Last month during a trip to Steamboat Springs Colorado I had an incredible meal at a fantastic restaurant called Bistro CV. I know its spring now and that pictures of mountains with snow are out of favor but I have to write about this place. Steamboat is known for its spectacular blue skies (see above!), winter Olympian Billy Kidd, and some of the best skiing in all of Colorado but food hasn’t been one of Steamboat’s strong suits until now. And Bistro CV holds up. I hope after the end of the mud season when summer truly kicks in, that the restaurant generates enough volume to survive and thrive in the years and seasons to come. It’s well worth the lengthy drive up from Denver.
Chef Brian Vaughn, a professional chef who has found his niche in Northwestern Colorado, studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University and met his lovely wife Katy in 2001 while she was a server at a restaurant they both worked at. Along the way Chef Vaughn worked in Coral Gables, FL with Chef Norman Van Aken and migrated to Chicago to work with Chef Charlie Trotter (one of Van Aken’s best friends). His food has a Chicago feel with modernist influences and I sense a bit of aesthetic from Avec, the fantastic earthy Chicago bistro, in the Marcona Almonds and La Quercia prosciutto, both of which are featured on the menu there. Imagine, a bit of Chicago in Steamboat. Some will be shocked but I love it! You know the culinary arts are alive and well in America when a resort town like Steamboat starts to shift toward world class cuisine.
When I arrive at the restaurant it’s quiet with only one table of two seated. My first impression as I look around the dining room is that Bistro CV is a high-end husband and wife dream of a restaurant and the kind of place that every culinary student and young cook dreams of owning. It has a contemporary design, enough seating (more than 60) to make the place profitable in season, and a charming spirit that fills the high-end needs of a great mountain resort community. It doesn’t take long for the restaurant to begin filling up.
Half an hour later the restaurant is nearly full and my food starts to arrive. Perfect small plates of well prepared food find their way to my table. A fantastic chicken-chorizo pot pie in a small Staub cast iron container; a perfect pork belly with sous-vide egg, and an absolutely delicious Steelhead trout with sweet potato. Steamboat is more than 3 hours from Denver but if you hike, bike, fish, or ski, head to Steamboat and Bistro C.V.
Morgan Farms Lamb Carpaccio, Preserved Lemon-Truffle Relish, Pickled Maitake, Baby Herbs, Marcona Almonds
Grilled Romaine, Truffle-Garlic Dressing, Parmesan Custard, White Anchovy, Benton’s Ham
Chicken-Chorizo Pot Pie, Savory Corn Crust
Quinault RiverSteelhead Trout, Mashed Sweet Potato, Baby Turnips, La Quercia Prosciutto, Baby Radish, Lemon Vinaigrette
Molten Chocolate Cake with Fresh Marshmallow
345 Loncoln Ave
Steamboat Springs, CO