Downtown Steamboat Springs Bistro C.V. introduces on-mountain YAMA menu.
I have been wanting to eat at Bistro C.V. in downtown Steamboat Springs since it was new, and I learned that the chef, Brian Vaughn, was a Colorado pioneer in sous-vide cooking. I’m not sure that his immersion circulator will ever make it into the town’s Tread of the Pioneers Museum, but maybe it should because after all, a pioneer is a pioneer, no matter what the context. My wish to dine there came true this weekend at a dinner consisting of eight small plates, most with paired wines, at this super-cool, super-seasonal restaurant.
Brian Vaughn and his wife, Katy, own Bistro C.V. and also LOW Country Kitchen, where we ate the prior evening. Click here for my post. They are getting set to launch YAMA, described as a “modern Japanese and ramen bar,” at slopeside. Brian is building a menu that will blend Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian ingredients prepared using a Jade Range Custom Suite that is a dream commercial kitchen set-up for a technique-savvy chef with big ideas. The Vaughns hosted an eight-course dinner at Bistro C.V., the first four from its own menu and the final four from YAMA’s menu. It was the pinnacle experience of this very foodie weekend.
From the YAMA Menu
A Bit About Chef Brian & Katy Vaughn
There are two stories about the derivation of Bistro C.V.’s name. One is that it stands for Chef Vaughn. The other is that is stands for curriculum vitae — and Brian Vaughn’s C.V. is impressive. He began working in restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky at the age of 14 and was still a kid when he moved to Steamboat Springs to ski and continue working in the kitchens of local restaurants. At age 21, he forsook the mountains and moved to Napa to study at the Culinary Institute of America.
Brian returned to Steamboat and spent four years as sous-chef and then chef de cuisine at long-time Ski Town USA faves, Harwig’s/ l’Apogee. Next stop was Coral Gables, Florida, to train under the esteemed chef Norman Van Aken, a renowned chef who, among other honors was named one of the “Founders of the New American Cuisine” at Madrid Fusion, Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy in 2006.
Returning to Steamboat, he married Katy (whose original name I don’t know), who had worked in restaurants while attending George Washington University and University of Miami, studying art and architecture. After graduating with a master’s, she moved to Steamboat, a lifelong family vacation spot. There she and Brian met and they opened bistro C.V. She has designed all three of the couple’s restaurants and is the front-of-the-house organizer and occasional hostess. I only briefly met the couple, but seems that Brian has the serious intensity of a dedicated chef, while Katy is an extrovert who smiles easily. It’s a good pairing for a restaurant couple.
From Bistro C.V.
Price check: The menu often changes, and this is the off-season. Current prices, which may or may not change come winter: small plates, $5-$11; cheese and charcuterie, $11-$14; “middle course,” $10-$16; mains, $23-39. There is currently a $45 four-course tasting menu, plus $25 for paired wines.