CLOVERDALE, STEAM­BOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO, USA

Vacations & Travel - - Tried & Tested - By He­len Hayes

Cloverdale blos­somed into life in Steam­boat in 2017, giv­ing a new lease of life to a fall­ing-down house that had well and truly with­ered on its vine. Af­ter a won­der­ful day of ski­ing on the slopes of this world-class re­sort, ap­petites were primed for what would turn out to be an ex­cep­tional meal equal to any­thing we have had around the world. Chef Patrick Ay­ers is all about us­ing fresh, lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, so the menu changes con­stantly, de­pend­ing on what is avail­able from the beau­ti­ful, abun­dant Yampa Val­ley. Pro­duce is not a prob­lem and with chef’s imag­i­na­tion run­ning amuck, we sit down to 12 cour­ses of mind-blow­ing food (you can also choose a five-course op­tion). Each course is small enough so that we don’t feel we will ex­plode when the last morsel has been savoured, and each comes in a dif­fer­ent bowl, plate or dish that just adds to the flair. Of the 12, there were no im­posters; no weak­nesses. The de­gus­ta­tion in­cluded such de­lights as Colorado bass, bi­son ox tail, lamb con­sommé, Heluka pork loin, lo­cal grain risotto, kohlrabi and chamomile tea jelly. As for dessert, or that should be desserts, the goat’s milk with wild cur­rant and huck­le­berry co­coa noir and rice are ex­quis­ite. We do strug­gle to fin­ish the de­light­ful mignardises (mini desserts served at the end of the meal), but it would not be right to leave some­thing so de­lec­ta­ble be­hind, would it? cloverdalerestau­rant.com

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