EAT: Turn dining into an experience at Beano’s Cabin
Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a paid feature in EAT magazine, highlighting restaurants across the valley.
Beano’s Cabin is an experience even more than a meal, one that begins by taking a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride to dinner. After arriving at the glowing cabin tucked at the base of Larkspur Bowl in Beaver Creek, diners can warm themselves in front of the blazing fire before embarking on the next part of their journey: a five-course gastronomic tour.
Beano’s Cabin is an institution when it comes to fine dining in the Vail Valley and was recently awarded the coveted AAA Four Diamond award. It’s named after one of the valley’s original homesteaders, Frank Bienkowski, or “Beano.”
Today, Chef Kevin Erving pays homage to the restaurant’s namesake with each diner’s first bite: a salad named for Frank that tops seasonal greens with sliced pears, goat feta cheese and spiced almonds. Next, tuck into one of the decadent appetizers. The house-made Colorado lamb sausage is a standout, made with candied fennel and served over fresh fettuccine dressed with arugula pesto, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and tomato coulis.
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The braised pork belly is a signature dish. The Berkshire pork is braised for 48 hours, leaving it infinitely tender inside. After crisping up the outside, the chef tosses it in an espelette pepper jam and serves it atop smoked heirloom red grits crowned with pickled fennel.
“This not-to-miss dish will take your taste buds out of this world,” Chef Erving said.
Guests adore the roasted venison, singing its praises, Chef Erving said. The meat is seasoned with a coffee spice rub and roasted to perfection. Served with a smooth parsnip puree, carrots and roasted Brussels sprout leaves all topped with a preserved cherry reduction, “it’s the perfect dance for the palate — simply amazing,” Chef Erving said.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, opt for the pan-seared scallops, seared to golden brown perfection, nestled with carrots and edamame, dressed with sweet and savory rosemary cider vinaigrette, all set atop a cauliflower puree.
“Then we take it to the next level by topping it with our signature housemade bacon jam,” Chef Erving said.
Vegetarian diners aren’t given second shift, either. While most Colorado chefs wouldn’t name a vegetarian dish as a signature item served at a log cabin in the woods, Erving isn’t “most chefs.”
“The Vegetable Huarache, which translates to ‘sandal’ in Spanish, is a savory culinary flavor fiesta,” Erving says. The dish is a compilation of crisp potato corn masa, smashed pinto beans, roasted squash, green beans, cauliflower, pickled Fresno chilies, arugula and a roasted tomato tortilla vinaigrette.
Chef Erving incorporates local and regional ingredients throughout the menu, like striped bass from Alamosa, many Colorado cheeses and honey from Loveland. While you’ll find several Beano’s Cabin classics on the menu, Chef Erving likes to “cook with the seasons, featuring ingredients that complement each other,” he said.
“As a chef the ultimate compliment is hearing from guests ‘that was the best meal I ever had.’”
5-course menu for $139 per person
3-course menu for children 6-12 years old for $79 per child and
$25 per child for children 3-5 years old
Children 2 years old and younger are complimentary
Upscale mountain chalet
Coffee-spiced roasted venison with parsnip puree, brussels sprouts, carrots and dried cherry reduction.
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