Will Nolan, executive chef at the Viceroy Snowmass, is on to his next big project.
Nolan brought a Southern Louisiana twist to the fine-dining atmosphere at the hotel’s Eight K, and this past winter, he revamped the menu at the slopeside Nest, transforming it from an Asian-fusion venue to an affordable beer-and-brat house.
Now, he’s taking over the kitchen at Ricard, the French brasserie that opened in Base Village this ski season.
“I loved this restaurant before,” Nolan said. “The menu was that brasserie. I loved that. I just think it was a killer restaurant in the wrong spot.”
Tim Goodell, a chef who owns and operates restaurants in the Los Angeles area, created Ricard and Bia Hoi, a Southeast Asian restaurant, this winter. Chef Jeff Armstrong, who led the team at both restaurants this winter, is still operating Bia Hoi.
However, Related Colorado, owner of the two properties, has asked Nolan and the Viceroy food and beverage team to take over operation of Ricard, which speaks to the confidence the company has in them, spokesman Steve Alldredge said.
Nolan’s reiteration will have one difference that guests probably will notice most: the price point. Nothing on the menu will be over $20, he said.
“You’ve got to keep it friendly,” Nolan said. “We want people to come hang out.”
Keeping in that spirit, Nolan also is trying to make the menu more approachable, with dishes that diners will recognize or that offer a twist on familiar items.
“We’re going for a bistrot, which means like a French beer house,” Nolan said. “But once again, you don’t want to get into these terminologies that people are like, ‘Oh I’m already turned off because I don’t speak French.’”
Ricard will have just one menu for lunch and dinner, and it will offer salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts created by Viceroy pastry chef Ashley Jenkin and a section just for mussels.
Everything Ricard serves will be made in-house, as at the Viceroy’s other restaurants, which keeps prices down and allows the kitchen to have control over the quality. The team at Ricard also is hoping to utilize the restaurant’s huge patio, which faces the Village Express chairlift, more this summer, both for dining and drinks.
“We want to have the patio open and have people having fun out there,” said Danielle Becker, who was manager of Nest and will lead the bar at Ricard.
Becker’s drink menu will be heavy on wine — this is a French restaurant, after all. However, she’ll also incorporate some microbrews — Belgian beers pair well with French food, she said — and is creating a short list of specially made cocktails incorporating some of the same ingredients Nolan is using in his food.
Becker and Nolan also are excited because this is the first off-site restaurant for a Viceroy hotel to manage. They plan to open by the end of June.
“Right here it’s completely different from Base Camp, which is completely different from Slice, which is completely different from Bia Hoi,” Nolan said. “It’s four restaurants right here that are all different. The better restaurants that are up here ... brings more people up here. The more people we can bring up here, the better.”
“We want people to come hang out.”
Executive chef, Ricard