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Block 16 in Vail - any good?

t
theamusedbouche Oct 19, 2011 10:40 AM

Staying at the Sebastian in December for 5 nights and wondering where my husband and I should eat dinner while we are there. Block 16 is the hotel restaurant, but I haven't seen many reviews about it.
Anyone been there?

  1. k
    kat888 Jan 16, 2012 04:15 PM

    Hi, there,

    It's too late to help you, but I thought I'd write anyway. Just got back from a trip to Vail, where we stayed at the Sebastian. We enjoyed Block 16 so much, we ate there twice! Truthfully, both my husband and I are usually disappointed by the fare around ski areas, as they cost as much as any high-end restaurant in NYC but aren't as good.

    We met the chef the second time, and it sounds like he was recently brought in (along with the wine director) to shape things up, so take that into account if you read older reviews. (Though, as with you, I couldn't find much.) For starters, the uni with potato foam and black truffle was as delicious as it sounds - it reminded me of dishes from the avant garde in the San Sebastian area. The cobia with lentils, pig ears (brunoised), and bacon. The pig ears were such a great addition - an idea I plan on trying at home.

    I think most of the mains would satisfy conservative eaters. The portions aren't huge: I'm a small eater and typically eat only half my main (especially in ski areas, even the 'high end' restaurants), but here, I finished almost all my food.

    Overall, the best food I've had in a ski area. (For a reference point, Cache Cache in Aspen is #2 for me.)

    -k

    2 Replies
    1. re: kat888
      t
      theamusedbouche Jan 17, 2012 09:31 AM

      Hi Kat, thanks so much for your reply - we did end up eating at Block 16 while we were at The Sebastian and it was our favorite meal of the entire trip. We also met the chef, Ezra, and I don't remember the wine directors name but he was absolutely amazing! We had the ruby shrimp and the kampachi apps, the rissotto with alba truffles, and the grass-fed wagu beef (don't remember what my husband had because I was so focused on my beef - Gass. Fed. Wagu. OMG amazing). I am so glad you loved it too because I've read a lot of reviews from diners who just didn't get it (wanted larger portions or thought that having Pig Ears was just too weird). We are so much looking forward to going back to Block 16 and I would LOVE to try Cache Cache in Aspen - I've never been there! Thanks for the recommendation :)

      1. re: theamusedbouche
        r
        rooibus Jan 25, 2012 07:40 AM

        I am another fan of Block 16. We are Montreal food snobs and my friends were shocked to hear me rave about the food during our visit to VAil. Of the restaurants we ate at Block 16 was my favorite. Decor is fabulous, wait staff was just a notch below the staff at Kelly Linken, our waiter was young and inexperienced but tried incredibly hard to please and had a good sense of humor. Interesting and well-enjoyed wine suggestion. The menu is geared for foodies so a little off-putting at first but if you have an adventurous palate you can rest assured that there is not a bad choice (we were 5). The chef was accommodating in preparing a vegetarian plate for me (nice assortment of unusual vegetables).

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