Total Bill: About $500 for four
Beano’s Cabin is situated half way up Beaver Creek Mountain, a beautiful lodge surrounded by the White River National Forest and carved out ski slopes.
It’s reserved for Beaver Creek club members during the prime winter season, when they serve ski-in and ski-out lunches. But everyone has a chance to experience its cuisine through its summer prix fixe dinner menu.
Your reservation time is the time you meet the driver down in the Beaver Creek Resort village. Transportation options include a party bus shuttle, or at a cost, by horseback or tractor-pulled wagon. Whatever way you choose to get to the cabin, the trek up the slopes is a great way to see the mountain.
The menu is a set five-course prix fixe, catered from local sources and its mountainside garden. The corn bread to start showcased how everything was made in-house, as did the simple garden salad. A couple pieces of lettuce, one baby carrot and a quartered beat was enough to make a statement about how they source their ingredients.
Their soups during our August visit was a chilled gazpacho or sweet corn soup. The gazpacho was a tad salty, but accompanied with this unique tanginess that’s inherent in fresh tomatoes. The corn soup was my favorite, bold but light.
Then the flavor complexity ramps up. Appetizers range from salmon carpaccio and flash-fried rabbit to organic eggs and wild mushrooms. I had the poached-then-fried rabbit, paired with a horseradish aioli. The honey crusted coating had hints of Asian flare, but inside, the rabbit was juicy and without any gaminess.
Mom had the foie gras, which I sadly couldn’t partake. It’s served in its own braising juices and topped with small edible flowers. Dad had the organic egg beside a jowl confit, while Jay stuck with the safer Berkshire pork belly in a whiskey BBQ sauce.
Choices for the main course were just as diverse. Mom had a fruity venison with poached apples. Dad and Jay went with the hearty pork and lamb, each with hearty portions. And because I only like my meat medium rare or not at all, I opted for the potato dumplings, which turned out to be pretty unique. They have the texture of gnocchi, but had a slightly crispy exterior, fluffed up with mashed potato inside.
Then the desserts. The desserts shine in a different way. The standout of the night was perhaps the simplest: the blueberry ice cream. Evenly sweet and tart, with real blueberries spread generously throughout, each bite is like munching on cold, creamy, velvety blueberries.
The other dessert selections were a bit more ordinary. The chocolate souffle was nicely baked, warm and fluffly. The berry gratin was tart and crunchy, and the peach puree comes sprinkled with a pop rock-like meringue.
Food in this ski village far exceeds what you’ll find in its east coast counterparts, but Beano’s stands above the rest. It comes at a price, but when else can you enjoy dinner surrounded by what’s set to become the site of the 2015 international ski championships.