Food & Drink

Moonlight Dinner Series highlight mountain cuisine from around world

Photo by Dave Camara

Arapahoe Basin’s popular Moonlight Dinner Series returns this winter. The diners highlight cuisine from mountain regions of the world, all specially sourced and prepared for these legendary dining experiences.

Executive Chef Christopher Rybak brings years of culinary experience and a passion for innovation to their Moonlight Dinner Series at Black Mountain Lodge. The classically-trained chef gathers inspiration from across the globe, and puts his own “A-Basin” spin on traditional flavors.

“I love holding these Moonlight Dinners because they challenge me to evolve my culinary creativity,” said Rybak, who also serves as the Food and Beverage Director for all on-mountain dining options. Held on Saturdays during the full moon cycle, these dinners allow A-Basin guests to experience the mountain in an intimate yet social evening setting, while also enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors.

Rybak started the series in 2009. From its inception, the series has been popular with locals and visitors to the area, selling out months in advance for nearly every session.

Most dinners begin with a short lift ride under the full moon on the Black Mountain Express chair to the lodge where guests receive a cordial upon arrival. Following the welcome are light hor d’oeuvres, an elegant menu created for the specific night and entertainment by a local musician. Guests can end the evening by hiking or snowshoeing back to the base.

The 2014-15 series begins Dec. 6 with the annual randonee dinner, “A Night in Bavaria.” Unlike other Moonlight Dinners, this is not a lift-served event; guests may skin or snowshoe up to Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain and ski or hike down afterward in the moonlight. The one-of-a-kind experience costs $69 plus tax and including gratuity. A cash bar is available.

Also in December, ring in 2015 with a special dinner by Chef Rybak in a beautiful mountain setting. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with New York at 10 p.m. with a glass of champagne and party favors. The dinner is $98 plus tax including gratuity. Because of its proximity to the full moon, the night serves as the January dinner. It is a lift-serviced only event.

A special Five-Course Beer Makers Dinner with Odell Brewing Company takes place on Jan. 24, 2015. A five-course menu is paired with a special beer to go with each course. The dinner takes place in the 6th Alley Bar & Grill in the base area, so there’s no need to jump on the lift. Spaces are limited for the event that costs $55 plus tax and gratuity.

Other dates include “A Night in Spain,” Feb. 7; “A Night in India,” March 7; “A Night in Italy,” April 4 and “A Night in Central America,” May 2.

To learn more, visit or call 888-ARAPAHOE.

Originally published in the December 2014 issue of the MMAC Monthly

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