Beaver Creek Chophouse/Vail Chophouse
The Chophouse is pure Chicago steakhouse replete with dim lights, deep red walls and tall-backed red leather booths, lending a warm glow to the dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer mountain views at both the Beaver Creek location and their new spot in the uber-swank Arrabelle resort in Lionshead.
A staff favorite, with good reason, is the crab salad. A generous mound of lump crabmeat, glazed with lime aioli and a touch of garlic, is served in a martini glass; fresh avocado slices fan the salad. The farm-raised quail chops are marinated in house-made chimichurri sauce, then grilled and served with a side of the fire-red, fragrant pepper sauce. A glass of the New Zealand-bred Sauvignon Republic sauvignon blanc is a “great food wine,” according to the waiter, and a good way to kick off the meal.
The restaurant is introducing more bone-in steaks this winter to complement the menu. At more than an inch thick, the 16-ounce veal T-bone is an “eye-popping entree.” The thickly cut, bone-in rib-eye is listed on the menu as the “best steak in the house” and served with a green peppercorn sauce. Try a side of sauteed baby portabella mushrooms, roasted garlic mashed potatoes or perhaps a helping of build-your-own macaroni and cheese (try it truffled or with chunks of lobster) alongside a cooked-to-order steak. A glass of 2004 Peter Lehmann Barosa Valley shiraz is a nice counterpoint to the juicy steak.
With the Chophouse being a steakhouse and all, you might be tempted to skip the seafood. Don’t. The lobster is perfectly cooked. New to the menu this winter is a pecan-crusted ruby red trout. There’s also a minimum of three (and as many as six) varieties of oysters on the menu at all times. “We go through close to 2,000 oysters a week so they’re always fresh, never sitting around. You don’t think of oysters here in the mountains but we get them delivered so often, they’re great,” said Jay McCarthy, The Chophouse’s corporate chef. Likewise, the lobster is flown in three times a week. “We go through a lot of lobster here,” McCarthy said. “It’s a great option if you don’t feel like a steak.”