Beano’s : Dining above the rest
If getting there is half the fun, then Beano’s should be your top choice for on-mountain dining.
Perched horseback for about one hour, guests wind up Beaver Creek Mountain to a log cabin in a secluded meadow. Grouse Mountain looms in the distance, and what awaits inside the cabin is almost as impressive as the restaurant’s views ” a meal of fresh baked breads, homemade soups and specialty dishes of fresh game or fish.
Beano’s Cabin offers a semi-fixed five-course meal for $89, that includes horseback riding which makes it a great deal. For those less adventurous, Beano’s also offers a wagon ride or a shuttle van to the restaurant.
Executive Chef Thomas Gay first introduces a tiny copper pot of potato-leek soup with chives and an arugula salad with Maytag blue cheese. The accompanying rosemary bread, made by pastry chef Dale Desimone, is absolutely delicious and must be finished despite the appetizers and main course ahead of you.
From there, guests choose from a bountiful list of eight appetizers. Choices include: eagle smoked salmon; smoked duck spring roll; Thai barbecued quail; pheasant sausage and bell pepper pizza; Dungeness crab and Colorado corn cake; grilled and chilled ahi tuna loin; buffalo mozzarella and roasted red peppers and pan seared Hudson Valley fois gras.
Knowing Gay’s penchant for Asian fare, I chose the smoked duck spring roll. The roll tastes fresh made with mint and rice noodles. It’s served with a Vietnamese dipping sauce which contrasts nicely with the smoked duck.
I also sampled the pheasant sausage and bell pepper pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, sage and garlic. The crust, thin and crisp, is a great foundation for the house-made sausage.
If you’re still feeling adventurous after the horseback ride, try the honey marinated ostrich for the main course. Ostrich tastes like beef, but better, because it’s so lean. The ostrich rests on cabin-rolled fettuccine with sauteed mushrooms and brown chicken jus. Diners also can’t go wrong with the Colorado tenderloin of beef with bacon-cheddar mash potatoes, grilled portabellos and veal jus.
Unlike most up-scale restaurants, Gay offers a vegetarian item on the regular menu ” fried green tomatoes and grilled portabello mushrooms with polenta and basil oil. The dish was developed when a non-meat eating friend arrived for dinner. It makes good use of early summer’s tomatoes.
The young pastry chef Desimone amazes with his culinary endings. I recommend each guest order a different dessert because it is too hard to suggest just one. But if I had to, I would order the cherry filled mascarpone moussecake with cherry peach salsa. It is fresh and wonderful for summer.
Beano’s wouldn’t be as memorable without the service. Together, my serving team, Pete and Steve, had over 23 years of dining experience. The professionalism without the snootiness made my evening more enjoyable, not to mention their flawless ability to pair wine with every course.