2012 Mountain Standard is Open in Vail December 19, 2012

We felt like standing and applauding the kitchen staff at the end of our meal!

We ate dinner at Mountain Standard (193 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657,  tel. 970-476-0123, www.mtnstandard.com) on its second night in business (we got confused as to its opening date). We had a wonderful meal and we highly recommend it. Kevin and Matt, the owners of Sweet Basil are, again, contributing to our Vail dining pleasure. The space is nicely and minimalisticly designed in order to highlight the open kitchen (which, contrary to other reports, is evidently still in style). The chairs at the tables are uncomfortably hard so we chose to sit at a booth. It was much more cushiony but, for Audre, it was too low and she would have liked a pillow--it was too deep for her. There was no music but a noisy buzz from the other guests, including a table of 8 with a loud baby. We were warmly greeted by Lauren Boudreaux and brought our requested hot water in mugs by our Honduran bus-man. He also brought us ficelle (and nicely softened butter) made by Zinos kitchen which was very good (we also like the baguette made at Zinos). We could see the 8 cooks, including Brian (Bobby) Brouillard, on one side of the kitchen island and Paul Anders supervising on the other side. It was quite a good show, actually.

We decided to share 3 starters and one side. It was a very good decision. Each dish was small and gave us a glimpse of the capabilities of the kitchen (without stuffing us).  We each had a glass of the 2010 Catena Malbec ($10 x 2) and it was good.

We started with the Roasted Bone Marrow with Oxtail Marmalade, Country Bread, Parsley Salad ($12). This dish was probably our favorite because the bone marrow was ample and also because the oxtail marmalade was a perfect accompaniment. The parsley salad, with julienned lemon peel, was very good as was the Dijon mustard. The bread was a little burnt but good. We also ordered a side of Campfire root vegetables ($8) that were good and included beets but, unfortunately, the onion in the dish was surprisingly tasteless.

There was a long hiatus between our first and second starters. Our server, Patrick, was hopping about and didn’t explain, until much later when we asked, that there was some confusion in our order (3 starters for one table needed explanation which Patrick failed to give, evidently). Actually, we noticed a lot of frenzy in the restaurant staff but it is a bistro after all. Fortunately the tables were not (bistro-like) on top of each other. We really liked the Steelite plate ware--a very good choice.

Our second starter was the Whiskey Braised Pork Belly, soy molasses, jalapeño, grilled pineapple and cashew ($14). The pork belly was outstanding and the pineapple’s sweetness was a nice contrast to the richness of the pork belly. The jalapeño added to the dish too. It was yummy.

Our third starter was the Molasses Rubbed Quail with Escarole, Blackberry Agrodolce, Marcona Almonds ($15). The quail was perfectly cooked and the blackberry agrodolce was delicious. Again the sweet contrasted nicely with the quail.

For dessert we ordered Bob’s Bread Pudding with Plumped Cherries and Bourbon Ice Cream ($8) and that disappointed us. The ice cream tasted like vanilla and the bread pudding was more like bread and not enough like pudding. With that we ordered the Spiced Cider with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Apple Cider and Cinnamon ($10). There was cream on the top, no cinnamon and very little spice. It was kind of like water, actually. So that wasn’t a success either.

Overall the meal was outstanding however and, with the attention we got from Lauren and Matt, it was also fun.

Our friends ate at Mountain Standard on Christmas Day and sent us this review by e-mail:

“So we went tonight for dinner with another family, not only because you made a recommendation, but because it's new. The artichoke, Caesar salad, soup, and tuna were good, the bone marrow was nonexistent, onion rings good, but baked potato fries were inedible. The main courses were less consistent; chicken was just alright, stone crab smelled of ammonia, steak was rancid, dinner was poor. It is unlikely that we would ever go back.

Our experience was quite different from yours, and we did expect much more. Do go to Lenora in the Sebastian, magnificent food.”


After our friends reported having bad to awful meals at Mountain Standard we returned to see for ourselves. We had another very good meal. Patrick was our server again and Lauren greeted us warmly. Victoria recognized us as did the Honduran bus-man. We started with the Grilled Mushroom Flatbread with whipped ricotta, crispy Brussels Sprouts ($9) and we liked that. Our second starter was the Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with sesame, yuzu white soy and green apple ($17). We liked that very much.  We also ordered a main: the Tender Belly Porchetta, anson mills polenta, broccoli rabe, golden raisins and pine nuts ($26). There were 4 slices of porchetta and we liked it very much but could only eat 2. We took the rest home for another meal. We continue to highly recommend this restaurant. We spent $56.37 plus tip.

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