Everything right at the Rittenhouse | VailDaily.com

Everything right at the Rittenhouse

David L'Heureux
Preston Utley/Vail Daily Dan and Mary Rittenhouse stand on the patio at their resturant Rittenhouse at Cotton Ranch located at the Cotton Ranch Golf Course in Gypsum.

EAGLE – The Rittenhouse restaurant at Cotton Ranch is hereby serving notice – along with some amazing dishes – that there is a great, new place to eat for those who take the time to take a short drive down Interstate 70.Owners Dan and Marci Rittenhouse have played a big part in Eagle County dining scene during their tenures here. Until now, though, their work has mainly been at upvalley locations.After moving to the Buckhorn Valley community in Gypsum last year, they saw a need in Gypsum for a great place to eat, with a wide variety of cuisine, at a price that wouldn’t break the bank.”I just tried to put a mixture of what I’ve done over the years on the menu,” said head chef Dan Rittenhouse, who has worked all over the Vail Valley at places like Mirabelle and Up the Creek. “Marci helped out (with the menu) because she has been in the restaurant business for a number of years, too.”

With the needs of Gypsum and Eagle diners in mind, the Rittenhouses decided to go with a menu that would be high in quality, but would also be affordable. Their menu reflects that mindset, giving diners an assortment of options, ranging from a delicious burger and fries, all the way up to a grilled tenderloin, with blue cheese and balsamic reduction.”We do have some slightly more expensive items, like the dijon-crusted lamb rack,” said Rittenhouse. “But then there are a lot of affordable items, too. You get what you see on the menu. Nothing real fancy, just good food.”Dan’s culinary background is in Italian fine-dining, and that is definitely reflected on the menu. But there are also some more untraditional items, like a roast duck with a Thai chile glaze; an herb-crusted halibut, with a red pepper coulis; and a sautéed chicken picatta. Unlike many upvalley restaurants that force you to buy side dishes a la carte, the Rittenhouse serves all of their meals with a vegetable of the day, and a choice of garlic mashies, baked potato or rice. When you order something at the Rittenhouse, you can rest assured you are getting a full meal.

Lunch at the RittenhouseWhether you are out on the golf course, or just happen to be in the neighborhood, the Rittenhouse is also a perfect place for lunch. They offer a variety of sandwiches, from the traditional deli sandwich to the more adventurous and, particularly delicious, grilled eggplant and portabella mushroom.Other options available at both lunch and dinner include an array of appetizers, like fried calamari, baked brie or crispy chicken wings. The restaurant also features an always-changing soup of the day and an extensive selection of salads, including traditional Ceasars, a cobb salad, a tomato-and-fresh mozzarella salad and a unique Thai-noodle salad, served with grilled chicken in a Thai-peanut sauce.”There is really no house specialty here,” said Rittenhouse. “All the food is really good. It just depends what you are in the mood for.”

Besides the food, the view from the porch at the Rittenhouse is, perhaps, the restaurant’s finest feature.”We have a great deck, when the sun is setting, it is a beautiful place to have dinner,” said Marci Rittenhouse.The Rittenhouse is open to the public seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner. If you are looking for a unique dining opportunity, in an amazing setting, it’s time to make time for the Rittenhouse at Cotton Ranch.Vail, Colorado

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