Grill on the Gore at Vail Golf Club focuses on local ingredients
When you hear that there’s a restaurant at the Vail Golf Club, you might assume it’s exclusive, maybe even a little pretentious. But much like the public golf course itself, the stunning setting is paired with a laid back, welcoming atmosphere that does what they do exceptionally well, without pretense.
Executive Chef David Sanchez, who thrives in the recently built clubhouse’s expansive grounds, is a veteran of the Vail restaurant scene. He’s one of those chefs that could very well have traded their chef coat for a lab coat, a tinkerer at heart whose passion for Old World techniques and quality ingredients make every element of a dish count.
When we met with Sanchez on a beautiful spring afternoon, some of the first golfers of the season were coming off the 18th hole and straight onto Grill on Gore’s expansive patio. The restaurant claims to have the best views of any restaurant in Vail, and it’s hard to argue. The greens stretch as far as the eye can see, surrounded by steep aspen-covered peaks and ending with the dramatic crests of the Gore Range. Evenings here are a nightly spectacle as the darkened valley is offset by the brilliant sunset reflected on the Gore.
It’s a patio that invites you to linger, both with its incomparable views and 90” TV — perfect for catching a game and chatting with friends. Wander beyond the patio and you’ll discover Grill on Gore’s extensive gardens, which Chef Sanchez carefully plotted and maintains to take full advantage of East Vail’s finicky sunlight.
What Sanchez can’t grow himself he works to source locally wherever possible and with the highest standards. “One of the things that makes Grill on Gore unique is our focus on local ingredients,” he says, “Colorado made, Colorado grown, Colorado produced.” From cheese produced in Buena Vista, to Colorado-focused beers, to chips made in Crested Butte, even seemingly simple garnishes have been selected with the utmost care.
“The other thing we do here is we double smoke our own foods,” Sanchez says, adding a piece of Palisade peach wood to the smoker. “We smoke pork belly, pork shoulder, chicken wings, beef rib eyes, ribs, even some vegetables,” he says, then smiles, “we have some fun with this.” All that time and effort is used to great effect, bringing unexpected depth to familiar dishes like the Smoked Pork Belly BLT.
And that’s just what Sanchez wants. The menu items are familiar, but the way that Grill on Gore constructs them makes them un-missable. “What we do is we elevate,” says Sanchez, “so take something as simple as a burger. We’re going to give you the best, straightforward burger we can and we do that by working with our distributors to customize exactly what we want from each building block — the best meat, the best bun. Tomatoes, pickles, onions, they’re all cut fresh and seasoned to order.”So whether you drive, bike, or take the free Town of Vail bus to Grill on Gore, settle in for a wholly satisfying meal served with genuine passion and a view that will take your breath away.
Fall means food and wine festivals and also a chance to see the colors just starting to turn over Vail Pass during a bike ride for charity.