Eat on Vail Mountain at Game Creek restaurant via snowcat ride | VailDaily.com

Eat on Vail Mountain at Game Creek restaurant via snowcat ride

Kimberly Nicoletti
Special to the Weekly

Editor's note: This article was previously published as a paid feature in EAT, a compendium of restaurant snapshots featuring the best in Vail Valley dining. Look for it on newsstands everywhere.

As you glide up the gondola, Vail's snow-filled runs glow under the light of the moon. But this is only the beginning of a majestic evening at Game Creek Restaurant. A toasty snowcat ride to Vail's legendary back bowls adds an element of adventure to the dining experience.

When guests arrive at the quaint, European-style chalet, tucked into the mountainside overlooking Avon and Beaver Creek, they are met with exceptional service. The staff considers every small detail.

This year, Game Creek's new executive chef, Dan Maguire — who has worked on Vail Mountain since 2009 and has been a sous chef at Game Creek since 2014 — takes the culinary reins.

Maguire purposely created a menu that's a bit vague, offering only tidbits of information about the dishes, in order to pleasantly surprise guests. The four-course meal includes both a starter, like crab or rabbit, and soup or salad, main entrée and dessert, and the chef's five-course tasting menu offers the best of an already spectacular line up, with his five, perfectly paired, signature Game Creek dishes.

"When the dishes arrive at the table, there are layers of flavors and delight," says Jennifer Rizza, general manager of Vail's fine dining.

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Maguire emphasizes local Colorado ingredients and incorporates the freshest produce and local proteins available.

"Sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint are essential for our team of skilled chefs, as well as crafting food that speaks to the region," Rizza says.

Maguire's creative American cuisine gratifies all sophisticated palates. Aromas of innovative American cuisine — with French, Italian, Spanish and hints of Middle Eastern flavors — bespeak the culinary delights awaiting guests.

Meanwhile, the diverse wines by the glass and the Wine Spectator award-winning wine lists are not to be missed. To elevate the dining experience, Game Creek's sommelier pairs select wines with each course.

"Dining at Game Creek leaves guests feeling satiated with all their senses," Rizza says. "The sight of overlooking the Vail Valley from the restaurant, complemented by the aromas of the gourmet cuisine that is enhanced with each savory bite all while relaxing in the charming setting and indulging in a world-class wine, captures the essence of dining at Game Creek."