Gessner Restaurant and Bar at Grand Hyatt Vail offers relaxed mountain fine dining |

Gessner Restaurant and Bar at Grand Hyatt Vail offers relaxed mountain fine dining

Kimberly Nicoletti
EAT Magazine
Duck breast with roasted carrots, quinoa, ginger and orange
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

At Gessner Restaurant and Bar, guests enjoy Alpine and Colorado inspired meals while gazing at the snow-lined Gore Creek and Vail Mountain’s aspen groves. The inviting dining room opens to a wall of windows, while, on the opposite end, warm, wood-paneled nooks with private booths nestle diners in their own little alpine chalet.

Named after the first man to catalogue alpine plant and animal species in Switzerland in the early 1500s, Gessner Restaurant honors the mountain traditions of Switzerland, while fusing new American and Colorado influences into its menu.

“Much like Gessner’s excursions, we tempt you to take a journey of your senses and explore the flavors of our menus, discovering our regionally sourced ingredients, globally inspired techniques and uniquely curated preparations,” the menu states.

As Grand Hyatt Vail’s signature restaurant, Gessner features elevated one-pot meals, light salads, hearty soups, vegetarian specialties and Rocky Mountain-inspired game entrees. Locally-sourced ingredients, including internationally-renowned cheese from Haystack Mountain Creamery in Longmont and family farm-raised, hand-trimmed meats from River Bear American Meats in Denver, form the basis of the menu.

Hazelnut-crusted rainbow trout with butternut squash puree, cranberries and Brussels sprouts
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

Executive Chef Pierson Shields and Chef de Cuisine Kyle Cox purposefully kept the menu small and approachable. They tend to use two to three accompanying ingredients prepared a couple different ways, rather than overloading a dish with too many different flavors. For example, the 8-oz filet features broccoli served in a variety of ways, while the fresh and slightly sweet beet variations starter presents roasted and pickled beets and greens embellished with citrus.

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“I like taking familiar ingredients and preparing them in an unfamiliar way, or taking an unfamiliar ingredient and preparing it in a familiar way,” Cox said.

The chefs build on basic flavor profiles; for example, they add dried cranberries to the creamy butternut squash puree, along with cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts to complement the hazelnut-crusted rainbow trout.

They’re happy to cater to special dietary needs and love visiting guests.

“We have no problems accommodating people, even with severe dietary restrictions. We’ll come out and customize it for people,” Cox said. “We’re here to take care of people. We want them to feel like they’re at home here, so if we can do it, we do it.”

“There is a lot for people to choose from,” said Shields. “We focus a lot on honoring the tradition within Vail, and there is a lot of tradition with this building.”

In addition to Gessner’s desserts that will thrill kids and adults alike — including tableside s’mores (with house-made graham crackers and marshmallows and local chocolate) families cook on a 5-inch firepit at the table, or a chocolate bomb that opens into chocolate cake, macaroons and petit fours once you crack it with a wooden hammer — The Gore Creek Market is the resorts fast casual option for families and guests alike. Gore Creek Market features sandwiches, pizza, chef-made salads and adventure-packaged fare feature local ingredients. Plus, there’s three 70″ TV’s with Xbox and Play-station game consoles, and foosball tables with plexiglass tops that can either be used for dining or games.

Smoked Old Fashioned with mezcal, maple syrup, angostura bitters and orange bitters
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

Whether you’re hanging out at the neighboring market; sipping wine, a craft beer or creative cocktail like the Smashed Scotsman; or enjoying a relaxing dinner at Gessner, Grand Hyatt Vail offerings are sure to result in lasting memories.



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