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October 31, 2013
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Avon’s Blue Plate restaurant introduces tapas menu

The story goes, that in the Middle Ages, tavern keepers would cover glasses of sherry with slices of bread or meat to keep fruit flies from being attracted to the sweet wine. It wasn’t long before the enterprising host was serving other samplings of foods to go along, knowing the patron was likely to drink even more. And so, tapas was born.

Now, whether this innkeeper was in Spain or Morocco or further to the east in Syria and Turkey, the idea spread quickly throughout the Mediterranean until some other enterprising foodie brought the concept to our own shores, making for one of the most popular concepts in dining. Today, tapas is often presented as a stand-alone meal, rather than a simple first course.

Beginning today at the Blue Plate restaurant in Avon, you’ll be able to sample a very unique version of tapas, where chef Adam Roustom will introduce his own special take on the concept. Be prepared. This is not your padre’s tapas.

According to Roustom, who was born in Syria and raised here, tapas equates to the Middle Eastern custom of “mezze,” which is how the people of the eastern Mediterranean often savor their own local dishes — more variety thanks to smaller portions.

“Mezze was a long-standing tradition with my family and everyone we knew. In a region where dinner was usually served late, it was a precursor to the main meal; something to tide us over after the workday until the formal dinner,” Roustom said. “The idea of savoring many different flavors in smaller bites is a great complement for sipping a wine and relaxing in the company of friends. It is a great way to unwind.”

His goal is to make his own tapas offerings very non-traditional. In a departure from the familiar Spanish influence, Roustom has been working on a variety of ethnic representations from around the Mediterranean; from the Middle East and North Africa to Greece, France and Italy. He’ll even offer some Asian-influenced dishes. The idea, he says, is in the presentation and variety. For him, it’s an opportunity to introduce a wide selection of ethnic influences and flavors.

“We’re blessed with an amazing variety of restaurants in the valley,” Roustom said. “The one missing ingredient is a more exotic selection of ethnic cuisines. I hope to expose people to some of what I’ve learned about world flavors over the years. You’ll be able to sample sweet, savory, aromatic and more ... all at one seating. It will be a wonder for the senses.”

The Blue Plate will rotate through five different items each evening from a long inaugural list. Some of the more exotic creations include Greek-style baby octopus, Armenian beef flatbreads, Korean-style frog legs, escargot and his own homemade Mortadella.

This creative and fun tapas menu will be available nightly in the bar only starting at 4:30 p.m. and served until closing. Individual plates will run from $5 to $9. The Blue Plate restaurant is located in Avon at 48 East Beaver Creek Blvd., in the Boat building, next to vin48. For information or reservations, call 845-2252 or visit www.blueplateavon.com.

Beginning today at the Blue Plate restaurant in Avon, you’ll be able to sample a very unique version of tapas, where chef Adam Roustom will introduce his own special take on the concept. Be prepared. This is not your padre’s tapas.


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The VailDaily Updated Oct 31, 2013 01:46PM Published Oct 31, 2013 03:12PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.