Tuscan Hospitality: Vista at Arrowhead
August 20, 2014
The stunning views are the first thing you notice at the aptly named Vista at Arrowhead, and it only gets better from there.
There's something very comforting about this restaurant — maybe it's the husband-wife duo that runs, it or perhaps it's the soothing sound of Micky Poage live on the piano. The gorgeous panoramic view of the golf course set against a mountain backdrop certainly doesn't hurt, either.
With Janine Glennon greeting customers at the entrance, and her husband Michael responsible for the creativity coming out of the kitchen, you feel like you're eating dinner in the dining room at their home. Janine walks around from table to table throughout the evening checking on guests. She opens wine, suggests the best dishes on the menu that evening and just sets an overall warm and friendly tone.
Ask her for recommendations and she's likely to lead you to some of the menu's standout dishes, like the house-made ricotta and mushroom agnolotti. The silky pasta is filled with fresh mushrooms and ricotta, decadent on its own, but the accents on the plate send this dish over the top — more fresh crimini mushrooms, fresh peas, onion, micro greens and shaved pecorino-romano cheese. It's tempting to just order a couple of these starters as an entrée and call it a night, but there are so many other exciting dishes not to miss.
With a Tuscan grill theme, Vista offers a lot of rustic dishes with northern Italian flare. Italian-style tapas, such as assorted salumi and cheeses or house meatballs with tomato "gravy" are a great way to unwind while trying to decide on entrees. The cocktail menu also has Italian-inspired drinks like the lemon-basil or lemoncello martinis, and there's an excellent wine list.
Lighter starters include the baby kale salad with spiced quinoa served with Marcona almonds, cucumber and hibiscus vinaigrette. It also comes with Peruvian "sweety bell peppers," which are smaller than a cherry tomato and taste sort of like a chili pepper-tomato hybrid. Janine says they ate them at a restaurant in Denver once and tracked down a supplier who could deliver them to Vista.
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With ample "from the sea" and "from the land" options, Vista's menu truly has something for everyone. Pan-seared Alaskan halibut is a summer hit, seared to a gorgeous crisp on the outside with flaky, fresh halibut that melts apart on the inside. A luscious orange-basil butter sauce tops it off alongside sweet, creamy corn polenta.
Or opt for the manly shredded beef short rib with mushroom ravioli and Chianti beef jus. Just be sure to save room for desserts — the portions at Vista are more than friendly — because Michael tries to outdo his dinner menu with dessert indulgences like lemon semifreddo and creamy cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries. It's the perfectly sweet ending to a lovely meal.
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