Chap’s Grill and Chophouse, Vail Cascade, steakhouse
Vail CO, Colorado
Chap’s Grill and Chophouse
Vail Cascade Resort and Spa
1300 Westhaven Drive
Vail, CO 81657
Four words: sit on the deck. With the flow of the Gore Creek as background music and the sunset reflecting on the clouds above Vail Mountain, Chap’s deck is equal parts beauty and relaxation. Not to worry if it’s sprinkling out ” the inside of the steakhouse is classy dark wood and dimmed lighting, but nearly floor-to-ceiling windows reveal the Aspen-fraught view.
The first indicator that Chap’s wine list is extensive is the leather bound-binder that contains it. With roughly 250 wines on the list, 25 of which are available by the glass. Try the potato gnocchi and morel mushrooms first plate with a glass of the Robert Sinskey Pinot Noir. The slightly spicy, slightly fruity, ruby-colored wine complements the earthy pasta. A glass of the 2003 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon holds up well to the steaks and chops the restaurant is frequented for.
Chap’s has two signature dishes that will likely never leave the menu ” the Colorado lamb chops are dry aged and immersed in a rosemary, garlic marinade before they’re grilled. Topped with a grilled scallion the Blackfoot Buffalo Ribeye is 18 ounces of tender, flavorful meat. New to the menu this season is the standout grilled venison medallions. The tender cuts of meat are glazed with a chipotle-chili glaze and served with a tart wild cherry salsa.
Don’t skip the sides
The creamed spinach with truffle and the garlic-mashed potatoes are a decadent accompaniment to the steaks and chops. The cognac mushrooms are sauteed so just a hint of the liquor bite remains. The slightly sweet vanilla bean flecked vinaigrette topping the wild baby greens is a nice contrast to the strong Maytag bleu cheese and candied walnuts sharing space atop the salad.
Striving for a healthy meal? Chap’s is happy to oblige: the menu features an Oriental tuna tartar first plate peppered with scallions, wasabi, seaweed salad and a sweet chili sauce; a watercress salad with shaved prosciutto, melon, mint oil and crostini; and a steamed vegetarian quinoa stuffed heirloom tomato entree. The chef has designated all three “heart healthy cuisine.”
If dessert is in your future, opt for the Colorado chocolate tart, made with Mexican Ibarra chocolate and served with homemade peanut butter and jelly ice cream.