December 29, 2016
970.754.5456 | Base of Beaver Creek's Eastern Slope
(No onsite parking; schedule a complimentary Village Transportation shuttle service by calling | 970.949.1938
At Beaver Creek's SaddleRidge, fine dining meets the Old West in a very big way. Cast iron chandeliers constructed from train wheels illuminate the rich wood arches and massive stone fireplace, setting the scene for a true Rocky Mountain experience. Situated on Beaver Creek's eastern slope, SaddleRidge provides mountain casual dining with an opulent, traditional Western atmosphere, combined with a fine dining steakhouse experience.
Last year, the restaurant started serving lunch — a boon for those in search of ski-in/ski-out fine dining. Unlike most of the on-mountain options, it's open to the public, though reservations are required. "Guests can ski right up, or we will meet them at the top of the ski-way and escort them down," says Jeff Baker, long-time general manager. "After lunch, we then give our guests a 'ride' to the top of Haymeadow."
The ride comes courtesy of The Sherpa — a trailer that seats nine, pulled by a snowmobile. The restaurant is also accessible via shuttle van — it's complimentary — and by snowshoe. "It's a great spot for mixed groups, where not everyone is skiing on the mountain," Baker says.
They will even let the non-skiers ride on The Sherpa if they want a little snow time before returning to the village.
Kids and adults alike will love checking out the mounted game heads, General Custer's historical hat and canteen and one of the original George Washington portraits used on the dollar bill.
"This is an Old West dining experience that you cannot find anywhere else," says Baker. "You'll be dining amid the biggest private collection of U.S. Western artifacts, outside of a museum in the United States."
Dinner enchants the senses with the snowy backdrop of the mountain, the warm, grand mountain chalet feel of the restaurant and, of course, the best quality, flavorful Colorado cuisine, from wild game — including rabbit and venison — to traditional steakhouse dishes.
"The idea is to update the classics and give the menu a contemporary, fine-dining feel while being very family friendly," says executive chef Adam Roth.
All of the grilled delights are paired with inventive sauces, from roasted jalapeño butter to ancho-chile rub and whiskey glaze.
And though it might be hard to decide which route to go, Baker predicts the 16-ounce bison "Cowboy" steak will be the season's favorite.
Though SaddleRidge places an emphasis on American wines, within the 380 varieties from which to choose, plenty originate from all over the world. And, for that special Colorado feel, SaddleRidge offers plenty of local microbrews, as well as a specialty drink list not to be missed.
In addition to dining in the main restaurant, private parties can be hosted downstairs in the library. •
Dinner starters and
small plates: $9-$15
Dinner mains: $32-$52
Old West fine dining
Elk strip loin, 16-ounce bison "Cowboy" steak
Yes, with an $18, three-course meal, including fresh fruit cocktail; chicken, grilled cheese, trout or beef; and a chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream.