Chap’s Grill and Chophouse
December 29, 2003
Mix warm lighting, laughter and lilting music from the hotel lobby bar and Chap’s Grill and Chophouse could be one of the best values in fine dining in Vail Village.
Candles on each table, supported by a flat piece of stone, provide a venue for either an intimate dining experience or a place to take the kids. The menu at Chap’s has something for everyone. Three-cheese macaroni is listed on the menu on the same page as Australian Twin Spiny Lobster Tails. Both manager and chef understand the value of having lighter choices for families.
Manager Michael Pastore has created an ambience reminiscent of both a cowboy getaway and a fine dining experience. The two themes blend seamlessly into a subdued, yet warm, atmosphere.
One of the main attractions is the deck. Sprinkled with tables featuring parasols and portable heaters, sounds of the river aren’t out of earshot.
“It’s a hidden gem,” said Pastore of tables perched on a platform aside the main dining room, “secluded, off the beaten path and a favorite of locals.”
Another aspect of the restaurant is their attention to detail. Cowboy art is mixed with French cuisine flawlessly. And although the two seem disparate, they blend together seamlessly in the warm light of the cozy dining room.
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Pastore said Chap’s has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for five years running. Incidentally, the restaurant has been in operation for five years running.
Wood tones in the dining room provide a backdrop of big tastes with hidden gems of flair. Overstuffed chairs and generous tables provide ample room to enjoy the fresh cuisine offered at Chap’s Grill and Chophouse.
The dry-rubbed, bone-in marbled rib-eye is aged for 35-days. “It keeps people coming back,” said Pastore.
Although Chef de cuisine Jared Hucks is classically trained in French and Italian cooking, he realizes everyone has their own preferences. For those wanting to relive a standard, he suggests the spinach salad with a bacon vinaigrette. This item is listed as Spinach and Wild Mushroom Salad, pear tomatoes, chopped egg, roasted shallots, goat cheese and a bacon-balsamic vinaigrette, $7.
The chef’s favorite dishes include the foie gras ” Roasted Hudson Valley Foie Gras, pecan French toast, Colorado peach relish, Port wine reduction, $16.
Hucks also suggests the lamb, elk, tuna and halibut. Standard chophouse fair served with accents befitting the service, over-the-top.
Hucks’ favorite thing about working at Chap’s is the people. A light-but-professional quality shows in the smiles on the servers’ faces, a feeling of confidence in the cuisine and character of the chefs preparing the cuisine.
Chap’s offers a world-class setting, featuring fine dining with a tilt toward families. Chap’s Grill and Chophouse has a wide selection of wines for pairing with each course of the meal.
A chef’s table can be found close to the action. For alternative seating with all the sights and sounds of a bustling, fine-dining restaurant can also be found at Chap’s. The table is located just in front of the main line of the kitchen (where the food comes out). Pastore said the table is a favorite of some who prefer a slightly less formal setting.
Ask about seating arrangements and reservations for Chap’s Grill and Chophouse at (970) 476-7111.