Taste the touchdown at Elway’s | VailDaily.com

Taste the touchdown at Elway’s

Ashlee Bratton
Special to the Daily

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.

To say that Elway's in Vail Village is known for its steaks is like saying John Elway played a little football. Precision, practice and perfection are part of the nightly play-by-play action that makes this steakhouse popular among both locals and tourists alike. USDA prime hand-cut beef is the star at Elway's of Vail, whether a diner's palate preference is a thick porterhouse, tender filet or juicy rib-eye.

To find this upscale eatery and be an active participant in the Elway legacy, stroll over the bridge and head toward The Lodge at Vail where a spectacular menu awaits. The sleek wooden beams nestled among modern stonework and crisp white linens beckon guests to enjoy the action of the main dining area, the privacy of the rounded atrium or the crisp mountain air on the private patio.

Executive Chef Alex S. Vargas has crafted a terrific menu that includes old favorites and exciting new options. When asked the secret to the restaurant's success, Vargas pointed directly to using "the finest hand-cut quality prime beef combined with Elway's famous steak seasoning."

But simplicity can be found in pristine ingredients, such as the signature steaks that have delighted so many diners. From a demure eight-ounce filet to the succulent rib-eye and bone-in filets, part of the fun is choosing one of the sauces — bearnaise, peppercorn, blue cheese and more. But the seafood list is just as deep: Maine lobster with drawn butter, Elway's salmon with roasted shrimp and lump crab and much more.

Starters and Ride-alongs

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But don't dive right into the main course. Starter menu all-stars include the must-have lambchop fondue that is so tender Vargas boasts, "It can almost be eaten like a lollipop." Also lining the A-list are the West Coast Goose Point oysters (seasonal) that are smooth enough for oyster newbies, followed by a touch of briny hurricane harbors that connoisseurs will love.

On the Elway's team is longtime sommelier Nicole Jeffrey who is more than willing to be the coordinator for any one of the 350 options on its wine list. From deep reds to light whites, there's a perfect match for the bone-in rib-eye with mouth-watering truffle butter or the dashi-braised sustainable Chilean sea bass. The final play of the evening should be a move towards the baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They are guaranteed to entertain the senses and warm the soul.

Price: Appetizers: $9 to $29, Mains: $11 to $68.

Ambiance: Casual, yet upscale, fine steakhouse dining.

Signature Dishes: lamb chop fondue, Elway’s salmon and

bone-in rib-eye.