Cascades Steps Into Sustainability While Celebrating Roots

ESTES PARK, Colo. – Dining out is one of the best parts of getting away and the grandeur and richness of The Stanley Hotel carries through its corridors and into Cascades, the hotel’s distinguished restaurant and lounge, which is more unique speakeasy than pedestrian pub.

The Stanley Hotel enlisted the skill and expertise of Chef Rich Beichner for a major revamping of the property in 2011. Chef Beichner, a proponent of slow-cooked food and sustainability, infused a bit of 21st century into the classic American menu while preserving and honoring the mountain resort’s history and surroundings. His menu features seasonal produce and regional ingredients in favorites like Colorado meatloaf (organic elk, buffalo and Kurobuta pork), braised lamb shank with white bean ragout, and pecan-crusted winter squash. Colorado Angus beef and a varied selection of gluten free options also are highlighted. An extensive wine list, honored with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2012, offers dozens of wines to complement every dish and palate.

“Food can be simple, yet exquisite,” said Chef Beichner. “Whenever possible I use the freshest ingredients that can be found in our own backyard, thus creating a culinary experience that’s reflective of the beauty of the Rockies and the majesty of The Stanley.”

Chef Beichner also teaches a monthly culinary class for those inspired by his creations. The hands-on class walks students through a three-course meal, emphasizing seasonal, regional and sustainable fare. Past dishes have included farm-raised striped bass, buttermilk lemon panna cotta and diverse market-vegetable salads. Classes start at $45 per person and include wine.

The Whiskey Bar, adjacent to the dining area, recently became home to a 37-foot, handcrafted, antique Rothschild bar. The bar itself became the long-awaited centerpiece for the room, cementing its roots in 1909, the year the hotel opened its doors. The bar is flanked by backlit whiskey displays, showcasing more than 550 labels - the largest whiskey collection in the state. Guests can expand their knowledge of whiskey at one of the monthly Whiskey University classes, which is comprised of tasting and comparing about half a dozen whiskeys. Each class focuses on a particular varietal such as single malt, blends or American whiskeys.

Non-whiskey drinkers may opt for something more involved, exciting, or reminiscent of the hotel’s prohibition days. The Stanley’s “libation engineers” are happy, and eager, to oblige with an extensive selection of once illegal-but-flavorful cocktails like the Mata Hari, Corpse Reviver and the Jersey Devil.

Reservations for Cascades Restaurant are highly recommended. For more information, please visit or call (970) 577-4001. 

Famous for its old world charm, The Stanley Hotel boasts spectacular views in every direction and is less than six miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. Multi-million dollar renovations have restored this 155-guestroom hotel to its original grandeur. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a member of Historic Hotels of America and is only an hour away from Denver, making it an ideal destination for a Colorado getaway.

The Stanley Hotel is managed by Grand Heritage Hotel Group. Founded in 1989 by John Cullen, Grand Heritage Hotel Group is one of the nation’s premier owner-operators of independent luxury hotels and resorts. Its properties are sought-after destinations that offer consistent luxury, quality and exceptional surroundings. Several Grand Heritage properties enjoy prestigious distinction as designated Historic Hotels of America. The company prides itself on the vision and strategic expertise of its leadership. Highly innovative and experienced professionals collectively boast more than 50 years of hands-on experience in all aspects of the hotel and hospitality business and are recognized for imaginative and entrepreneurial style. Grand Heritage owns and operates hotels in North America. It also operates Grand Heritage Hotels International Brand, which has a number of properties in Europe, The Middle East, India and North Africa. For more information, please visit