Boxcar Restaurant & Bar |

Boxcar Restaurant & Bar

Roasted cauliflower with black garlic, lemon and gremolata. | Boxcar Restaurant & Bar | EAT Magazine Summer 2016
Dominique Taylor/Dominique Taylor Photography |

Snacks: $4-$16;
Large plates: $16-$31

Modern gastropub with food that ranges from fun to fancy
Signature dish
Beef Tartare with olive tapenade, fried garlic,
pickled Fresno pepper and grilled sourdough
Kids menu available

182 Avon Rd. | 970.470.4121 |

With every turn, twist and taste at Avon’s Boxcar Restaurant & Bar, the food, drinks and décor delight all five senses.

Walk in and see the swanky bar on the right and a few well-placed tables, you’ll know the owners at Boxcar understand mountain modern, combining the casual comfort of mountain décor, friendliness and flavor with modern furnishings and modern food. Stylish designs include black textured square tiles on the ceiling, black-and-white photos against white walls and lines of cozy booths, as well as comfortable, contemporary chairs with a view of the open kitchen.

This summer, the spacious patio — which looks up to Beaver Creek Mountain rather than out to a street — creates a dynamic and refreshing atmosphere, with stringed bulbs, shade sails, hand-made metal light posts and bright green aspen trees. Starting in July and continuing every Thursday throughout the summer, another element is added to the mix: live music. Great acoustics, chic spaces and cozy seating stimulate the ears, eyes and body.

The real reason to eat and drink — or both — at Boxcar again and again, however, involves the fresh ingredients and unique food and flavor combinations.

To begin with, co-owner Hunter Chamness doesn’t adhere solely to Colorado brews, but he does offer one of the most comprehensive lists of beers in the Vail Valley. His revolving tap focuses on quality and diversity.

“We are constantly rotating our tap system with small and interesting brewers in mind,” he says, adding his wine and drinks list, much like his menu, is not all-encompassing.

Carefully chosen red and white wines, as well as distinctive cocktails, round out the selection. For a sharp stab, go for the Mad Hatter, containing whiskey, black tea, Benedictine and lemon. All of the flavors combine to make a well-rounded cocktail that still challenges the palate. For something out of the Pre-Prohibition Era, try The Last Word, a gin-based elixir sure to keep you off the wagon.

For snacks at the bar, or at the tables, Chamness and his business partner, Chef Cara Luff, combine sweet jalapeño with brewer’s yeast for their Boxcar popcorn; another twist on the usual is the pretzel roll served with horseradish crème fraiche, a beer cheese sauce and whole grain mustard for dipping.

Another huge hit is the roasted cauliflower with black garlic, lemon and gremolata.

A favorite small plate, meanwhile, is the burrata and grilled endive salad, which includes house-made cheese, walnuts, apple and rye croutons. His beef tartar delivers a new twist on a traditional Italian recipe, while the buttermilk fried chicken served over crispy kale is unforgettable — the spiced kale is as good as French fries, and the chicken is lightly fried, then glazed with harissa-honey.

Large plates include flaky Colorado striped bass, shrimp tortellini, brick chicken, grilled flank steak and a bacon cheddar burger, all served with amazing sides that smack of Chamness’ mild, yet flavorful, style.

Boxcar blends well-priced — and spiced — cuisine with unique cocktails and a variety of wines and beer, making it a modern and charming locale for your dining and quaffing pleasure.

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