The Golden Eagle
When long-time manager Don Bird bought The Golden Eagle last year, he promptly shut the doors. Lots of clanking, drilling and remodeling later, the restaurant reopened ” emphasis on the open. You know those lovely mountains and clean air we’re surrounded by? He brought those into the dining room. What looks like floor-to-ceiling windows are really doors, and during the mild days they are open wide. “It’s the best spot in Beaver Creek to people watch,” says Bird, who’s referring to the foot traffic that passes through the plaza all day long. The efficient, and exceedingly warm, staff is almost too good at their job. You’ll want to loll about in the breeze and they’ve already brought your appetizers.
Executive chef Marshall Blanchard never loses focus of what food should be: shared sustenance. A proud father of two, he wants to nurture. “I’m really excited about the lighter things,” he says. “I’m using a lot of whole grains, and citrus instead of heavy sauces.” He’s got a committed fish connection: his wife, Amy, works for local providers Seattle Fish. She’s always tipping him off at the beginning of a seafood run. Right now the scallops are about as good as it gets. And despite his love of levity, he’s not opposed to indulging in something really yummy: Think dynamite. Served in the shell with a squid salad and Thai basil curry, he tops the scallops with a dynamite sauce, a creamy, spicy concoction that was made for shellfish. Technically it’s easy to share, but your “It’s mine” instincts might kick in before you get that far.
Keeping the roots
The Golden Eagle has always been known for its elk. Blanchard’s latest rendition is a loin rubbed with a xocopili–pancetta mole. The traditional Mexican spice combination combines the heat of chilies with earthy, rich chocolate. Add in the smoky, salty pancetta, and you see why it’s so good. Cooked medium rare, it’s set off beautifully by shallot-cherry farro. Other favorites include the crispy sesame duck with pineapple fried rice and the hazelnut-pancetta encrusted trout. But if you want something to dream on, try the salmon with a savory crust born of heat and spice. The fish is good enough, but it’s atop a magically sweet and vaguely tangy corn-scallion cake. Bound together with local goat cheese, the whole shebang is a dance between sweet and savory, hunger and satisfaction. And like everything at the restaurant, it’s simply a pleasure to experience.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
The Golden Eagle
Beaver Creek Plaza, Beaver Creek