Dine slopeside at 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill in Beaver Creek
Special to the Weekly
Editor’s note: This article was previously published as a paid feature in EAT, a compendium of restaurant snapshots featuring the best in Vail Valley dining. Look for it on newsstands everywhere.
When you come cruising down off the face of Beaver Creek at the end of a long day on the snow, you’re probably hungry for a locally sourced, farm-to-table gastronomic apres experience of hearty, healthy, deliciously fresh food. It’s only natural. Luckily, you’re just a stone’s throw from one of the best places in the village to get exactly that.
Right at the base of Beaver Creek, 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill is a vision of local, natural and organically inspired Colorado cuisine. All of the ingredients and produce are “fresh, never frozen” and hand-picked from local Colorado farms and other natural purveyors. The menu changes from season to season based on the availability of only the freshest ingredients at hand, and is served in a family-friendly, approachable setting.
The inside of 8100 glows like a hearth. Amber light flows over the restaurant, proliferated by a flickering stone fireplace in back. The grill, in full view of the dining area, is abuzz with cooks turning premium cuts of pork and beef; bursts of excited grill-fire leaping into the air, making every wine glass in the room wink with firelight. The sound and smell of the open, sizzling grill will piques your appetite.
“Our wood burning grill really sets us apart,” says Executive Chef Wade Eybel. “Anything coming off that grill’s got a gambel oak flavor in it that is really unique to what we do here.”
Which is no understatement. Even sides like their bacon-wrapped asparagus have a distinctly smoky smack, that pairs perfectly with a glass of 10th Mountain Division Whiskey, or anything off of their upcoming winter cocktail menu.
The kale-cabbage salad is the most exciting salad you’ll taste this season. Deeply green and crunchy kale is joined by purple cabbage, roasted pears, and marinated beets, drizzled in a chili-pear vinaigrette and sprinkled with puffed wild rice for a nutty accent. It’s both earthy and sweet, bluntly fresh, and wildly flavorful — the perfect sensory arousal for your main course.
Which, frankly, should be the 18-ounce pork porterhouse. Fresh from one of the two pigs 8100 receives weekly from a farm just up the road in Meeker, this masterfully grilled pork cut is a simple delight. Served with a slice of red onion and a trio of sauces — bearnaise, au poivre and chimichurri — the tender T-bone is cross hatch grilled over the gambel oak flames. A truly satisfying, savory experience.
“The pork porterhouse is something special,” chef Eybel promises. “That’s the best pork I’ve ever had, coming off of that wood-fired grill.”
But even knowing that, it is still hard to choose between the pork and the oven-roasted Rocky Mountain trout, with cauliflower, brown butter and lemon. Or the Boulder half chicken, served with glazed winter vegetables, pork belly and winter chard. Or the Brandt beef short ribs, or the Norwegian salmon with king crab …
So, maybe it isn’t an easy decision, picking an entree at 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill. But at least, you know you can’t go wrong — anything you order is sure to be a meal you will remember.
Kevin Clair of Sweet Basil received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association
The Colorado Restaurant Association awarded the honors at a ceremony on Oct. 15.