The Metropolitan | VailDaily.com

The Metropolitan

210 Offerson Road | Beaver Creek Plaza
970.748.3123 | themetbc.com

by Krista Driscoll
photos by Charles Townsend Bessent

The label in the center touts that this particular slab of 33 1/3-rpm vinyl, now affixed with The Metropolitan's menu of cocktails, all-day happy hour options and small plates, was originally an LP of Steely Dan's greatest hits. But unlike most LPs, this record has no true "B" side, as both surfaces are crammed full of culinary hits.

Part of a small block of restaurants dubbed the East End of Beaver Creek, "The Met" has adopted a new tagline that aptly describes its evolution — "small plates, big wines, craft cocktails" — along with a menu that dropped roughly half of the old items in favor of updated fare and a slew of new craft cocktails developed by bar manager Thayer Stevens.

"It's one of the bigger swings we've done," says Ben McNair, regional operations manager for Roadhouse Hospitality Group, which owns The Met.

Indeed, though a few staples remain, such as the happy hour favorite New England lobster roll, potatas bravas and deviled eggs, the menu has new selections across the board, from the toasted-pecan old fashioned with house-infused pecan bourbon to the short rib pork bao bun with sweet and spicy sesame sauce.

Flip the record to find the small plates menu, divided into geographic themes representing Europe, Asia and the Americas. The European-inspired mojito watermelon caprese starts with a compressed slice of watermelon topped with mint chiffonade, goat cheese and crushed pistachios accented with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, lime, Maldon sea salt and cracked pepper.

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With the chicken and waffles, The Met has miniaturized a Southern favorite, with two-bite wedges of fresh-made waffle crowned with all-natural fried chicken, rosemary candied bacon, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey-maple syrup and cinnamon honey butter.

"We broke it down to make it easy to share and pass," McNair says, noting that the communal theme stretches across the entire menu, with each of the small plates composed in a way that encourages sharing and enhances the social aspect of dining.

Aesthetically, the Enomatic pay-as-you-go wine dispenser still holds court in the center of the room, but a few design touches — like the vinyl menus and taller lounge tables — have been added to give the space a more accessible feel.

The Met opens for service each day at 3 p.m., and the happy hour food and drink sections of the menu are available until the place closes at 10 p.m. The idea is to create an atmosphere that encourages patrons to linger, McNair said, punctuated by live music on a handful of peak weekends throughout the winter. •

Price
All-day happy hour food is $4-$8 and drinks are $3-$6, craft cocktails are $12-$14, and small plates are $13-$26
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Ambiance
Funky, modern metropolitan
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Signature dish
Happy hour New England lobster roll, toasted-pecan old fashioned craft cocktail or chicken and waffles small plate