Restaurant Avondale -- Avon, CO -- 2/7/09
We had been to dinner at this restaurant in the Westin Riverfront but had never been for lunch, so we tried it yesterday. We had a great time and a great meal. I love the room -- it is open and airy with large windows on the south that look up toward the ski slopes of Beaver Creek. The atmosphere is casual, with the waitstaff in jeans and aprons. Everyone is friendly, from the bellstaff at the front of the hotel (complimentary valet parking) to the bus-persons who were prompt but not pushy. There was only one slight service glitch, when the bus-boy bringing my main course before the plate from my appetizer had been picked up put my used knife and fork on the table and left it for the main course. No big deal, just not polished. (It appeared this person was new and was being tutored.
We ordered two apps -- the Charcuterie Board and the Market Vegetables with Hummus and Green Goddess Dressing. One of these would have been plenty for all three of us, but we soldiered on and managed to eat most of both. These apps were really exceptional. The charcuterie included two nice slices of a luxurious pate, several thin slices of salume and sausage, olives, pickles, buttered slices of baguette, a delicious whole grain mustard and some other stuff I don't remember. The vegetables included carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, radishes, green squash, a large portion of hummus with pita dipping bread and a wonderful house made green goddess dressing. Great apps.
My wife and our friend ordered the Caesar Salad, one with the grilled shrimp and the other with the skirt steak. Both were delicious. One note -- our friend was especially complimentary of the anchovies (my wife, who doesn't do anchovies, gave hers up and the friend jumped at the chance for more), which she declared unsalty and some of the best she ever had. I ordered the Strozzapreti with Veal and Pork Ragu and Vella Dry Jack, which was a very upscale version of the maccaroni, ground beef and tomato dish my mother used to make -- true comfort food! Wonderful.
This is a place we will likely return to as a part of our regular rotation here in the valley. When a place gets an old guy like me to reminisce about momma's cooking, they are doing something right.
DD, thanks for both reports, Matthews and Avondale. It kind of shows the difference between the good places in the Valley and the really good places. The total price difference is probably not very much. That is probably the reason we don't venture out much past the places we really like.
We skied the Beav today and went up the Mountain via the Gondola so we could have lunch at Avondale on the way home. 2 pizzas and a nice sauvignon blanc for 4 people. If we ate on the Mountain it would have cost about the same for not very good food. The pizzas and service were great. And I'm still pleased that so many young locals frequent the place.
I asked about the wedding on Saturday night and was told by our server that it was in the ball room and someone else took over the restaurant last night. I'd sure like to know what corporation did that so I could "short" their stock.
DDavis I agree, Avondale is a truly wonderful recent addition to the Vail valley. I have now gone for both lunch and dinner and have enjoyed all of my dinning experiences. Days that I have been skiing Beaver Creek, it is just a simple trip down to the landing and down the gondola, for a glass of wine and a freshly prepared lunch at a far better value the majority of the restaurants in the village.
During a recent dinner trip, I also had the Charcuterie plate you had mentioned having at your lunch. We had the charcuterie as a second course after starting with a mouthwateringly amazing salad prepared with duck confit, roasted beets, asparagus, and soft poached egg from a local farm. The charcuterie brought back memories of dining on cured meats and a slightly chilled Lambrusco from one of my more treasured dining experiences. The server had informed us that unlike other restaurants that import European salumi, that the chef actually handcrafts the different cured meats. What an amazing difference! I think that those details show throughout the restaurant, and are a part of why I always look forward to bringing in new guests.