Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Recent Eats

Some scenes from good eating in Vail, Colorado, earned after hard days of skiing. Given the large group, not all dishes were documented; these encompass primarily things I ordered or tasted.
An excellent meal at Sweet Basil. There were few complaints among the very tough crowd and in fact there was much praise for both the food and service. The one minor complaint being the lukewarm temperature of the main courses, but the quality and flavor of the food made for room for forgiveness. But as we ate dinner, there were often moments of silence at the table — just the sound of happy diners.

Caesar Salad
Creamy garlic vinaigrette, organic egg, reggiano parmesan
Jumbo Lump Crab "Mac and Cheese" 
House-made ricotta agnolotti, parmesan brodo, orange, black truffle
This was the first thing my hungry heart gravitated to on the menu and a solid recommendation from waiter sealed the deal. It was an excellent appetizer with a great helping of crabmeat and several agnolotti in a terrific truffle-flavored broth.

Great Northern Cattle Co. Steak Tartare
Brioche, One Hour Egg, Cornichon, Capers, Bagna Cauda

Pan Seared Duck Breast
Foie Gras ravioli, medjool dates, dried pumpkin, wild mushrooms, squash puree.
A colorful, complex dish, but one that didn't feel like it needed any explanation. The dates added just a touch of sweetness atop the heavy flavor of the ravioli. Just perfect all around.

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake 
  Milk Chocolate Earl Grey Tea Crema, Chocolate Sherbet, Tea Infused Lemons

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta
Port pomegranate consomme, butter tuiles, citrus basil salad, port syrup
A heavier panna cotta but garnished with bright flavors. The basil was an interesting element; the herbal sweetness complemented the fruity sweetness of the other components.

Blood orange sorbet, persimmon sorbet, coffee ice cream.
A hearty Italian dinner at Campo de Fiore.

Spaghetti alla Bottarga
Oven-roasted tomatoes and Sardinian bottarga sauteed with garlic, olive oil and red chili 

Rigatoni alla Montanara
Italian sausage cooked in a hearty arrabbiata sauce, finished with pecorino cheese

First night dinner at La Tour. Overall, nearly everything here was too heavy on the salt.

Slow roasted baby beet salad
Granny smith apples, candied walnut, mache, goat cheese, black truffle vinaigrette

Potato crusted Colorado striped bass
Salsify, baby carrots, haricots verts, meyer lemon opal basil vinaigrette

Milk chocolate pot au creme
caramel mousse, saigpu sea salt, chocolate truffles, vanilla bean tuile

Creme brulee flambee
Grand Marnier macerated berries

Trio of parfaits
Meyer lemon meringue; chocolate hazelnut; blueberry yogurt

1 comment:

  1. Just the picture of our duck from Sweet Basil has me missing it. Although I'm sure paging through all of the Alinea cookbook before it went back to the library did nothing to help that empty place in my stomach. Two of my best friends are moving to Chicago, so we'll have to add an Alinea trip to our previously planned French Laundry visit. And then we can go to The Fat Duck. In the meantime I guess I'll live vicariously through your food porn...I mean blog.