Beaver Creek’s Black Diamond Bistro hasn’t been around for that long. I was fortunate enough to spend several hours there on a recent trip to Beaver Creek Colorado, where Managing Partner, Bartender and wearer of all hats Lisa Misakian, had an opportunity to talk to me about the restaurant, its start, its mission and of course, the food.
From the restaurant, you can see views of Beaver Creek Mountain or you can opt for the more social route by sitting at the bar and chatting with Lisa and her staff. She wanted to weave in aspects of Mediterranean, Middle East and New England into a menu that is a great mid-range option for both locals and tourists. She says, “there’s no shortage of high end restaurants in the Beaver Creek area and there are also sandwich shops and pizza places, but there isn’t much in the middle.” They hope to serve that market while providing fresh, fabulous food and wine for the taking.
Their wine menu, which I care about and look at first before I sit down in any restaurant, had enough to keep any Cab, Chard, Merlot or Malbec lover happy.
On the menu includes the Dusted Valley Ramblin’ Rose from Columbia Valley, WA, a Terra Rosa Malbec from Argentina, a Surfrider Red (yup, really) from San Luis Obispo CA, a Madrigal Petit Syrah from Napa, a Cachette Cotes Du Rhone from France and a Zenato Pinot Grigio from Italy.
They also had the very yummy Silver Oak Cab from Alexander Valley but only by the bottle so I went for the Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot by the glass instead from Washington state. If Pinot is your game, then they had the 2009 Parducci Pinot Noir, which Lisa was particularly excited about.
Chef Andy Buechel’s menu features regional American fare, integrating family recipes, with an emphasis on scratch cooking. Lisa was adamant that I try more than just one dish and quite honestly, I felt more like a long lost sister coming home after many years than a guest in their restaurant. Truth be told, I was hosted by the hotel and restaurant, but she was equally engaging with other customers in the restaurant, indicative of her warm personality and style that comes from passion for great food combined with a long stretch in the restaurant and bar business.
I did not try these scrumptious looking onion rings, but my neighbors did. I couldn’t help but take a shot of them since they were so beautifully presented and might I add, MASSIVE. They look more like fried donuts than onion rings.
That said, what else didn’t I try? Proud of her menu and heritage (she spent years in the greater Boston area), Lisa has included some New England favorites on the menu: New England Fried Scallops, Fish & Chips, and Boston Baked Scrod.
I had the spinach and strawberry salad, which was tossed in balsamic and toasted pine nuts, topped with goat cheese and baby spinach. If you’re a salad lover, this is it baby. You can also choose a caprese, a caesar with garlic focaccia croutons, or a panzanella salad, which has no greens at all. It’s a classic bread salad with toasted focaccia, cucumber, red onion, fresh lemon and tomato.
Next I went with the Lamb Shish Kebab, which was her grandparent’s recipe. How cool is that? Skewered marinated leg of lamb is served over rice pilaf with warm flat bread, yogurt dipping sauce and vegetables.
How about a little fried calamari served with pepperoncini, a spicy tomato sauce and a lemon aioli? Or the New England thing again…some fried scallops with lemon and tartar sauce.
I also sampled their vegetarian option which is their grilled vegetable platter: asparagus, squash, zucchini, red peppers, roasted tomatoes (so fresh), served with pepperonata and lemon infused olive oil. I ate too much of it of course, but it was too good to stop.
They also have a traditional bar menu as well, so you can get a grilled fish taco, or a host of burgers served in different sizes and ‘ways,’ i.e., bacon & cheddar, basil pesto, barbecue sauce and so on. Or, you can make your own pizza. How’s this for unusual? A Pizza made with Italian sausage, onion, apple and root beer syrup? Wow and a whoah Nellie! I think I’ll stick to the lamb, fish and salad thank you but I’m sure there are plenty of kids who want to order this one.
This over-the-top decadent dessert is a lot better than it looks from this low-light shot from my iPhone. It’s called the Ice Box Cake, which is chocolate and vanilla custards layered in between graham crackers and then topped with whipped cream. Yum! They also have a key lime pie, a vanilla or chocolatel frappe, floats (yup, the old fashioned kind), an apple tart, or you can just be healthy and light by ordering the mixed berries, which can be served with cream or without.
The food is fabulous and the service is over-the-top. Thanks to my hosts for a wonderful (and very filling) evening. Let’s just say that I had to waddle upstairs to my room.
Disclosure: my dinner was hosted but my opinions and expressions here are entirely my own. I really loved this place. For more posts on Colorado, go to our Colorado page here.