Rendezvous at Rendezvous |

Rendezvous at Rendezvous

Wren Wertin

Rendezvous used to be a Vail Resorts restaurant, complete with tome-sized menu and interminable waits. The new Rendezvous has a whole new leash on life. It’s Dave Burkhalter’s baby, and he knows food and service.

The summer menu is long on interesting salads, sandwiches and sunshine.

The appetizer list includes the standard nachos ($8) and buffalo wings ($5), but the real star is the quesadilla ($8). Made with brie cheese, apples and walnuts and served with mint jalapeno-jelly, the classic combination of pungent brie and sweet apples is shaken up and given a twist.

For those wanting to keep it light, the menu’s salads are large enough for a meal. The avocado, melon and field green salad ($8) won’t be found elsewhere. Served with crumbled bleu cheese, candy-coated pecans (scrumptious) and a sweet raspberry dressing, the over-all effect is guilt-free decadence. Other meal-sized options include the pasta salad ($9), lightly marinated in fresh basil, garlic and olive oil and served with artichoke hearts, bell peppers and olives. The grilled skirt steak salad ($11) is a hit because of the gorgonzola-port dressing. Most of the dressings are served on the side.

Rendezvous is proud of its breads. An in-house baker makes all the buns, bread bowls and other baked goods on a daily basis. The enormous sandwiches might be served on a bun or foccacia.

All sandwiches are served with crispy french fries. In addition to a regular burger ($8), they’ve got a sesame-seared ahi tuna burger ($11) glazed with hoison sauce. For the more adventurous there’s the calamari sandwich ($11). A calamari steak is fried and topped with a lemon caper sauce, a style of calamari not usually seen.

Though Burkhalter is the man behind the menu, Manuel and Rebecca Chagoya are the stars in the kitchen. The husband-and-wife team comes up with specials for dinner, which is served on Fridays and Saturdays. Some of them work their way onto the regular menu. They often break out authentic Mexican seafood.

Burkhalter spent 16 years in the restaurant industry in Santa Cruz and then 11 more in ski resorts. He came to Rendezvous from Cucina Rustica in the village.

“I wanted to offer quality food at reasonable prices,” he said. “People thought I was nuts, but I’m trying to make it affordable.”

That he’s doing. His biggest enemy has been the perception that it’s still a place where lunch requires 90 minutes. Though lingering is fine, the average meal takes 45 minutes. To further encourage Beaver Creek merchants and Vail Resorts employees to spend their lunch hour with him, he offers a 25 percent discount off all menu items to them.

Rendezvous Bar and Grill gives a whole new meaning to slope-side dining. Located at the base of Centennial Lift in Beaver Creek, they serve lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., drinks and appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information or to make reservations call them at (970) 845-5500.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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