Signature Steakhouse “Favourite” with butcher’s cut du jour •••
2205 Cordillera Way | Lodge & Spa at Cordillera 970.926.2200 | cordilleralodge.com
An evening drive to Cordillera creates a tangible moment of sweet release, like soaking in a minute of cool mountain alpenglow after swirling in the heat of a sun-drenched summer day.
Restaurant Mirador is a dining retreat, a stop off the beaten path that’s well worth the effort. Executive Chef Michael Joerz makes menus to resonate with the restaurant’s alpine setting. His food is rustic in spirit, like Colorado itself, yet refined at the heart — sometimes robust and sometimes tender.
“I like this room a lot, and I wanted to create a menu that can reflect it,” says Joerz of the Mirador dining room — a glass-covered perch that overlooks much of the upper Vail Valley. Textured walls, ornate chandeliers and exposed wood beams frame a space that feels Old World, with pieces of renaissance art to agree.
“The views are crazy,” he adds, as we gaze out from the table. “This is literally one of the only places I have worked in the valley where you cannot hear the highway. It’s so pristine up here.”
The brief yet significant journey it takes to drive a car up to Cordillera makes it the spot for romance, celebration, joy — whatever a guest is looking to bring to the table. A glass of prosecco to start seems all too fitting for an occasion of any kind, alongside an order of Joerz’s heirloom tomato and lemon curd bruschetta.
If you’re in the mood for red wine, an Argentinian Bonarda can carry you through the next couple of courses. Joerz’s inspirations from seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients make his menus subject to variations, like the beet salad with black raspberry vinaigrette that may be served alongside a smooth chèvre or a slightly seared mozzarella.
The Signature Steakhouse “Favourite” is a staple, although the butcher’s cut du jour will vary. Slabs of classic porterhouse, lamb loin or other cuts are served simply, but with a mouthful of flavor in the meat and its accompanying jus and roasted potatoes, cut with the slightly sweet acid of summer tomatoes.
Another Mirador standout entrée is a Colorado play on chowder — a filet of Hawaiian swordfish on lobster chive mash, avocado-lime butter and blistered corn — which brings taste buds straight to the shore. But take one look at the last light on the purple peaks in the distance, and you’ll never forget you’re in the Rockies.
The sunset surrenders, leaving the now candle-lit room to illuminate s’mores and glasses of port as they flow by, and guests are enticed to stay up in Cordillera a little longer. Perhaps for a nightcap at the pool-side fire pit, or an overnight at The Lodge & Spa capped off by a refreshing morning swim in the pool — it’s the perfect retreat.