Date Night at The Brass Tag

We visited The Brass Tag, located at the Lodges at Deer Valley, on a snowy evening this past winter. The convenient parking garage allowed me to leave my coat in the car and gave us easy access to the lobby, where after just one flight of stairs, my wife and I found a cheerful hostess awaiting us. Being an hour ahead of our dining reservation, we visited the bar and were immediately rewarded with our order; the Blue Ledge cocktail has a bold first taste and truly undeniable distinct flavors. It was very smooth and we enjoyed it! While we were at the bar, we ordered a couple of appetizers too.

“HOLY MOLY” is a Walter Matthau coined phrase that I love, because it is a wondrous way to emphasize unique excellence or unabashed, stupefied astonishment. Either way, it fits what I babbled out loud after my first taste of the Oven Fried Chimichurri Chips. This appetizer is for everyone. I could order a couple of, well, three Blue Ledge cocktails and fill up on one and a half plates of the chips, skipping the main menu altogether, but that would be a huge mistake. With Applewood bacon, scallions, Gold Creek Farms white cheddar and gruyère cheese, the chimichurri chips are amazing!

We also loved the Avocado Fries, which were fantastic. The lightly breaded avocado was not overdone or too heavily spiced, but had a perfect texture and was served with a housemade guajillo pepper and pineapple aioli dipping sauce.

Don’t think you can get away with something as simple as making a face at The Brass Tag; they will see you….. the service is that attentive. As we moved to our table for the main course, I knew I wanted red meat when I spied the Niman Ranch Prime New York Strip on the menu. That isn’t my norm anymore, yet sometimes I just want a steak. I always envision a steak that is prepared better than my reasonable skills on my home grill, but have been disappointed in the past. I must confess that I have made many “misteaks” cooking at home as well as when ordering from other steakhouses that looked promising. Maybe that’s what’s really helped me cut back on ordering red meat when I go out. I have to say there was no “misteak “made at The Brass Tag with their excellently seared New York strip. I loved it! And don’t forget to eat your vegetables and sides; the wilted Swiss chard, horseradish potato wedges, and The Brass Tag steak sauce were superb.

My wife ordered the Miso Glazed Verlasso Salmon and I was fortunate enough to have a sample of her dish. The salmon was prepared perfectly and the accompanying coconut-ginger jasmine rice was flavorful and subtlety. The salmon complemented the rice, each a counterbalance of flavor. The shiitake mushrooms and snow peas were also marvelous.

I like brulée and will rave about The Brass Tag’s White Chocolate Brulée with fresh berries and caramel tuile. Although I shared one during our visit, I will plan to not share again. Already feeling full, half of the brulée added to that, so I will save more room next time.

 

Sincerely,

David Olson

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