The review. An in-depth analysis of new and existing restaurants in the Vail Valley.

A new place to visit in the east part of the village is ........


Given time, this renovated restaurant in the Golden Peak Lodge may become a new village classic.  Vail Resorts finally recognized the company's incompetence at attempting to operate an upscale eatery in this high profile location and was intelligent enough to turn to a long time respected local chef - Thomas Salamunovich to do the job for them.  As owner and operator, Salamunovich gutted the older facility and brought a touch of the big city to our town.

The unusually large dining room (for Vail) has very modern and nice touches of color, marble, lighting, wall coverings, and a glass enclosed viewable kitchen.   The bar is spacious & traffic friendly.  An extensive and reasonably priced wine menu offers a generous blend of European and classic American wines by the bottle and by the glass.

Highlights:   Our table sampled two different soups - one a mixed fungi, the other a squash puree and found them more than acceptable.  The grilled lamb chops were succulent and perfectly cooked, a Peking duck dish was amply crispy, and my scallops with fettuccine were tasty, if slightly under seared.  With the help of a fairly knowledgeable sommelier we drank an austere Patz & Hall Chardonnay and followed with a nicely balanced Biale Zinfandel.  All the entree presentations were carefully crafted, as was the one desert course.   Service, if a bit slow, was nicely handled in all respects including the pouring of the wines.  There were no complaints on anyone's part.

So without hesitation, I'll gladly award a star1.gif (962 bytes) and a halfstar3.gif (878 bytes) for the time being and would recommend this as a nice new addition to our stable of better restaurants in town.

Lowlights:   For my taste, given the large size of this dining room, I'd have expected it to have been better sound insulation  I'd much prefer a bit more quiet to carry on a reasonable conversation.  And frankly, we may have benefited from a more competent wait person than have some of our friends who reported a few instances of less than that level of service on previous visits.  Let's give this place some time to mature.

                                                                                                        Reviewed by ORP on 03/07/00

04/17/2000:  A visit back to Larkspur this date confirmed the above appraisal.  The sweetbread appetizer, the Peking duck entree, and the lamb chop entree were all impeccable.  While our zinfandel was a bit chilly upon arrival, convincing the sommelier to microzap it for 30 seconds cured that problem.

Previously reviewed: La Bottega   Alicante   Kaltenberg Castle   Gore Creek Grill   La Tour  Bighorn Bistro


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