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Oct 3, 2008 10:04 PM

Terrible Experience at Centre V in Vail

I had looked forward to trying Centre V, which is in the Arabelle hotel in Vail. I thought it odd that a high-profile restaurant in Vail had not had any mention on this board, despite the fact that it opened in January and, therefore, would have been in operation through the majority of the ski season. So, tonight my wife and I went with high expectations but with some concerns. Unfortunately, the evening was wasted.

We arrived at 7:00 p.m. with a reservation. We were promptly seated -- actually offered almost any table in the restaurant since there were only five other tables occupied. There were at least four servers for the six tables that were occupied. We were given menus and a wine list and were served water. Within five to ten minutes we had ordered a bottle of wine (a Syrah) and then we waited. At 7:35, the waiter came to the table obviously flustered and told us they could not find the wine we had ordered and that he had tried to find a replacement but could not find a Zinfandel. (Huh?) At any rate, he offered us another bottle that was satisfactory.

Unfortunately, the rest of the evening was not satisfactory. From that point on, it took an hour and a half to eat appetizers and entrees. The food was good, but not great. It may have seemed better had it not taken so long to get it. My wife had a Lyonnaise salad and a salmon dish. I had Oysters Florentine and a braised lamb shank.

We had no desire to prolong the evening with desserts, so we just asked for a check. The food was comped. We paid only for the wine. (And for those of you who hyperventilate about tipping, I tipped 20% of what the meal would have cost had the food not been comped.) I do appreciate the fact that the waiter realized how bad things were and I told him I appreciated it. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter. We will not be back. Like many who eat at the restaurants in the Eagle River Valley, we are only here a few weeks a year and we want good food and good service. We do not want to waste an evening, so we will not repeat a bad meal to "give them a second chance."

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  1. DD, thanks for the report and for "taking one" for the team. We didn't go to Avondale last night, instead stopped at Rick & Kellys for "bar" food. Rick was at the front of the house and worked the room. He was very pleasant and enjoyable. Lots of servers doing a good job. The bar is upstairs and is mostly a sports bar with all "locals" and it is an "official" Pittsburgh Steelers hang out. The bar food was good, they are going to take business away from the Gore Range brewery. We did not checkout the downstairs dining room.

    1. I'm noticing some confusion about whether or not Thomas Salamunovich is involved with Centre V and as a close friend of his, maybe I can set the record straight. Salamunovich is the owner of Larkspur, Larkburger, and Avondale. He helped Vail Resorts come up with the concept and design of Centre V, but isn't managing it. I'm pretty sure Rock Resorts is handling the day to day operations.

      4 Replies
      1. re: columbine

        Columbine, thanks for the clarification. As a friend of Thomas, do you think he is going to open Larkburger on the "Front Range"? And do you think he is as happy with Avondale as the locals are. Its the right concept, with great execution and in the right venue. And power breakfasts is a are a cool idea.

        1. re: BlueOx

          BlueOx - I'm not a friend of Salamunovich's, but at the Avondale opening, he did say that he is planning to open a Larkburger in Boulder before the end of the year and one near the Denver Tech Center in '09.

          1. re: ClaireWalter

            Claire, what did you think of the "opening"? I thought it was one of the best executed events we have ever had in the Eagle River Valley. The only issue I had was the ballroom acoustics couldn't handle Hazel Miller's great music. The short rib apps were terrific, just a bit messy.

            1. re: BlueOx

              Ditto. I didn't linger in the ballroom too long but went back up the restaurant, the gorgeous patio and the fancy suite where they had champagne and caviar. Hazel Miller performs in Boulder and elsewhere on the Front Range fairly frequently, so I saw no reason to put up w/ the volume in the ballroom. Wish we'd each have known the other was there. We could have Chowhounded in person.