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Chap's Grill & Chophouse

1300 Westhaven Dr. , Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Vail , CO , United States http://www.vailcascade.com/vail-dining.php
(970) 476-7111

You may not expect to find Vail's best steaks at this unassuming three-meal-a-day dining room overlooking Gore Creek and the mountain, but there's a strong argument to be made. Chophouse is certainly an apt name, with traditional offerings like the iceberg wedge and creamed spinach, though both are done with culinary twists (apple-smoked bacon and truffles, respectively). Start, instead, with the velvety smoked pheasant soup, with roasted corn and scallions. Move on to the consistently excellent meat, like the Blackfoot buffalo ribeye and Colorado lamb chops. And be sure to finish with the melt-in-your-mount, skillet-baked chocolate-chip cookie.

Tip: Hang around after dinner to hear live jazz at the Fireside Bar.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.