Elway’s Vail scores big flavor points
Trendy and simply stated elegance is the best way to describe Elway’s, the restaurant named after former quarterback and current general manager and vice president of the Denver Broncos.
If you want a truly great steakhouse experience in a perfect setting, do not stop at GO, do not collect $200 — just head straight to the Lodge at Vail and take the lobby steps up to the restaurant. Its trendy bar, gorgeous patio and inside atrium that overlooks the hotel’s colorful garden creates the perfect setting for a truly delicious meal.
To begin — do not eschew appetizers before digging into one the restaurant’s impeccable cut, lovingly cooked steaks — as you will miss out on some mouthwatering treats, particularly the grilled artichoke, with garlic aioli, drawn butter and lemon, which is to-die-for! Although, the tuna tartare and Dungeness crabcakes are a close second. All of the salads are farm-to-table fresh; the kale salad with golden raisins and toasted almonds topped with Parmesan vinaigrette is particularly tasty. And you can’t go wrong with the roasted corn and chicken chowder or the Soup of the Moment, which is always a yummy surprise!
Elway’s selection of meats is king with an array of prime hand-cut steaks including filets, strips, bone-in-filet, bone-in rib-eye (rich, beautifully marbled) — and, if you’d like, add a Maine lobster tail or, as the menu reads, “Steak &Cake,” (crabcake). Then, toppings like Maytag bleu cheese butter, over easy duck egg, caramelized sweet onion or Elway’s Oscar Style, to name a few, can be added. What’s more, Elway’s special rub produces an explosion of flavor that is memorably ambrosial. The “fresh catch” is always a local Colorado stream fish, served with sundried tomato risotto, sugar snap peas and lemon vinaigrette. And, you can’t go wrong with any of the sides (each serving at least two) but the Yukon Gold mashies, the sautéed asparagus and broccoli and the mac ‘n cheese are favorites.
Looking for something smaller? Many regulars — adults, as well as kids — are wild about Elway’s Famous Smash Burgers — 9 ounces of tender beef, literally smashed, grilled and served on a brioche bun with a side of fries.
WINE AND SWEETNESS
Additionally, Elway’s fabulous selection of wine has been carefully chosen by Jim Lay, sommelier extraordinaire, who recently spent two months in South America researching new tastes to add to the restaurant’s list of almost 700 wines. In fact, Elway’s received Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for 2013, so you can be sure that any wine that Lay suggests is sure to please even the most discriminating palate.
Ready for dessert? Well, there’s the Classic Ding Dong, the Seriously Chocolate Cake, Signature Cheesecake — New York-style, either strawberry or turtle — baked cookies and ice cream. But, the piece de resistance has to be the Scoop and a Shot — a scoop of ice cream with a choice of liqueur including Godiva’s milk or white chocolate, Trader Vic’s macadamia and Frangelico’s hazelnut.
Essentially, Elway’s is what a fine restaurant should be: trendy, chic and scrumptious. And a fabulous dining experience, to boot