VAIL, Colorado - Thomas Salamunovich, owner of Larkspur Restaurant, opened Larkspur's doors just before the 1999 ski season. He has striven for and succeeded at creating a hospitality-driven fine dining experience for both travelers to Vail and Eagle County residents alike. Now that a new lease for the restaurant in the Golden Peak Lodge has been signed with Vail Resorts, he is proud and excited to announce that they will be able to continue providing memorable experiences for their guests.
"It is so exciting to have the opportunity to continue the Larkspur legacy," Salamunovich said. "The difference between a good restaurant and an extraordinary restaurant is the latter requires extended and dedicated commitment to quality-driven cuisine, solid service and gracious hospitality."
Traditions that Larkspur guests can continue to look forward to include skiing down Riva to have a lobster and rocket club for lunch, grabbing a latte from Larkspur's market, and watching the chefs in the open kitchen. Larkspur has become an integral part the following community events over the past 13 years: Ski Club Vail, Gourmet on Gore, Vail Farmer's Market, Vail Jazz Foundation "Jazz After," Fourth of July, and post-Bravo dinners. Larkspur's team will be available for weddings, rehearsal dinners, proms, business gatherings, anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions.
Larkspur recently hired Executive Chef Richard Hinojosa, a veteran chef of notable restaurants such as Mary Elaine's at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Westin Maui Resort and Spa, and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen. Hinojosa took over this role in spring and collaborates with Salamunovich to create inspired menus while remaining respectful of the now "classic" dishes at Larkspur.
"Since 1999, we've successfully created enduring dishes that are nostalgic and innovative. We provide a familiar dining experience while remaining current to the times," Salamunovich said.
Veal scallopini, Palisade tomato and polenta soup with grilled cheese, caesar salad with potato croutons, mushroom, ricotta, rocket pizza, and fried to order doughnuts are a few examples. In addition to his culinary talents, Hinojosa, a certified sommelier, is enthusiastic about the role that wine plays in fine dining. He and James Gall, Larkspur's managing director, are committed to uphold and evolve the relationship between cuisine and wine that Larkspur is known for.
Vail's 50th anniversary ski season has Salamunovich and his team inspired to make it one of the best year's ever. In effort to create an unforgettable apres ski experience, Larkspur plans to feature "hand foods" - crispy beef tacos, larkburgers, fried chicken and pizzas, as well as $1.50 oysters on the half shell and half off champagne. Additionally, the 2013 Burton U.S. Open will take place outside Larkspur's front door. Early last summer Burton announced the move to Vail while dining at Larkspur. This winter Larkspur will launch a new blog, embark on an invigorated relationship with the hotels and restaurants in their area and strive for an even more refreshed and inspired cocktail program.