Beano's Dining Adventure
Beaver Creek, CO
By Tammie Thompson
Let's first talk about kids and "fancy" restaurants. We never take our kids to them. But there's a difference between "fancy" and "superb restaurants that cater to families with kids." Beano's, in Beaver Creek, Colorado, is one of those. Awarding winning, with rustic Colorado ambiance, the food is an earned indulgence after a day on the slopes. But it is more than that. It's a dining adventure.
The Beano's adventure begins in the Beaver Creek Village. We arrived at Beano's Rendezvous a little bit early, so we sipped a glass of wine to get primed for the adventure. The pre-adventure atmosphere was a little bit electric. Families and couples were revved up after a day on the slopes. The mountains loomed large in the cold, clear night. But we were ready. I had bundled up with a few layers, grabbed my hat and gloves, and was ready to roll.
The sleigh pulled in and the troops got on board. Couples cuddled and kids camped out under the dark wool blankets provided on the seats. It didn't seem particularly cold, even as the wind hit our faces at the first bend on the groomed snow track. The sleigh lurched and groaned under its full weight. But the big yellow Bombardier groomer hung tough and carried us through groves of Aspens and pines.
I thought we arrived too soon at the rustically elegant Beano's Cabin. The troops tumbled out, ready for a culinary experience.
Dinner at Beano's is prix fix and includes five courses. How would we get through all of them? And more importantly, how would the kids survive such a dinner?
Here's the catch, Beano's has a children's menu that combines some of the tastier choices on the regular menu, tones them down and tops it off with an incredible dessert. On the night we visited Beano's the children's menu included "Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizza" as a starter, "Grilled Breast of Chicken", "Roasted Beef Tenderloin", "Pan Fried Sea Bass" or "Angel Hair Pasta" for a main course, and a "Brownie Sundae" for dessert (homemade vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and fresh berries).
Still charged from the snowcat sleighride up, we chilled with a glass of wine while the kids explored the cabin. The came back excited about the slippers in cubbies (for skiers who come in at lunch) and the expansive bathrooms. Oh, and they could see other snowcats grooming the trails for tomorrow.
Our first course of "Wilted Winter Spinach" arrived. They really should change the name. It was divine! On to an appetizer selection of "Warm Three Cheese Tart", "Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizza" (this version with Colorado rabbit, cilantro, tomatillo & roast poblano), "Locally Smoked Salmon", Seared Foie Gras Terrine", "Pan Seared Buffalo Carpaccio", and "Prince Edward Island Black Mussels". I would have been finished after the cheese tart, but there was more to come. My husband rationalized that we could rise at 7 and get first tracks to burn up all these calories. And hey, it was starting to snow!
My biggest concern was what to choose as a main course. My husband went with the "Colorado Rack of Lamb" and I pondered over the "Farm Raised Pheasant Two Ways" or the "Pinwheel of Rocky Mountain Trout & Lump Crab". My son said, "it's all good, Mom".
And it was. More wine (hey, I didn't have to drive the snowcat!), and I started melding in to the seat. We were right next to the huge glass windows, and it was really snowing now. We rounded up the kids to help us decide on dessert. "Bourbon Pecan Torte", "Black Forest Gateau", "Warm Apple Bread Pudding", "Roast Butternut Squash Mousse" or "Cappuccino Crème Patissiere". OK, here's the deal. I promised my husband to ski from nine to four. Half hour break at lunch. Then I chose the "Roast Butternut Squash Mousee" with white chocolate, genoise and chocolate décor. Heaven.
After dinner we wobbled over to the stone fireplace and rustic bar. The kids met some other kids, talked Adventure Parks and halfpipes, while we enjoyed a brandy. I could live at Beano's. A lovely family was huddled next to the bar, the kids engrossed in a tall tale. (I must pause to apologize, I thought I could remember their names, but the food and wine must have fogged my brain.) Anyway, the Uncle had the kids' attention. It was a bear story, something to do with old lore of the Vail Valley ..... they'll forget the tale but remember the night they rode the snowcat sleigh to Beano's Cabin in the woods.
The snow was coming down. We bundled up for the snowcat sleigh down the mountain. The party moved outside. Big flakes patterned our blankets before they melted to a thin crust. A boisterous group was singing. Our group was quiet and sleepy. It was a beautiful night. It was indeed a dining adventure.
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