The Metropolitan: ‘Where refined meets relaxed’ at Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

The Metropolitan: ‘Where refined meets relaxed’ at Beaver Creek

Melanie Grangaard
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.

With the tagline, "where refined meets relaxed," some may say The Met, in Beaver Creek, is undertaking a considerable challenge. The restaurant, with careful attention to detail and its overall vision, is pursuing the hard-to-find balance between upscale tastefulness and warmth. And it is succeeding.

Located in the east side of the St. James Place building, below The Dusty Boot in Beaver Creek Village, The Met provides visitors and locals alike with a place to unwind together after enjoying a day on the resort's slopes. With an all-day happy hour offering a choice of one of four small plates, combined with one of several drink options, all for $8, as well as a menu heavy on shareable options — The Met has something for everyone.

"We really wanted to make sure that everyone feels welcome here," General Manager Thayer Stevens says. "We designed the layout to feature booths that curve around so it's conducive to shared plates, stories, conversation and relaxing. That's really what we're about."

The Met's small plates and tapas options vary from light to more substantial, with fresh tuna poke to the Pickled Devil's Eggs, which may incorporate Sriracha, bacon and bleu cheese one day and a classic version with Maine lobster roll in the filling the next. Don't miss the short-rib-stuffed mushrooms, which are cozied up in a creamy gorgonzola sauce and presented in a cast-iron pan.

Head Chef Tiana Byrd and her team create locally inspired dishes. For example, the pork tenderloin: smothered in serrano-peach jam, and served with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes — the peaches, when in season, come from Palisade and are made into a sweet chutney-like jam that pairs decadently with the seared pork.

Recommended Stories For You

Whether sitting around one of the curved booths enjoying an evening with friends or on a stool at the bar, the rustic and industrial space encourages guests to slow the pace and enjoy a glass — or two — of wine. Stevens makes selections for the machines and is influenced by the tastes and preferences of the guests who regularly return to Beaver Creek and visit the restaurant on an annual basis.

Two Enomatic wine machines hold the large variety of wines that are available in sampling, half-glass or full pours. Enomatic wine machines are a great way to preserve open bottles of wine. But that's not why we love them. No, our affection comes from the fact that they are self-serve. The machines accept reloadable cards that allow guests to sample and taste at their leisure during visits, and the staff is also happy to provide recommendations and pairings for dishes. Craft cocktails, many incorporating local spirits and developed by Stevens, also grace the drink menu.

Though you might be tempted to have another drink instead of dessert, don't miss the rotating bread pudding offering, which is undertaken with astute attention to detail. Baked using a traditional recipe that integrates day-old breads, the bread pudding may incorporate pretzel bread into a salted caramel-smothered pudding or may include roasted bananas and dark chocolate.

The variety and nuances of the Met, together with a consistent attention to quality and detail, is what keeps guests coming back to this comfortable — yet sophisticated — restaurant.

If you go …

What: The Metropolitan, a funk and modern restaurant and bar.

Where: Beaver Creek Plaza, 210 Offerson Road, Beaver Creek.

Cost: All-day happy hour food $48-$8; drinks $3-$6; craft cocktails: $12-$14; small plates: $13-$26.

Signature dish: Happy hour New England lobster roll, toasted-pecan old fashioned craft cocktail or chicken and waffles small plate.

More information: Call 970-748-3123 or visit http://www.themetbc.com.