A Review Of The New Sheridan Chop House
Editor weighing in on the New Sheridan Chop House (The girl can’t help it):
The last time we wrote a serious review of the place was too long ago, back in December 2010. Clint and I enjoyed a cushy a sleep over at The New Sheridan, which included dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant, the Sheridan Chop House.
The Chop House is a favorite haunt when we are off duty. But last week we were on a mission. Telluride Inside… and Out is about to ramp up our food coverage to include reviews, commentary and more recipes – with a little help from our new friend and professional colleague, Marla Meridith of the fabulous food blog, FamilyFreshCooking.com.
Marla has well established street cred. Saveur magazine, for example, chose her as a finalist for Best Food Blog 2013. And no wonder: Marla has a brisk and breezy no-frills style of writing – she calls it as she sees it – and she shoots and styles all the food photographs that accompany her blogs. Oh, and she eats up her work:
“I love food. Cooking it, eating it, styling it, photographing it. My life is all about the next bite.”
And all of us hoped each “next bite” at last week’s dinner would not be the last.
Par for the course, Chef Erich Owen outdid himself. That said, I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a food critic. My palate is not insured by Lloyds of London. Don’t expect me to parse all the ingredients or wax rhapsodic about herbs and spices. Here’s what I will say: Erich works with fresh and high quality, a great start. But it is the creative way he combines them that makes all the difference. And not just within a single dish. From dish to dish: Chef Erich orchestrated our meal as if he were composing a symphony, complete with leitmotifs.
One of the recurring leitmotifs or themes was sous vide: fish and meat had been cooked in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times at a regulated temperature much lower than normally used cooking. The big idea is control: sous vide allows a chef to prepare whatever the item may be evenly, keeping the inside the same degree of “doneness” as the outside and the food juicy.
By the time dessert came around we had eaten more food and drunk more wine than we do in a week, but our taste buds were doing back flips.
The vibe in the main dining room and at the restaurant bar? Well, it started out slow because we had arrived early in order to be able to chat with Erich before the rush. By the time we left several hours later, it was Friday night on Tuesday night at the Chop House. The joint was jumping.
And well it should be, given the quality of the food, drink and service.
Truth is quality defines Ray Farnsworth, the general manager of the hotel for 16 years, eight of which he has also overseen food and beverage. Ray embodies the understated elegance of The New Sheridan and its adjuncts, including the Chop House. He hovers over the place like a mother hen, sweating the small stuff, because, in the end, it is the small stuff that makes all the difference.
For the details on the meal, take it away Marla.
Oh what a night!
We first visited Telluride in 2003. We entered the glorious box canyon of Telluride late at night and found our way to the New Sheridan Chop House.
This restaurant is memorable and quintessential Telluride. Here you’ve got down home mountain style mixed with city chic. An eclectic charm that defines Telluride.
The restaurant has changed through the years and it has only gotten better. Way better. Thanks to excellent management by Ray Farnsworth and his superior team….you are sure to have the most fabulous experience when you visit.
We were greeted with lively servers who brought us jewel toned cocktails. I enjoyed the fruity Pear Martini. It was not too sweet and the perfect way to start a night of great eats!
We had the pleasure of meeting Executive Chef Erich Owen. His personality shines as he explained all of the beautiful food we got to savor. Sure, we were in
one place the whole time, but our palates took a trip around the world. Each course was paired with delightful wine selections, which satisfied our wanderlust palates.
We started with the Bluefin Tuna Sashimi appetizer complemented by a 2010 Chablis. The sashimi had Yuzu Marmelade, Lemon Cucumber, Chili and the most amazing crispy onions to top it off. A perfect cooling dish to prepare the palette for the warming dishes to come. Oh and did they arrive…perfectly presented!
We enjoyed two main courses. The first one was Grouper prepared sous vide and poached in olive oil. Alongside it was sunchoke purée and Shimeji mushrooms to round out the dish. I long have been a fan of those little mushrooms for some time now. Whenever I see them I pick ’em up at the market. To bring in some color and more flavor, this dish had a side of spring pea sauce that was made with butter and veggie stock.
Second up was perfectly prepared Kobe beef that the Chop House sources from Eastern Idaho’s Snake River Farms. The beef had the most fabulous smoky flavor ~ as it was cold smoked. It was sauced and seasoned with red curry, ginger, garlic & soy sauce. Homemade Spatzle as a side was yet another way to tempt out palates into thinking we were far away…somewhere in Austria or Switzerland. Baby turnips topped with Chimichurri sauce brought us to Argentina and also added a rustic flair. The tender beef was paired with a smoky Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, CA. I fell in love with the wine and the name…The Reaper.
Ahhhhhh. The sweetness of dessert rounded out our experience. We had two: each very different from one another. One was a rich Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse with a raspberry center. Chocolate and raspberry are one of my all time favorite pairings! The mousse sat on a bed of Flourless Chocolate Cake ….a cooling Malted Banana Ice cream balanced out the chocolate. Dessert number two….Fruit Seduction! Warm Vanilla Pineapple was topped with a Snickerdoodle cookie and was hugged by warmed Bananas Foster…with plenty of Brandy Caramel Sauce.
Hopefully you too can enjoy the understated elegance of the Chop House real soon. Say hi to Ray and Chef Erich for me when you are there!
Thank you to the New Sheridan Chop House for hosting us to this delightful tasting experience.
This review is based off my own experiences and I am thrilled to share it with you!