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Beaver Creek’s Belgian Master Chef

Brenda Himelfarb
Special to the Daily

Mirabelle Restaurant serves up warm charm and delicious cuisine

Roasted elk tenderloin, rhubarb jam, parsnip puree and a Cabernet reduction.
Dominique Taylor Photography / Special to the Daily

Tucked away just inside the entrance to Beaver Creek Mountain is the picturesque home of Mirabelle at Beaver Creek, an exquisite restaurant whose atmosphere sets the stage for an exceptional dining experience. Built in 1898 as a one-story log cabin called The Ranch House, this exceptional restaurant, hosted by Nathalie and Chef Daniel Joly, who hails from Belgium, consistently delivers sophistication and charm to one’s dining experience.

The allure of Mirabelle, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant, begins the moment you step inside where a cozy sitting room and fire create comfort, intimacy and even romance. Nothing is too loud, too bright or too much. Subtlety is the key.

European turbot with root vegetable “ratatouille" and carrot-ginger foam.
Dominique Taylor Photography / Special to the Daily

And subtlety is the key to Chef Joly’s success. He “likes to cook things that are fresh and healthy that you don’t eat at home.” And he never disappoints, but rather creates a unique, elevated experience of dining to be savored. The food here is magical.



The menu showcases Chef Joly’s creativity and intense attention to detail in the presentation of each dish — no matter what might be available. And each dish is exquisite, precise, showcasing tiny details — a shredded carrot, a piece of parsley placed just so. It becomes a piece of art.

Mirabelle’s ambiance also includes an array of servers at their best. They’re able to explain the menu without notes.



They might know what ingredients combine to create a sauce. It all stems from Joly’s outlook — his entire staff is like family.

“We work as a team and everybody brings something to the plate,” Joly said. “We want to make sure everything is fresh for our customers. We might walk around in the store and see white asparagus and decide to do something with those. Or we might go to a restaurant and like a flavor and think, ‘I’m going to twist that around and use it on a dish.’ We find inspiration anywhere. You find inspiration reading a magazine or hearing a conversation with other chefs.”

And appetizers like hot foie gras with caramelized vanilla-poached pear, sauterne coulis and speculoos dust or rabbit ravioli, with butternut squash and garlic chicken broth, are just two of the inspiring dishes to be found here.

The entrees, too, from the roasted elk filet to the seared olive oil Scottish organic salmon to the free-range chicken, each have Chef Joly’s creative touch. As well, the desserts are outstanding, and the choice is not easy. However, special consideration should be given to the deconstructed carrot cake with creme fraiche and ginger mousse, caramel de leche, caramelized carrot puree, candied carrot, walnut crumble and cream cheese ice cream. Need I say more?

White chocolate and peppermint truffle, chocolate sable, white chocolate liqueur sauce and chocolate sorbet.
Dominique Taylor Photography / Special to the Daily

“I believe people come in thinking, ‘I had a good meal last time I was here.’ But I don’t think that they’re expecting the same presentation, exactly the same dishes,” Joly explained. “I believe that people enjoy that and that’s what makes Mirabelle a favorite for so many.

“I don’t want to take all the credit. There are so many other moving parts. There are many things that can go wrong. We’ve been very lucky with our staff and our team to execute so well.”

If you go…

Price: Prix fixe four-course dinner, $90 or $125 with wine pairings

Ambiance: Belgian American in a quaint and sophisticated historic farmhouse setting

Signature dishes: Dover sole Meuniere, Colorado rack of lamb, elk tenderloin

Mirabelle Restaurant, 55 Village Road, Beaver Creek, 970-949-7728

More info: Mirabelle1.com

 


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