Our evening at Chaps Grill and Chophouse began in front of an immense fireplace with handsomely made martinis and a sense of expectation. Things just kept getting better.To awaken our palates, we dove into a special-to-the-evening split of Pop champagne and a plate of raw oysters. Chef de Cuisine Jared Hucks, classically trained, skillfully brought out the flavors of the Blue Point British Columbian oysters with a lively apple vinaigrette.
The bread basket is extravagant, and we finally had to push away the sweet Thai chili cream cheese for fear of spoiling out appetites. The pan-roasted Hudson Valley foie gras appetizer may be the star of the entire menu. Served with grilled caramelized onion brioche, Waldorf salad and a black currant demi glace, it was the perfect foil for a glass of R.A. Buller & Son muscat. The meat was seared on the outside and delectably juicy on the inside. On the lighter side, the pear and gorgonzola salad is a winner with flavors that stand out cleanly and crisply from one another. The pungent gorgonzola contrasted nicely with the novel pomegranate reduction. Jamis Mediero, our patient and knowledgeable waiter, helped us select the Stags Leap cabernet, out of the Silverado Vineyards in Napa Valley. The entree list is thorough, including champagne-poached Maine lobster, a lamb T-bone and a buffalo rib eye. We opted for the tamarind grilled Hawaiian big eyed tuna, a real beauty. Lightly seared and served over jasmine rice with an eggplant and cucumber salad, it was fun and velvety. Our other choice was easy. I was in the mood for a nice rich steak and went with the Kobe, quite simply the best steak Ive ever had. Its an excellent choice at Chaps, and trust the chef with temperature. And, as a fashionable and satisfying culmination we went with a cheese platter, followed by the downright fiendish strawberry rhubarb crisp.Vail Colorado