Zach’s Cabin named after original Beaver Creek homesteader | VailDaily.com

Zach’s Cabin named after original Beaver Creek homesteader

Katie Coakley
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.

Perched on the mountain high above Bachelor Gulch, Zach's Cabin shines like a star in the night sky. Warm light spills from expansive windows in this stone and timber structure, causing the icicles extending from the eaves to glitter like expensive earrings. Snowcat-drawn sleighs carry guests wrapped in cozy blankets, rosy-cheeked and ravenous for an evening of exceptional dining.

Named after one of the area's original homesteaders, Zach Allen, who was a sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty, Zach's Cabin is one of the triumvirate of on-mountain dining destinations. Considered one of the finest restaurants in the Vail Valley, Zach's is one of the few places in the world where warm and furry slippers are the footwear of choice.

Dining is an intimate affair, with tables situated near windows that frame marvelous mountain views, or near the roaring fireplace, removing the chill from the ride up (guests can also snowshoe up, if they prefer). But this season, dinner will be even more leisurely, says Zach's General Manager Dana Gerimonte.

"We are looking to extending dining times and upping the experience through slowing down the dining experience and allowing guests to enjoy the scenery and time spent at the cabin without feeling rushed," Gerimonte says. "We have moved sleigh times a bit to allow for this dining experience."

Chef Ron Jackson, formerly of the historic Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, began his tenure at Zach's cabin last winter season. He focuses on high-quality, locally procured ingredients, which has been described as "an artful assemblage of fresh Rocky Mountain ingredients such as bison, elk, caribou, wild boar, venison, pheasant, Pacific halibut, Arctic char, fresh trout, Colorado lamb, prime aged beef, prairie-grown grains, fresh indigenous berries and locally sourced vegetables used in modern portrayals of classic culinary techniques."

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Start your meal with a Colorado flavor: The foraged mushroom ravioli, which features Colorado chevre, fiddlehead ferns and spring onion gremolata is a savory option, or the charcuterie and cheese plate, which includes bison salami and buffalo jerky, and showcases mountain majesty. Guests can choose from the river, sea and open ranges for their entree, which includes trout, salmon, duck, elk and lamb, among other proteins. However, this menu is far from set in stone.

"Do note that menu items may change often," Germionte cautions. "Ron is notorious for changing menu items on the fly based on his desire to get unique products."

Each time the sleigh pulls up at Zach's, it signals the start of a special experience. With the stars twinkling in the night sky and the snow sparkling in the light emanating from the cozy cabin, it's an ephemeral setting that is eclipsed only by the veracity of the play of flavors on the plate and the swirl of wine in the glass.

If you go …

What: Zach’s Cabin, cozy and intimate or open-armed enthusiasm: just pick your night.

Where: Mountainside, Bachelor Gulch.

Cost: Appetizers $16-$24; entrees $34-$72.

Signature dish: 24-ounce Tomahawk steak.

More information: Call 970-754-6575 or visit http://www.zachscabinbeavercreek.com.