Ski for your supper at A-Basin Wednesday

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Arapahoe Basin's Black Mountain Lodge will host the inaugural Dynafit Nacht Spektakel, German Feast & Randonee on Wednesday, January 19.

And what's a randonee? Leigh Hierholzer, director of marketing for Arapahoe Basin, chuckles at the question, then says, "We take it for granted that everyone knows what it is, since we all work here."

Turns out that randonee (pronounced RAWN-doe-nay) is a cool European word for ski tour. And energetic diners will have to huck their way up the mountain without the lift -- this is NOT a lift-served event -- to get to this dinner.

But it's worth the work starting with an hors d'oeuvre buffet of European grilled sausages, air-dried meats and cheeses, fresh-baked breads, oxtail soup (beef tails stewed in a rich consommé-style broth, and alone reason to trek up a mountain) and an assortment of salads and side dishes.Executive chef Christopher Rybak is drawing on his previous experience running a European restaurant to plan and execute this German/Austrian-inspired feast. He's using sausage from local Continental Sausage, but the cheese selection is still up in the air. "I'm having trouble locating German cheeses so this will probably be more European. I have Cambozola and German Brie but there will be a mix of other things," he says. Cambozola is also known as "blue brie," and is a combination of French triple-cream soft-ripened cheese and Italian gorgonzola, invented and distributed through Germany's Champignon.

Entrees will include chef-carved roast pork with sauerkraut and spaetzle, sauerbraten with brown butter noodles and beer braised chicken with red cabbage. Homemade apple strudel and caramel custard pear tarts will round out the randonee feast; the featured beer is Sierra Nevada, and pre-selected bottles of wine are available to purchase with the event tickets.

"Go to the online store when you buy your tickets, RSVP for the event, click on the wine you want, and go from there," Rybak explains. "The wines are all whites; good German ones like Rieslings for pre-sale and we'll have a variety of reds to purchase by the glass at the event."

And added bonus: The moon will be full this night, which means there's no time to waste. "Our full moon dinners are usually sold out," says Hierholzer. The dinner, sponsored by Dynafit, runs from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.; for more information or to get tickets, call 888-ARAPAHOE or their website.

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