Lord Gore at Manor Vail | VailDaily.com

Lord Gore at Manor Vail

Kristin AndersonChef Bailey's scallops on the half shell are topped with dynamite sauce and broiled to spicy perfection.

From the lovely view to the sumptuous food, the Lord Gore at Manor Vail likes to exceed expectations. For a dramatic entrance into the meal, order the scallops nestled regally in their own half shells. As your eyes eat up the shells’ delicate, pinky orange hue, your palate will be enlivened by the spicy dynamite sauce drizzled across the entire plate. It’s served with an Asian salad to cool the mouth.

Too often salads are taken for granted on a dinner menu. But Executive Chef Richard A. Bailey’s love for fresh ingredients pays homage to the garden gods with an array of thoughtful winter salads. The classic warm spinach salad with bacon succotash vinaigrette is a staff favorite, but my door to dinner is the simple organic salad. It’s tossed with sun-dried cherries, toasted almonds and Haystack goat cheese from Colorado. Citrus vinaigrette kissed with truffle pulls all the flavors together

Those of you who have sworn off duck must give Bailey’s Loved Rubbed Liberty Duck a taste. It’s a dish designed to convert even the most tenacious of duck naysayers. Dry rubbed (with love) in a multitude of spice, this bird eats more like a filet of elk than fowl. The breast is tender and juicy with just a hint of smoke from the rub. Chef Bailey pairs the dish with green chile mac-n-cheese, which he enriches with duck confit. Warming and oozing with cheese, it’s a sophisticated version of the childhood classic that brings the whole entree into harmony.

Lord Gore offers two sizes of entrees, smaller and larger, with a price to match. This means petite appetites can have an appetizer, an entree and dessert without feeling uncomfortably full, while voracious eaters won’t leave hungry. It’s an idea I hope other restaurants will pick up on.

Lord Gore restaurant has been a Vail Valley dining institution for decades, and part of the allure is its jaw-dropping view of Vail Mountain. Floor to ceilings windows frame images of skiers careening down Golden Peak, and as night closes in and the snowflakes begin to fly (hopefully), it’s a perfect place to plan the powder day that awaits.

Adjacent to Lord Gore is The Fitz, a mountain lounge outfitted with big leather chairs and a roaring fire to match. A favorite among ski schoolers, they come for drink specials and to nosh on comfort food to refuel after an exhausting day on the hill. The green chili mac-n-cheese makes an appearance on the menu as does crawfish gumbo, two hearty starters. For lighter eaters, there are spicy nuts, warm edamame and a hummus plate with pita chips and grapes. But The Fitz’s edible jewels are the sliders. Served two per order, diners can choose from the classic cheeseburger and turkey club to the not-so-classic chipotle chicken slider with bacon and avocado or the crab cake slider with a smoked tomato remoulade. Groups should order several and taste them all.

595 Vail Valley Drive, Manor Vail / 970.476.5000 / manorvail.com

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