Atwater: the Vail Cascade’s newest restaurant |

Atwater: the Vail Cascade’s newest restaurant

Melanie Wong/Vail Daily
Special to the DailyAtwater was created to be a destination for people with diverse tastes. The menu includes steak, lamb and these scallops.

Apres ski, four-course meals and lunchtime burgers ” the plan is to have it all for Vail’s newest restaurant, Atwater.

The restaurant was formerly Chap’s Grill and Chophouse at the Cascade Resort and Spa, but has now undergone more than a mere makeover and name change ” it has undergone a complete transformation, says General Manager Stephen Dowd.

Atwater, which will open to the public in early January, will be a completely different restaurant than its predecessor, with a new menu and new concept, Atwater’s designers say.

“The quality of Chaps was good, but the menu was not diverse enough,” says Matthew Martinucci, marketing and sales director for the Cascade.

While the restaurant will still keep some of Chap’s signature grill dishes, Dowd says he wants to offer other options, such as a great brunch menu or burgers for lunch.

The restaurant, which was part of the Cascade’s $30-million renovation, will have a casual dining space and a formal dining room.

The new space will have a fire area that overlooks the Gore Creek, and will put diners right by the waterside ” hence the name Atwater, Executive Chef Anthony Mazza says.

“It’s the kind of place where you’d want to have a cup of hot cider after skiing,” Dowd chimes in.

Hungry skiers looking for apres appetizers or a casual meal can relax in Atwater’s “tavern” and order dishes such as Nachos Primo, a classic nacho appetizer with lime chicken or Kobe Chile, House-Made Beer Brats on a crusty roll, or Fish-N-Chips and Mini Kobe Meatloaf.

The dining room will offer a more formal meal for those looking for a meal such as a Grilled Shellfish Salad or Braised Cuttlefish.

Regardless of which side of the restaurant you are on, the emphasis is on simple tastes and the freshest ingredients, says Mazza.

Mazza says he hopes to use as much as 70 percent local meats and vegetables. The menu will feature Colorado Striped Bass and Idaho Red Trout from the Rocky Mountains, and Colorado-grown produce.

“I’ve taken a lot of experience from the industry and brought the best of what I know and have learned together,” Mazza says of his inspiration for the new menu. “I want there to be both options and approachability.”

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