Chophouse opens at Arrabelle at Vail Square | VailDaily.com
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Chophouse opens at Arrabelle at Vail Square

Alex MillerVail CO, Colorado
AE Vail Chophouse DT 1-3-07
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VAIL, Colorado Fans of the Beaver Creek Chophouse will be happy to know they now have an old favorite right at the bottom of the hill in Vail. Opening just this month in the brand-new Arrabelle building at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail Chophouse is a chip off the old block, with a menu and overall look very similar to its sister restaurant in Beaver Creek.

Down to the red-upholstered chairs and comprehensive lineup of steaks, if you’ve been in the Beaver Creek Chophouse you’ll feel right at home in the Vail version. With plenty of high-concept, haute cuisine eateries in the area, the Chophouse stakes out its niche with what can best be described as no-nonsense comfort food. The menu is loaded with big steaks, chops, seafood and game, so it’s a good choice if you’re hungry after a day of skiing and don’t want to think too much about reductions, confits and exotic salsas. That said, the Vail Chophouse is no bar & grill – it’s a mid- to high-end eatery with entrees in the $25-$50 range.A recent visit to the Vail Chophouse revealed a few last-minute touches still being put in place, but overall the restaurant looks good – comfortable and modern with clean lines and uncluttered walls. Located within walking distance of the gondola, it’s easy to see the deck – now covered in snow – being a popular spot in the warmer months.Starters at the Chophouse include favorites like the quail lolli-chops – tender bits of quail served on the bone with a spicy chimichurra sauce – and the truffled pomme frites. The Chophouse revs up the French fry with a pungent truffle seasoning, and the big plate one gets makes it a challenge to save room for the entre.The Chophouse has a full wine selection, and several of the ones they serve by the glass deserve mention: Lyeth’s 2004 Meritage from Sonoma is a big red for those who like a mouthful; while the 2005 Erath Pinot Noir (Willamette) is a subtler red that’s a bit more fruit-forward than a lot of pinots.For entrees, the Chophouse makes it pretty simple: surf, turf or a combination of the two. There’s a big porterhouse, an aged filet mignon, a New York strip and slow-roasted prime rib, to name a few. Or go big with a mound of king crab legs or Maine lobster tail. The restaurant also does trout, salmon and a daily seafood special.This isn’t really a place for vegetarians, but they do have a number of salads on the menu that can be paired with soup and/or upsized to entrees – including a Caesar, an iceberge wedge salad or the house special with romaine and iceberg.The atmosphere at the Chophouse is lively and busy, and the restaurant has a good kids’ menu that even includes a small filet for older kids out of the mac-and-cheese phase. With its location in the heart of Lionshead at the base of the lift, Vail Chophouse should soon take its place besides the Beaver Creek location as a staple for locals and visitors on the hunt for a good steak.Managing Editor Alex Miller can be reached at 748-2920, or amiller@vaildaily.com.


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