Mirabelle | VailDaily.com


Wren Wertin
Preston Utley/Vail DailyMirabelle Chef Owner Daniel Joly serves elk tenderloin with a cabernet sauce.

Tucked into a refurbished farmhouse at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, Mirabelle is a study in charm and graciousness. Owned and operated by Daniel and Nathalie Joly, the attentive pair strive to make their guests feel pampered and relaxed, made easier by the living-room feel of each room.

Born and trained in Europe, Chef Daniel is the only Belgian Master Chef working in the United States. Similar in style to French cuisine, Belgian food is a bit lighter, but every bit as graceful. No matter what extravagance diners allow themselves, they are promised a delectable meal that leaves them feeling comfortable.By all means begin with the buffalo carpaccio. Laying upon a plate gently brushed with pistou, the thin slices of meat are lightly basted with olive oil. At once tender and rich, a bit of baby arugula gives it a little jolt. For lovers of the foie, Chef Joly serves his pan seared with gingerbread and honeyed apples. Its easy to sink into the richness, especially when paired with a glass of Dolce.The Dover sole meuniere is a classic, thin and delicate. Generously coated with a lemony brown butter sauce, the potato tuile is a traditional counterpoint for the fish. For those preferring to stay more local in their flavors, the Colorado rack of lamb satisfies. Coated with herbs, marscapone smooths out the fingerling potatoes.Because Chef Joly is as adept at pastry as he is at savory, its no wonder he occasionally makes forays into sweetness to highlight his proteins. The elk tenderloin is sauced with a sweet cabernet reduction. A quince compote and potato gnocchi complement the match, as did a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape Les Closiers.The dessert cart is, in the words of our capable server, almost ridiculous its so good. Watching the cart, abundant with choices, on its way to your table gives a sense of anticipation to the whole affair. Its hard to resist, and why should you? The crme brulee is divine. Vail Colorado

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