EAT: Pair Colorado proteins with Colorado cocktails at The Fitz
Special to the Daily
Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a paid feature in EAT magazine, highlighting restaurants across the valley.
The nucleus of an incredible meal is not glitzy décor or even the attentiveness of the wait staff; it’s the friends and family with whom you are dining, said Aaron Piatkowski, director of food and beverage for The Fitz.
“You should be focusing more on the people you’re with than our service, enjoying their company,” he said.
That’s why Executive Chef Ken Butler’s protein-heavy winter menu takes a shareable approach. From crunchy parsnip chips served with tender U10 diver scallops to the cilantro that transforms The Fitz’s crab cakes, each dish has an unexpected something to delight the palate.
“We like to play with our food a lot,” said Chef de Cuisine Courtney Manaligod, pointing to details like the dehydrated tomato crisps that add acidity and sweetness to the fat rock shrimp nested in bacon consommé-prepared grits.
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That playfulness continues through the entrée list, where sautéed eggplant replaces the customary mushrooms in the garlic and lemon-herb risotto and puffed quinoa provides texture to the garlic mashed potatoes and wild mushrooms that accompany The Fitz’s short ribs, sous vide cooked for 12 hours and blanketed in a demi-glace.
The heart of the menu is a steakhouse-style list of butcher cuts from Lombardi Brothers Meats in Denver. Options range from wild boar to venison to rack of Colorado lamb, but the collection is dominated by an eye-popping 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye served on a slab of cast iron with cherry tomatoes and shishito peppers.
Traditional sides are served à la carte, and a selection of sauces ranges from creamy béarnaise and orange beurre blanc to a bourbon demi or whiskey compound butter that mirrors the bar’s new focus on whiskey. The Fitz carries an impressive Colorado collection with labels such as Distillery 291 Bad Guy bourbon, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Vail’s own 10th Mountain rye.
Other mountain towns are also represented, including Park City’s High West American Prairie bourbon, featured in The Fitz Fashioned with homemade honey syrup, Disaronno, orange, Luxardo cherry and angostura bitters. The goal is great cocktails that are simple with some variety to complement the menu, Piatkowski says.
“Each season we try to up our presentation: seasonal, local, new purveyors,” he said. “It’s comfort food elevated.”
Starters and shared plates, $10-$21
Entrées and butcher cuts, $25-$74
32-ounce tomahawk bone-on rib eye with shishito peppers and Béarnaise