Osprey Fireside Grill | VailDaily.com

Osprey Fireside Grill

base of strawberry park express lift

10 elk track road | beaver creek | 970.754.7396

 ospreyatbeavercreek.rockresorts.com/dining

The Osprey's Fireside Grill at the base of Beaver Creek's Strawberry Park lift, offers a red-hot fireplace enshrined by a big stone hearth to warm your hands and toes, and a selection of shareables and cocktails to warm your spirit while swapping stories from a day on the mountain.

With a ski-in/ski-out backdoor, you can be at the bar or near the fireplace with amuse-bouche on the way in under a minute flat. This is model après and something that executive chef Ryan Murray has turned from a neat convenience in years past into a worthy dining destination this winter.

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"My vision is to get people in off the lift, snow coming off them, and have them sit down in front of a nice big fire, watch others come down off the mountain, get a drink and some dishes made for sharing and enjoy their company," Murray says. "Maybe they'll look at the entrée menu and decide to come back for the Wagyu strip or the buffalo rib-eye."

They'd have cause to both come in and come back. Murray displays a fine attention to detail, transforming simple dishes into sublime creations through a sometimes-arduous process.

The short rib mac and cheese is divine but the preparation is not effortless. The fork-tender short rib comes alive with flavor only because of the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, tomato and red wine mix that it's braised with. The three-cheese blend for the macaroni is perfectly silky, and the scallion sour cream adds perfectly to the moist texture and rich taste. 

Murray also wafts incentive to anyone coming down President Ford's when he smokes meat out back. The curing aroma from items such as bacon over peach wood for the Osprey burger, wings that have brined overnight, or duck breast for Murray's smoked duck breast entrée could tempt a bear out of hibernation as high as Thresher Glade.

"We're doing all this stuff right here, keeping the food simple and letting it speak for itself," Murray says. "The comfort, homey food is just what you need after a big day of skiing."

Then there is that après amuse-bouche. Three selections: a hot toddy made with 10th Mountain Division bourbon served with a chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped fig; Bloody Mary served with a vodka-marinated shrimp skewer, and a Kir Royale paired with a raspberry and brie filo cup.

None of what's aforementioned even touches on a selection of après-après mains that includes Murray's Wagyu Strip, smoked duck breast and buffalo rib-eye.

It's clear Murray takes a tremendous amount of pride in what he presents. One taste shows that he's succeeding. 

Price
Starters: starting at $8
Main dishes: starting at
$14 for sandwiches/burgers and $24 for entrées
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Ambiance
Upscale casual
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Signature dish
Elk tenderloin with garlic confit mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and shallot demi
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Kid-friendly?
Absolutely