SaddleRidge in Beaver Creek oozes wild West | VailDaily.com

SaddleRidge in Beaver Creek oozes wild West

Heather Hower
Special to the Daily
Located just off the slopes, SaddleRidge has a beautiful view and a dining room filled with Western artifacts.
Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts

Price: Appetizers: $12 to $17, Entrees: $33 to $62.

Ambiance: Cozy and intimate or open-armed enthusiasm; just pick your night.

Signature dish: 24-ounce Tomahawk steak.

Editor’s note: This story has been reprinted from EAT Magazine, featuring the best restaurants in the Vail Valley. EAT is available in magazine racks and hotel lobbies around town for free.

The Wild West meets a resort dining experience like no other at SaddleRidge in Beaver Creek.

It wasn’t so long ago that SaddleRidge was open only for dinner. Now, it’s open for lunch seven days a week and dinner Wednesday through Saturday. SaddleRidge welcomes skiers who have earned their turns as well as those who wish to shuttle up from the village.

Known not only for its gourmet Colorado cuisine and wild game offerings, SaddleRidge is a lovely ski-in, ski-out respite from time spent on the mountain. The staff encourages guests to become immersed in the living museum, which is one of the largest private collections of American Western art in the United States.

Guests can arrive via shuttle or ski right to the restaurant; SaddleRidge staff will meet the skier at the top of the ski-way. Slip off the ski boots, slip into a pair of cozy slippers and melt into the SaddleRidge experience. The restaurant offers more than 450 wines from around the globe, promising a perfect pairing with every menu selection, whether it’s an Old West classic from the lunch menu — such as buffalo meatloaf, chicken fried steak or Rocky Mountain campfire trout —or something more refined from the dinnertime selection of steaks, chops, seafood and pasta.

As extensive as the lunch menu is, the Chuck Wagon Buffet feels like an obvious choice for its offering of a little bit of everything Western: piping soups, hearty stews, fresh greens and decadent desserts. After lunch, skiers load into The Sherpa, a sleigh of sorts that sends them back up the mountain for a few more runs.

Linger over dinner

At night, the stars seem to shine a little brighter, lighting up the ski slopes just outside the expansive windows. Dinner is meant for lingering — start off with the popular shrimp and grits, grilled jumbo prawns and blue crab over grits with a light red pepper-and-tomato sauce and crispy capers; or warm up with the slightly spicy with a touch of sweetness green chile pimento cheese

SaddleRidge is a haven for the meat eater, with some serious steaks and chops — 24-ounces of dry-aged buffalo or Nebraska waygu beef strip steak or opt for the Colorado lamb osso bucco. But to fuel up for tomorrow’s adventure, the goat cheese gnocchi, with its fall-inspired pumpkin bechamel, wild mushrooms and local goat cheddar with a mellow pumpkin seed pesto, might be the way to go. Other favorites from Executive Chef Adam J. Roth include the elk carpaccio, grilled venison tacos or pan-seared Idaho ruby trout.

The entire experience is unparalleled; luxuriate in American Western culture, relax into an exquisite meal and fuel your legs for a few more runs.