December 29, 2016
Beaver Creek Mountain Via sleigh ride
970.754.3463 | beanoscabinbeavercreek.com
We hum "Sleigh Ride," the whole way up to Beano's Cabin, wrapped up in blankets and gazing at snowflakes dropping out of the night sky.
Guests are warmly greeted when they arrive at the private cabin, located up on a hill accessed only by sleigh and snowcat at Beaver Creek Resort. After exchanging snowy boots for warm slippers, diners sit down in the high-ceilinged dining room replete with antler chandeliers and a roaring fireplace.
Chef Kevin Erving cooks with the finest products he can find. Bacon jam and bison sausage is made in-house with local ingredients. A peach trifle for dessert is put together with Colorado peaches preserved at the height of freshness, after Erving ate a juicy Palisade peach once that "blew up in my face."
"We try to cook the best within the season," Erving says.
Diners start with a warm, comforting soup, a prelude of things to come.
Appetizers start coming, along with perfectly paired wines. Sommelier Brian Helt likes to explain his choices to guests – the unusual Antigua after-dinner wine from California is served with the crunchy (and mouth watering) braised pork belly, for example. An Australian sauvignon blanc lends a crisp counterpoint to the ahi tuna poke, which is, itself, a nod to Erving's time as a chef in Hawaii. Other standouts include the Oysters Bacon Feller, made with Kumamoto oysters, and the bison sausage atop creamy polenta.
The room takes on a rosy glow, punctuated by laughter from a nearby table. We feel enveloped in warmth
Then it's on to the main course, with the menu offering traditional mountain staples of venison and beef alongside fish dishes such as salmon and striped bass.
Rubbed with spices and grilled to perfection, the Colorado lamb is a standout, paired with minted carrots and parsnips and served on a delicate celery root puree, the lamb is then finished with a chimichurri.
“All together they will take your senses on a wonderful culinary journey which is representative to the cuisine at Beano’s Cabin,” assures Erving. The roasted venison holds its own, the smoky flavor of the coffee rub offset by a drizzled pomegranate reduction sauce. The restaurant has a loyal local following, which insists that some menu items never go away, including a potato gratin that Erving says gets smoked outside the back door.
When it comes time for dessert, the chef pulls out all of the stops, just when you think you can't eat another bite.
A brown butter ice cream tastes just like caramel, served with warm apple pie. Beano's cheese plate is a simpler end to an exquisite meal — an assortment of Colorado cheeses, served with Beano's Cabin honey, house preserves and crusty bread.
On the way back, we share stories with other diners about their trips to Beano's: a perfect end to a perfect ski day. •
$129 for the
Cozy mountain cabin
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