Vail chefs are upping the game on classic comfort food | VailDaily.com

Vail chefs are upping the game on classic comfort food

Kim Fuller
Vail Lifestyle Magazine

Some of the most memorable meals aren't the most extravagant, but they often display high quality ingredients and innovative recipes. Above all, you'll remember a meal when it's delicious, and sometimes that experience happens when simple, classic dishes are given some attention and a big dash of creativity.

The Remedy Burger from The Remedy Bar, Four Seasons Vail

Bite into a single, double or triple patty of The Remedy's signature burger, and your expectations for this savory classic will be forever elevated.
"Our burger is prepared using locally sourced Colorado Wagyu beef from our partner, 7X Ranch," explains Executive Chef Marcus Stewart. "To enhance the burger, we use a secret sauce called the 'cure-all' that is prepared using Flame's own signature steak sauce. Add in the crunchiness of lettuce, pickles and red onions, complemented by the cheddar cheese and tomato, and enjoy a burger bursting with flavor."
Order it with a Tivoli German-style lager on tap, and be sure to save some room for the best liquid dessert around, The Remedy Haute Chocolate — made with melted Swiss chocolate, marshmallow and chantilly cream.

Pizza at Zino Ristorante, Edwards

Any of the hand-tossed, brick oven-baked pizzas at Zino are worth a try, especially since the dough is prepared in house, then rotated and stretched with clenched fists, to then be topped and slid into the wood-fire oven. Executive Chef Nick Haley decided to revamp his pizza dough recipe to the more traditional Neapolitan method, and he's nailed the flavors and textures. In the true Neapolitan way, no rolling pin is used to shape the crusts, which are made with 100-percent Italian wheat flour.
"A lot of other Italian flours you can buy are just milled in Italy, but they are getting the wheat from other places," Haley explains. "What we are using here is not as bleached, so you can actually see a lot of the texture and there is a lot more color to it when you're making your dough."
Try the Margherita, made with housemade mozzarella, fresh basil and marinara, or
the Salsiccia, covered in housemade sausage, artichokes, mozzarella, pecorina, chili oil, rapini pesto and marinara.

El Regalo Ranch Goat Tacos from Vin48 Restaurant Wine Bar, Avon

Tacos can be basic or mindblowing, and Vin48 has certainly found the recipe to create the latter variation. Served on corn tortillas, two braised goat tacos are topped with tomatillo-pineapple salsa and cojita cheese.

"We source happy goats from Salida, Colorado — El Regalo Ranch goat farm," says co-owner Collin Baugh.
of Vin48. "We offer the tacos on our $8 happy hour menu. They are very delicious and people love them. Not everyone has tried goat, but it is the most consumed protein in the world." Have a server or bartender pair a wine with the tacos, as Vin offers a quite impressive by-the-glass selection.

Crimpster from Hooked, Beaver Creek

Pick up this gourmet crustacean creation up at the Vail Famers' Market and throw it on the grill at home, or stop in to Hooked to order it from the menu.
Riley Romanin, Chef-Owner of Hooked, says to think of this as the ultimate seafood turducken — CR(ab) (shr)IMP(lob)STER.
"It is a 5-ounce lobster tail stuffed with a butterflied shrimp, that is stuffed with a snow crab leg, all wrapped in bacon. Cook sous vide in a pouch, and then grill until the bacon is crisp," he says.
If you're bringing it home, the instructions aren't too complex — all it takes is a small stockpot, water to boil the bag in, and lemon and unsalted butter for the sauce.

Reuben Dip at  The Fitz Bar & Restaurant, Vail

Growing up, Chef Ken Butler used to go to the Bagel Deli in Denver. He says he "was always in love with their Reuben."
"I knew that someday I wanted one on my menu,"he says.

Butler is executive chef at The Fitz, and his rendition of pastrami on rye is definitely worth a visit to the restaurant.

"The Reuben dip was a natural progression for crossing two of my favorite sandwiches, the French dip and Reuben," he says. "We use Colorado custom corned beef and classic demi glacé for the base of the au jus. Pairing gooey Swiss, house-made Russian dressing and marbled rye makes it that much more delicious."

Wild Mushroom "Pastrami" at Craftsman, Edwards

The mushroom "pastrami" at Craftsman is a vegetarian sandwich prepared in the style of pastrami.

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"We occasionally have some confusion with our guests as to whether or not there is meat on the sandwich," says Chef-Owner Chris Schmidt. "We take a mixture of mushrooms (which changes depending on the season) and roast them with a pastrami spice blend, slivered garlic and a bit of sherry vinegar."

The end result is a delightful vegetarian sandwich that tastes very much like traditional beef pastrami.

"I never set out to make a 'vegetarian' dish," says Schmidt, "we just really love to work with vegetables and often treat them like you would a piece of meat. We have converted many carnivores with this sandwich. In addition to the mushrooms the sandwich also has some of our house-made sauerkraut, special sauce, Gruyere and a bit of arugula to lighten it up."