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Vail in summer

Since Sunday we have had three fine meals at three different price points. Splendido last night for fine dining. Golden Eagle Inn on Sunday for al fresco lunch. The Rose tonight for a very different experience for the Eagle Valley.

We had not been to The Rose, which is located in Edwards near Juniper and Main Street Grill, although it has been open a couple of years. We will definitely be back. The menu is eclectic with a range of food origins and flavors.

Pickled Watermelon & Pork Belly Salad contained arugula, mint, lemon basil, ponzu, basil oil, scallions and dukkah.

Seared Ahi Tostadas was beautifully presented with wonton crisp, avocado mousse, mango citrus slaw, scallions, soy sauce and sriracha aioli.

Chile Nogada was a roasted red pepper stuffed with braised beef, pork tenderloin swiss cheese, candied walnuts, apple and pomegranate with tomatillo & walnut anise sauce.

Highly recommended.

Jul 01, 2015
ddavis in Mountain States

Vail in summer

Opinions about Hooked seem to be extreme -- love it or hate it. What's your take?

Jul 01, 2015
ddavis in Mountain States

Beaver Creek Dec 31-Jan 5th

Hi, BlueOx -- What's the skinny on Hooked?

Nov 25, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Big Changes at Dish in Edwards, CO

Dish Restaurant's last night will be September 29. It will re-open on October 5 with a new name, new concept, new look and new menu, according to their recent announcement. I hear it will be "seafood-centric." No change in ownership, management or chef.

Sep 08, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek

This past Saturday evening we had a wonderful dinner at Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek. It reminded us of why we have always gone back for Chef David Gutowski's imaginative fare.

We started with a tasty snack of crispy brussels sprouts with bacon and maple gastric. Appetizers were a special kale salad and lobster with mascarpone on crisp gyoza with sundried tomato vinaigrette. The lobster dish is a classic.

For her main course, my wife chose the walleye, a delicious ritz cracker crusted filet served with house tartar sauce, local tomato salad and fries. My entree choice was the restaurant's signature dish - a pretzel crusted pork chop with haricot vert, crispy polenta and a wonderful sweet orange mustard sauce. I don't think we could have ordered better.

For desserts my wife opted for the apple bread pudding with cinnamon toast crumble, salted caramel ice cream and vanilla anglaise, while I chose the tres leeches cake with coconut cremeux, pineapple reduction, coconut tuile and candied coconut. Spectacular desserts.

Service was just right. Our server, Carlos, is a real professional. We also received warm welcomes from Kyle Banchero, the dining room manager and Rob Farrer, the sommelier. We will definitely be back.

Jun 17, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Three Delicious Lunches in Vail/Beaver Creek Area

Had a long weekend in Beaver Creek and had three great lunches at Golden Eagle Inn, Mango's Mountain Grill and Sweet Basil.

Golden Eagle Inn -- One of our favorites. Don, the owner, and Bubba, our favorite server, always make us feel at home. This time we had a special appetizer of calamari with two dipping sauces: sweet and sour and cilantro. Cilantro sauce was great. Caesar salad with grilled chicken was OK. The fish and chips were excellent. Had the fish and chips a couple of weeks earlier and they were just as good. Highly recommended, as is this great restaurant that is right in the middle of Beaver Creek.

Mango's Mountain Grill -- Another of our favorite places. The drive up and over Battle Mountain is worth going. Some of the prettiest scenery in Eagle County (or anywhere else) and the little town of Red Cliff is a classic. Great onion rings, fish tacos and a spicy chicken with mango taco just fit the bill on a Saturday afternoon.

Sweet Basil -- This Vail landmark keeps the good food coming year after year. They just did a makeover and the new decor is beautiful. We started with two delicious soups -- corn chowder and heirloom melon and cucumber gazpacho. Both very good. Main courses were a delicious chicken cobb salad and the excellent burger with house-cut fries. Every time we eat here I think I will have one of the best desserts anywhere: the hot sticky toffee cake with vanilla ice cream, but alas, I always eat too much before time for dessert, so I generally pass. That dessert is, though, spectacular and highly recommended.

Jun 17, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Wedding anniversary in Avon, CO

FWIW, on their website they say Splendido is closed for the season and will reopen on June 6.

May 26, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Larkspur in Vail

Sounds like no menu service -- just parties, receptions, etc.? Larkspur was my favorite restaurant in Eagle County for many years, but something went awry. Several of their front of house people left and it wasn't the same.

Apr 19, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Vail or Breckenridge

In Vail, try Mountain Standard. From the people who brought you Sweet Basil. Or have lunch at Mountain Standard and dinner at Sweet Basil.

Feb 17, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Jul's in Tyler, TX

Good observation. I don't deny it.

Feb 15, 2014
ddavis in Texas

Jul's in Tyler, TX

My wife and I had lunch there today. It was overwhelming and underwhelming. The Overwhelming: The building is huge and strange for Tyler (which isn't all bad). I agree with bhoward about the bar area. It seemed relatively quiet. Lots of chrome and red lighting, high ceiling in the dining room. And LOUD. Difficult to hear the server. The Underwhelming: We had edamame and fried calamari. The edamame was served hot. The calamari came with two dipping sauces, one described as miso and the other (well, I couldn't hear what she said.) The calamari itself was a little chewy, but OK. My wife had the chicken salad, which was pretty good. It was served with cubes of tomato and beet. Actually pretty good. My Dragon Burger was cooked perfectly medium and had some sort of sauce and some very spicy chiles. You might describe them as hot. Very good. Served with decent thinly sliced fries. Service was fine, if not inspiring. Overall, just OK. I would go back if everyone in the group wanted to, but I won't be the one to suggest it.

Feb 14, 2014
ddavis in Texas

Beaver Creek, Edwards and Vail -- Christmas 2013

My wife and I were in the valley from December 23 - January 2. Here are some random thoughts about our dining experiences.

Some of the high-dollar places (Splendido, Grouse Mountain, Sweet Basil) were slammed. Difficult, but not impossible, to get a table unless you had reserved well in advance. Sweet Basil was packed at both dinner and lunch.

The less-glitzy places (Mountain Standard, Dish, Cafe 163, Fiesta's, Hooked, Mirador) were busy but not packed.

A La Car was running about an hour on Monday, December 23.

We did a fair amount of cooking at home: beef chili, a couple of soups, steaks, burgers. Also had a home-smoked ham and a Greenberg Smoked Turkey for sandwiches and soups.


Splendido -- Zinfandel Braised Angus Short Rib with sunflower seed risotto, turnips and caramelized salsify.

Cafe 163 -- Gyro.

Sweet Basil -- Wild Mushroom Risotto with short rib marmalade, toasted hazelnuts and blue cheese espuma.

Mirador -- Mac and Cheese with green chilies, house made chorizo and pepper jack cheese.

Ti Amo (via A La Car) -- Pollo Scarpariello and Medagliioni di Maiale.

All of these places were on their game this trip. Most highly recommended:

Upscale: Splendido

Not-so-Upscale: Mountain Standard (forgot to mention the smoked olives, pine nuts and raisins at this place.

Jan 04, 2014
ddavis in Mountain States

Dish -- Edwards

It has been quite awhile since we dined at Dish. We had not been since Chef Jenna left. We always enjoyed her food. The good news is that the food tonight was better than we have had in a long time. We started with a "kale caesar" that consisted of fresh flavorful kale and dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. We also shared dishes of roasted brussels sprouts and tempura fried cauliflower. Both of them were excellent.

My wife's main course was grilled split shrimp with panang curry, slivered carrot, kaffir lime and basmati rice. I had Colorado lamb t-bones, rosemary marinated and served over grits and roasted carrots. Both of these were great.

Highly recommend Dish if you are in the Vail/Beaver Creek/Edwards area.

Dec 28, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Vail for Christmas

Hey, Mom -- tell us about your food experience over the holidays. We are anxious to hear about it.

Dec 28, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Smitty's -- Lockhart

Lunch last Saturday was at Smitty's. What a great place! It had been a few years since I had been here and the "atmosphere" was the same. We had ribs, brisket, pork chop and sausage. Ribs were nothing to write home about. Brisket was delicious, had lots of smoke flavor and a great smoke ring, but was a little dry. Pork chop was outstanding -- flavorful, tender and moist. Sausage was really good, but doesn't compare to the sausage at Louie Mueller's, IMO. Smitty's isn't perfect, but it's well worth a drive for lunch.

Dec 18, 2013
ddavis in Texas

Myron's Prime Steakhouse -- New Braunfels

Had dinner at Myron's last weekend. It's wasn't bad. Not great. Two of us had the bone-in filets and one had the bone-in ribeye. These were supposed to be prime grade beef, but they were just average. Had a strip steak from Allen Brothers a couple of nights ago and its flavor was much better than the meat at Myron's.

Dec 18, 2013
ddavis in Texas

Nosh -- Another Fine Meal

We needed a decent dinner last night and stopped in the see if we could get a seat. No reservation was no problem. We got in at around 7:30 and there were available seats the entire time we were there. We started with Avner's Mother's Salad, a delicious finely chopped tart blend, and a seafood stuffed avocado, a blackboard special. Very tasty. My wife had a nice small filet mignon with a side of brussels sprouts and quinoa. I had the pork porterhouse with truffled mac 'n cheese. Both mains were delicious. I'm a big eater but the pork dish was just too much food. Both sides were also excellent. Service was good. Atmosphere made it feel like the holidays are here.

Dec 12, 2013
ddavis in Dallas - Fort Worth

Wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner at Splendido in Beaver Creek

We usually cook on Thanksgiving, but decided to go out for dinner this year. I'm glad we did. Splendido in Beaver Creek presented a great meal. The menu was set, with only one choice, that being a choice of soups. They claimed that the featured dishes were the staff's mom's and grandma's traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

After ordering wine, we were served Spiced Olives with an assortment of breads, including a delicious Lahvosh, Edna's Old Fashioned Cheese Straws and Grandma's Rosemary and Black Pepper Popovers. The popovers were absolutely delicious, light and crispy.

Small portions of four appetizers were then served to each of us. These were Cheddar Cheese Fritters, Smoked Trout and Onion Tart, Q's Candied Pork Belly with Apple Caramel and Uncle Alvin's Turkey Liver Pate.

Next came the soup, with a choice of Kathleen's Parsnip-Apple Soup or Reuben Soup with Swiss Cheese Rye Croutons. Both were delicious.

A lovely and delicious salad followed. Described as a Chopped Harvest Salad, it contained persimmon, kale, wild rice, pumpkin seeds, frisee, cucumbers and apple cider dressing, all served on two crisp leaves of butter lettuce.

The main course was Roasted Fresh Colorado Natural Turkey with old fashioned giblet gravy and Bab's Sage Stuffing. The turkey was flavorful and plentiful. Alternative main courses for those who did not want turkey were Grilled Scottish Salmon Fillet or Angus Beef Striploin.

Accompaniments included Creamed Corn Casserole, Honey Glazed Baby Carrots, Mashed Potatoes, Crisp Brussels Sprouts and Chick Peas, Fresh Cape Cod Cranberry-Orange Relish and Sweet Potato Puree with Candied Ginger and Coconut.

Finally we got to the desserts, which were small portions of Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake, Chef's Mom's Chiffon Pumkin Pie with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Ganache and Hazelnut Bar, Nutmeg Ice Cream, Pear and Honey Sorbet, Cranberry & Ginger Jellies and Pecan Bars. Completely over the top!

We were beyond sated. The meal was wonderful. The service was as good as we have experienced anywhere. Upon further deliberation, it is probable that we will do it again next year.

Nov 29, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Vail for Christmas

Have only been in the Eagle Valley two times since April, so can't add much to BlueOx's list. We had several excellent meals at Splendido and Golden Eagle. I haven't been to Grouse Mountain Grill since they remodeled, but my wife and some of her buddies were very pleased with their dinner there in September.

Lunch at Sweet Basil may be the best dinner in Vail. We really enjoyed the new area overlooking the creek. Have had two fine meals at Matsuhisa this year. Expensive, but worth it. Had one dinner at Larkspur, which was once my favorite restaurant in the Vail area, but agree with BlueOx that the people who made this restaurant sing are gone. We had two good meals at Ti Amo and some good lunches at Mango's in Red Cliff.

In July, we had a couple of nice lunches on the porch at Tempranillo in Basalt. Wish this place was in Avon. Another low-key place we have gotten to like a lot is Cafe 163 in Edwards. Three meals at Fiesta's were not up to par. Not bad, but not as good as we remember. Just sort of flat.

Almost forgot to mention Avon Bakery. During the summer, get a couple of their tasty sandwiches and head up into the mountains. On the Fourth of July we had a great picnic up on Red and White Mountain overlooking the valley. Hard to beat! That's all for now.

Mom2 -- Hope your dining is great. Please give us a report when you get home!

Nov 08, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Kauai Ono (5 Course Menu)

My wife and I had the 5 course dinner at Kauai Ono 560 on September 25 and loved it. It is, indeed, unusual. A fixed 5 course dinner is served to 32-36 persons at communal picnic tables of 8-10 persons under a large white tee-pee-like tent that is set up in a field in Hanalei. Beside the tent is a trailer where the food is prepared. Each of our courses was delicious. Here's what we had:

First Course -- Peashoots, beet, starfruit and banana chip.

Second Course -- Ulu puree and beef brisket "Chimichurri".

Third Course -- Mixed greens with ginger dressing.

Fourth Course -- Ponzu'd Walu with kale, Okinawa potato and wasabi-mac

Fifth Course -- Chocolate tarte with apple banana flambé.

Starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. BYOB

Oct 13, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Meals on Kauai -- Good to Awful

Thanks to all for your replies. I appreciate your perspective.

Oct 04, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Meals on Kauai -- Good to Awful

Just spent a week on Kauai. Home base was the St. Regis Hotel in Princeville. Here are our restaurant experiences.

Tavern -- in the clubhouse of the Prince golf course. Nice room. Can get very loud. Service was excellent. Food was OK. Interesting burger with battered and deep-fried bacon slices. Expensive.

Nalu Kai Bar & Grill -- the pool bar at the St. Regis. Food was pretty good. Burgers and salads were the main deal here. Expensive for a poolside bar.

Makana Terrace at St. Regis -- This is the second restaurant at the hotel. Kauai Grill is their more expensive, fancier place. Prices at the Makana Terrace for fish dishes are $40-46. Beef dishes about the same. Wife's six-ounce filet mignon ($46) was good, not great. My lamb shank ($46) was also good. Service fell flat a couple of times when we counl not find our server.

Kalypso's -- just awful. Fish and chips, fish tacos and nachos were uniformly bad.

Mediterranean Gourmet -- Interesting place. Relatively reasonable prices. Lots of Greek dishes. Fair to good food. Service was friendly, but hard to get their attention.

Garden Cafe at Common Ground -- great lunch place. Way laid back. Food was good. I had the best piece of fish there that I had the whole week. It was Ono and was fresh, moist and good. Since you basically wait on yourself can't comment on service. Moderately priced.

Kauai Ono 560 -- Best meal we had. This place is much-discussed on this site, as well at TripAdvisor, Yelp, Urban Spoon, won't belabor it. 5 courses prepared in a food trailer and served at communal picnic tables under a big white tent. BYOB. $50 per head before gratuity.

Bar Acuda -- tapas place. Food was good, if a little expensive for what you get. Service was wonderful.

St. Regis wedding reception -- we attended a wedding reception held on the Bay Terrace at the St. Regis. Huge buffet with 8-10 entrees, uncountable salads and desserts. Food was OK. Beverage and bussing services were good. Not bad for a large buffet.

Pau Hana Bar & Grill -- went because of great reviews of the fish and chips. They were good. Certainly better than Kalypso's! It's sort of a hole in the wall in a shopping center in Kaapa. Worth getting a meal there. Moderately priced.

Kauai is a beautiful island, but the food was, overall, disappointing. Someone said Hawaii is not famous for its food. Good thing.

Oct 03, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Our week in Kauai


Aug 19, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Our week in Kauai

We are going to be on Kauai next month for a week to attend a wedding. I spent this afternoon researching restaurants. Your post came at just the right time. Thank you. You ate at severaI places I was looking at.

I read that one of the problems with Josselin's was it was very loud. What did you think?

Red salt or Beach House, if I can only eat at one?

Tahiti Nui's website made me strike it from my list. A restaurant that features their cocktails rather than its food should just go ahead and call itself a bar.

Aug 18, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Rick's On the Square -- Tyler

Two of us had another excellent meal this week at Rick's. We both had Greek salads to start, although this salad is way too much for a starter. But it is so good I order it knowing I won't finish it. My dining companion had the Prime New York Strip and I had the Prime Ribeye. We both chose the Gratin Potato and both plates came with a grilled Poblano pepper. Everything was well prepared and delicious. Service was spot on.

Aug 02, 2013
ddavis in Texas

Near The Broadmoor?

Thanks for the leads. I think we will try Walter's.

Jul 31, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Near The Broadmoor?

Are there any good restaurants in Colorado Springs near the Broadmoor Hotel? Any type food and price range. Thanks.

Jul 20, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States

Looking For Restaurants on Kauai

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Keep 'em coming.

Jul 20, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Looking For Restaurants on Kauai

We will be spending a week in Kauai in September. Staying in Princeville area. We would like to hear about good to outstanding restaurants anywhere on the island. Now, here's the dilemma: my wife doesn't care for Asian food! Help!

Jul 20, 2013
ddavis in Hawaii

Best Restaurants in Beaver Creek/Vail/Avon for 4 Nights

Thanks. We had heard something about it. Glad to hear it's there. What better place for lunch than overlooking the creek with the little kids and dogs.

Jul 19, 2013
ddavis in Mountain States