night out on the mountain or in the villages of Vail and Beaver Creek is a splurge by definition, although there’s always a way to up the ante when securing a place at the resorts’ most-coveted tables, be it a sleigh ride to a multicourse feast at a members-only on-mountain cabin, a private dining room at the back of a sold-out restaurant, or a personal chef plating multiple mouth-watering courses from the kitchen of your home away from home.

Saddle Ridge

Beaver Creek’s haute Western hideaway was built by the Lehman Brothers in 1987 at the spare-no-expense price tag of $27 million, where its 27 opulent bedrooms (appointed by the late Naomi Leff, of Ralph Lauren fame), a dining hall with a four-story fireplace and soaring 40-foot ceiling, a saloon-style bar, and library/museum stocked with authentic Western artifacts served as a mountain den for wolves of Wall Street during their extravagant stays. Now owned by Vail Resorts, SaddleRidge is an out-of-the-way ski-in/ski out retreat that’s open to the public, but its intimate Centennial Library can be reserved for private four-course dinners ($1,500 food and beverage minimum), where it still feels like 1987 as guests sip and swirl pours from $850 bottles of 2007 Lokoya Mount Veeder cab while inspecting General Custer’s hat and canteen. Dinner options starting at $94 per person, 970-754-5456; saddlreridgebeavercreek.com

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SADDLERIDGE: The main dining hall of an opulent clubhouse built for titans of Wall Street.

Image: Karl Wolfgang

Anderson's Cabin

The homestead of one of Beaver Creek’s earliest settlers now serves as a quaint—by the Ritz’s standards—private dining cabin for up to 14 guests that’s staffed with a chef and server. The expansive outdoor deck is complemented by a wood-burning fire pit and an adjacent chairlift, although it’s hard not to focus on the big valley views that come paired with a custom Swiss-inspired menu of raclette and fondue. 970-343-1098; ritzcarlton.com

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BEANO’S CABIN: A dessert course of tiramisu, with a pyrotechnic finale

Image: Vail Resorts

Allie’s, Beano’s, and Zach’s Cabins

An open-air sleigh conveys private parties to these secluded on-mountain private log dining rooms, named after pioneers who settled Beaver Creek, where evenings of multicourse feasts and sumptuous wine pairings unfold in log halls with vaulted ceilings and roaring fireplaces, a setting straight from The Long Winter (if the Ingalls family feasted on Colorado rack of lamb paired with a fine Bordeaux)—and finished their evening with an unforgettable private fireworks show (for a $5,000-$10,000 surcharge).  970-754-5762; beavercreek.com

Leonora

Those who put a premium on privacy rent the chef, staff, and entire contemporary dining room (and its central towering glass wine cellar) for the evening, supping on shrimp ceviche, seared wahoo tacos, tuna tartare, and chocolate mousse with mango caramel. Buyouts from $6,000 weekdays, $8,000 weekends plus food and drink. 970-477-8000; thesebastianvail.com

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LEONORA: A vertical wine cellar is the dining room’s centerpiece.

Image: The Sebastian

Larkspur

Amid the cacophony of skiers clomping about Golden Peak is a culinary landmark with seven private spaces capable of seating groups of 10 to 700 where teams work under the direction of culinary director Thomas Salamunovich to create their own multicourse meals served paired with creative cocktails. Private dining starting at $65 per person, 970-754-8050; larkspurvail.com

The Out of Bounds Room

In the Four Seasons’ secret hideaway at the back of the main dining room, a fire roars in the hearth as executive chef Marcus Stewart and his team prepare course after course (Angus bone-in rib eye with Maine lobster mashed potatoes) for four to eight lucky diners seated around the village’s only chef tables, who toast their good fortune with rare wines curated from the room’s dramatically backlit private cellar. From $200 per person, 970-477-8600; fourseasons.com/vail

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OUT OF BOUNDS ROOM: 7X Wagyu tomahawk steak, carved tableside, with house-made rubs

Matsuhisa

It’s rare to find Matsuhisa quiet on any evening, as the two-story dining room seems to perpetually hum throughout the winter with diners who gather to sip sake and watch the twinkle of Gondola One ferrying guests to Mid-Vail. And while rubbing elbows with strangers is all part of the fun (service is family style), those in the know book Matsu’s Fireside Lounge (seats 16) or the Nobu Room (seats 44) for the evening, and feast on Chef Nobu’s signature five-course omakase tasting menu. Omakase tasting menu, $125 per person; Fireside Lounge, from $1,000; Nobu Room from $2,500, 970-456-0021; matsuhisarestaurants.com/home/vail

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MATSUHISA: Chef Nobu’s crispy gyoza tacos with avocado yuzu fruit purée.

Image: Matsuhisa

Private Chefs

 
Chef Brian Farquharson, Red Canyon Catering

Chef Brian Farquharson and his team specialize in everything from drop-off dinners to seven-course plated meals, including a custom tapas menu, with the likes of duck confit and sweet potato ravioli. Drop-off dinners from $40 per person; multicourse meals from $90 per person. 970-390-3279; redcanyoncatering.com

Chef Jason Harrison, Red Maple Catering

Everything from ski day breakfasts to après-ski cocktail parties and themed dinners, where diners can choose signature selections like Colorado striped bass with sweet corn and lemongrass pudding. Breakfast from $20 per person; plated dinners from $80 per person. 970-401-1769; redmaplecatering.com

Chef Matt Limbaugh, Uprooted Events

The mastermind behind the small but powerful menu at Vail Village’s Root & Flower wine bar takes his meals on the road, with an haute camper van for those wanting a hip twist on gourmet bites, or in-house meal preparation for customers looking to impress friends with a multicourse feast from the comforts of home. The Root & Flower crew can help customize the experience, with advanced sommelier Jeremy Campbell available for wine pairings and consultations to complete each course. From $65 per person. uprootedevents.com 

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