There’s no place I’d rather eat in the Frasier Valley than Ranch House Restaurant, the 1920s log cabin at Devil's Thumb resort. Like most visitors, however, I tend to think of chef Evan Treadwell’s fine-dining destination as a spot for anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that walk-ins are welcome in the bar area.
Treadwell’s bar menu includes a ranch-raised Wagyu tartare served with a raw quail egg still in its halved, freckled shell. I also recommend the plate of house-made charcuterie, which changes but included duck prosciutto and soujouk (a Middle Eastern beef sausage) when I was there. Assuming you earned the calories, don't miss the sinful duck confit poutine, the gravy-smothered French fry dish that keeps Canadians warm all winter long.
After a day on Devils Thumb’s nordic trails or Mary Jane’s bump runs, I can’t think of a better place to kick up my ski clogs than in front of the Ranch House fireplace.
Bonus: The discretely eager bartender, Topher Hartfield, is happy to make you whatever you are craving. For me, that was an Original St. Germain, which he brilliantly served with a sliver of dehydrated grapefruit that he seized from the kitchen.
3530 County Road 83, Tabernash, 970-726-5632
—Image courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa