That's the point — to get people talking at dinner, interacting, rather than just staring at each other; it seems to be working," Anna said.

PRIZED PROTEIN

Each week Mountain View Farms in Meeker delivers a whole heritage pig to Revolution, where every part of the animal is used in dishes ranging from the guanicale potato gratin, to the rotisserie achiote pineapple pork. The loin and the belly meat are used for Romanin's signature porchetta, which is brined, air dried, marinated and finally rubbed with "a brown sugar mustard glaze and cooked on the rotisserie for six hours until it's fall apart tender, but still juicy because of the rotation," Romanin said of the traditional Italian specialty.

A thick slice of the meat — essentially juicy loin surrounded by a thick slab of bacon — is served with a yogurt whole grain mustard sauce, a family recipe straight out of Romanin's childhood here in Eagle County.

It's that 7X Japanese beef that really made us swoon, though. Layered on na'an bread with caramelized and crispy onions and drizzled with one or two of the restaurant's dozen homemade sauces, perhaps the honey horseradish or the midnight blue aioli, and this will be one revolution for which to be grateful.

If you go …

What: Revolution restaurant.

Where: 26 Avondale Lane, inside Beaver Creek Lodge.

Price range: Apps from $4 to $20; entrees from $14 to $55.

Ambiance: Upscale but family-friendly.

Kid friendly? Yes.

Hours: Open for breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.

Reservations: Recommended on weekends.

Good to know: Locals get 20 percent off of breakfast with a local ID. Score the American breakfast — eggs, potatoes and toast — for just $5.

Must try:

• Madras curry and white chocolate popcorn, $5.

• Mountain View porchetta with brown sugar mustard glaze, served with a yogurt and whole grain mustard sauce, $25.

• 7X Japanese beef with caramelized onions, crispy onions and blue cheese served with homemade na’an bread, $19.

More information: Call 970-845-1730 or visit http://www.revolutiondining.com.