Tabernash tabernash tabernash!
Sorry, I'm a bit loopy from working on my BootsMaps. You'll notice that the number of them on the lefthand sidebar is blossoming - we're up to 8 now, and that list will continue to grow as I work backwards through the blog.
And here's another one to add to Colorado!
The family had gathered in the state to celebrate my cousin's wedding, and we had some time to kill in between events. So we tagged along when family who planned better went to check out the Tavern at Tabernash. (Thanks for letting us crash your reservation, guys!)
Lookit the freaking Old Westiness frontier vibe they've got going on! I expected, you know, burgers and club sammiches, but was in for something a great deal more interesting.
We were given a lovely table in a tent addition out back, where we could enjoy the cool weather. Thankfully, bread hit the table almost immediately. I think more restaurants should serve zucchini bread as part of the basket, because this was delicious. Again, though... plastic ramekin? Butter packets?
It took us a long time to get through the menu, making ordering compromises and wrangling promises to share from aunts, uncles, and cousins.
This is how we ended up happily ordering a giant selection of appetizers.
(food starts coming out... after the jump.)
Buffalo Carpaccio (the menu says parmesan curls/dijon/truffle oil/capers), in killer Colorado game style, was a table favorite. Such a wonderful, lean meat, complemented well by the strong accompaniments.
People also really enjoyed the antelope sliders (antelope burgers/ancho/pepper dew (peppadew?) havarti/shoe string potatoes/cranberry salsa). The cranberry condiment played well with the rich flavor of the grill. The antelope was moist and tender and cooked nicely. This is only my second antelope experience, and I've enjoyed it both times.
Lobster tater tots (fresh berry ketchup, red pepper mayo, lemon) were very cute and cheeky, but (and this is my fault) when I order lobster, I want LOBSTER. Not fried nuggets cut with batter, good as they may be. Nice fry job, though, and the fresh berry ketchup disappeared quickly!
Such pretty artichokes! (Roasted baby artichokes, homemade herbed aioli/toasted marcona almonds/fresh lemon/garlic/nutmeg butter, to you and me.) Very fresh-tasting. I didn't realize the butter was nutmeg butter - what a cute idea!
The deviled eggs, even though they came in three flavors (spicy cajun/applewood smoked bacon/herbed crab) were very simple. I love a good deviled egg, though, and the bite I had was very nice - silky smooth with a nice balance of creamy and piquant. It was too bad the plating had sort of fallen over by the time it got to the table.
Aren't assortments fun?
After this, we all went our separate menu-ordering ways for the main course. Here are a couple of shots, so you can see the plating:
This is the BBQ beef shortribs with peach bbq sauce/coffee molasses glaze/white cheddar polenta/bacon wrapped asparagus. I had a teeny bite and it was super rich, which I guess I should have expected. The polenta was awesome.
And here's a tasty-looking, and presumably healthy, grilled halibut with warm spinach salad with chorizo dressing/mandarin oranges/fresh berries/grilled asparagus/spicy pecans.
Logan and I ordered two things to share. I was immediately drawn towards the beet salad - roasted beets/shaved apples/chevre/hard eggs/arugula/pine nuts/crispy bacon/elderflower vinaigrette (do they have to list EVERYTHING in the salad?). It was very good, and I'd call it dainty if it weren't so enormous! The star ingredient was arranged in a layer hidden under the rest of the salad, which was composed of ingredients traditionally paired with beets. I loved the perfectly shaved slices of apple. Attention to detail is much appreciated.
Logan, true to form, was unable to resist the whole fish the Tavern was preparing - a whole tempura sea bass (!) sesame tempura/roasted asparagus with fresh raspberry vinaigrette/roasted peach tamari dipping sauce/wasabi mashers. (An aside - how did we end up with so much asparagus on the table? It's not even in that many dishes on the menu!)
I gotta say, I'm not a fan of wasabi mashers. They make me think of early 2000's chain fancy dining, and roasted red pepper mashers, and cheesiness. These were fine. The asparagus were better. The fish was outstanding, though quite a feat to eat. We worked away at it for some time, offering bites up to usually accommodating people, but eventually had to admit defeat.
After all that, we couldn't quite bring ourselves to order dessert. It's so hard to get anyone to take the lead on dessert-ordering, even though you know most of the table secretly wants at least one bite.
So, Tavern. I like you. I can tell I like you because writing this post made me stupid hungry, and I just had to raid the fridge for cherry flavored turkey jerky. Which is all your fault. But still, I can't help but like you; you showed my family a good time and good food, and we appreciatcha.
And back to Snow Mountain Ranch! And a wedding in the morning.
The Tavern at Tabernash (no website, but they have a Facebook fan page) is located at 72287 US 40 in, surprise, Tabernash, Colorado. 970.726.4430.