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Posted on 1/17/2013

Open-fire cooking and rotisserie grilling steal the show at new Mountain Standard restaurant. By Melanie Wong

Not your standard fare Posted on 1/17/2013

It’s a bustling weekday night at one of Vail Village’s newest restaurants, the Mountain Standard, and it’s all hands on deck. Co-owner Matt Morgan and other staff stop from table to table, checking in on diners, and Executive Chef Paul Anders is in the long, open kitchen juggling pans alongside his staff. A rotisserie rack and blackened grills are where m uch of the restaurant’s specialty dishes are m ade, slow roasting over coals or getting seared over flam es.

The après allure Posted on 1/9/2013

Warm drinks for cold winter weather Posted on 1/2/2013

The m odern yet cozy dining space is dom inated by rustic reclaim ed-wood rafters and oak floors, and patrons sidle up to the long, m irrored bar, a spot that becom es decidedly bustling during the après hours. It seem s that both vacationers and locals alike have already discovered the Standard, even though its doors have been open barely a m onth.

Avon's culinary scene gets a LIFT Posted on 1/2/2013

The Mountain Standard’s sister restaurant and longtim e Vail culinary landm ark, Sweet Basil, is located right upstairs. The restaurant’s owners, Morgan and Kevin Clair, along with chef Anders, wanted to start a new culinary venture that would serve as the m ore casual counterpart to Sweet Basil. They converted the space – form erly Blu’s restaurant – then knocked out the wall of what used to be a retail space next door and com pletely rem odeled the interior. The Standard’s prices are m ore casual than Sweet Basil’s as well, with starters ranging from $5 to $15, lunch entrees from $12 to $20 and dinner entrees from $18 to $35. “Dining, as a whole, has becom e m ore casual,” Clair says. “We wanted to capitalized on the success of Sweet Basil, but provide our guests with a m ore casual atm osphere and dining experience with Mountain Standard. We believe the two restaurants will be a great com plim ent to one another.” M o u n ta in -s ty le c o m fo r t While the m ore-established Sweet Basil specializes in innovative, experim ental dishes, unafraid to use m odern culinary techniques, Mountain Standard crafts its dishes on an open fire, one of the oldest cooking m ethods known to m an. Their signature dishes include rotisserie chicken, fire-grilled steaks and fresh seafood, flown in daily from around the country. Regardless of the cut of m eat, there’s som ething very com forting about roasted dishes enjoyed in the m ountains, especially during the winter m onths. Chef de Cuisine Brian Brouillard, who heads up the kitchen at Mountain Standard, says the dishes will be sim ply cooked and expertly prepared – not m uch m ore is needed with open-fire cooking, he believes. “You get pure flavor when cooking over fire,” Brouillard says. “We plan to offer m enu selections that are sim ply prepared – som etim es with only three or four ingredients. We plan to keep the m enu sim ple and straightforward, which is really the way I love to cook.” Start your m eal off with one of the restaurant’s sharing-friendly starters, which are also a great option for the après ski crowd. The m olasses-rubbed quail tastes like a m iniature Thanksgiving bird – the m eat is tender, and the dish has equal parts sweetness and crunch, thanks to blackberries and roasted alm onds. Foodies will love the roasted bone m arrow, served in an ox bone, topped with braised oxtail and served with toasted bread. If you like foie gras, you’ll like this dish, which has a sim ilarly rich, buttery flavor with a toneddown texture. For those who enjoy après, top off the appetizers with the restaurant’s signature Bloody Mary. The classic cocktail gets a twist with roasted tom atoes and Sriracha sauce, giving the drink a sm oky taste and spicy kick. While the m enu errs on the heavier, carnivorous side, it has som e notable salads as well. Get a lighter alternative to the rotisserie chicken by trying the chicken salad, an entree-sized portion m ixed with

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sourdough bread, cranberries and currants, served with a sherry-m ustard dressing. The coal-roasted vegetable salad also caters to the winter palate, with tenderly caram elized veggies and arugula tossed with slightly sour sherry vinaigrette. It’s a salad with som e heft that fills you up without having to add m eat.

S ig n a tu r e d is h e s Standouts from the grilled m eat and fish selections include the Rocky Mountain Trout – the roasting process leaves the fish flakey and buttery. The flavor gets a unique twist with a butter-lim e sauce, and the entire dish is topped with crunchy green beans and alm onds. The com bination of flavors and textures m akes for a satisfying, com plete dish. If you’re looking for savory m eat, the Standard also has prim e rib, pork cuts and lam b. However, don’t overlook what is becom ing one of the restaurant’s signature dishes: the rotisserie chicken. Som e say you can judge a restaurant by ordering the chicken – it’s m undane com pared to fancier dishes, but if a place can get the chicken right, chances are that the rest of the m enu will be done well, too. Mountain Standard doesn’t disappoint in this respect. The half-chicken portion is succulent, and the skin is savory and just barely crispy. To add heartiness for the winter, it com es with roasted root vegetables and wild rice risotto, all swim m ing in a pool of lem on-herb broth. Seafood purists will also be fans of the restaurant’s raw bar. The Standard has a sea-to-restaurant program , working with individual fisherm en to bring the freshest catch from harbors to the Standard nearly every day. Try the spiced whole shrim p served warm , or if you don’t want to bother with shells, try the flashseared king crab legs, served on ice and with a spicy-and-tangy Bloody Mary sauce. If you’ve left room for dessert – and cold winter nights often call for dessert – the m enu offers pretty classic choices, such as fruit tarts and chocolate cake. One unique way to finish the m eal is the bread pudding with cherries. Forget the m ushy concoction you m ight be thinking of – this version is m ore like a firm cake, soaked with an extra-boozy kick. The Standard will be a great winter addition to the dining choices in Vail Village. The cozy atm osphere plus sizable lunch and starter m enu, paired with a high-energy vibe, will be sure to bring in both après and dinner crowds. It will be interesting to see how the m enu handles a shift from the com forting winter fare it does so well into the sum m er m onths. Our guess is that it will becom e a perennial favorite. Like

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Not your standard fare Posted on 1/17/2013

The après allure Posted on 1/9/2013 in apres ski Vail dining

Warm drinks for cold winter weather Posted on 1/2/2013

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