48 E. Beaver Creek Blvd. Avon
970.748.WINE | vin48.com
by Suzanne Hoffman
photos by dominique taylor
|In December 2007, long-time locals with impressive gastronomic pedigrees, Collin Baugh, Greg Eynon and Charles Hays, opened vin48 in Avon, steps from Beaver Creek’s front door. The trio quickly developed a loyal following among valley residents and guests. The warm, welcoming atmosphere draws crowds daily for après work or play libations in the lively signature bar dominated by a 32-bottle Enomatic machine or full-on dining experiences from the restaurant’s imaginative dinner menu.|
“We are like a band and each one of us wants to get our songs onstage,” is how executive chef Hays describes himself and his two sous chefs he involves in all menu decisions. With his longtime kitchen cohorts, Brandon Woodhall and McLean “Mac” Hyde, Hays delights in their biannual exercise of creating new seasonal menus that showcase Colorado’s best culinary products.
Chef Hays divides his menu between small and large plates with equally creative side dishes, snacks and desserts. Hyde constructed this season’s burrata salad out of a boule of the popular velvety fresh cheese, roasted beets, blood orange segments, watercress from local Knapp Ranch, house-pickled hearts of palm and black truffle vinaigrette topped with cracked pepper and fleur de sel.
Lovers of Spanish octopus will enjoy vin48’s take on the Mediterranean cephalopod. After hours of aromatic poaching, the tentacles are grilled over a Colorado Western Slope fruitwood fire and served with a potato pave and mint jus topped with house-pickled mustard seeds and lemongrass-ginger foam. From his well-curated, expansive and ever-changing wine list, co-owner and wine director, Greg Eynon, recommends pairing the octopus salad with Cieck Erbaluce di Caluso 2013 from Alto Piemonte. Eynon described the white varietal from the upper reaches of this under-discovered Italian wine region as “lively and fresh with crisp acidity that lends a citrus lift to the meaty texture of the Spanish octopus.”
The fresh sea scallops from the cold northeast waters of the USA – obtained through the sustainable Sea-to-Table program – are seared and served with house-made kimchi over cashew-coconut puree and served with a slightly sweet sesame crisp inspired by Chef Hyde’s Lebanese roots.
The chefs’ porc du jour specials highlight the large-plate selections. Every two weeks Hays receives a heritage breed pig from Mountain View Ranch in Meeker, Colorado. The chefs then answer only to their whims in concocting pork dishes they prepare in their colossal smoker that Hays purchased from a local goat rancher.
New this season is Chef Woodhall’s grilled Colorado bone-in lamb loin served with couscous and bulk merguez – a North African-style lamb sausage – basil date chutney and fried chickpeas. Eynon recommends pairing the Moroccan inspired dish with 2015 Jean Royer Le Petit Roy. He believes the Grenache-heavy South Rhone red blend – in essence a declassified Chateauneuf-du-Pape – “lends a brambly fruit profile of pepper and Provencal herbaceousness that stands up to the basil date chutney.”
There are many more choices on the menu and from the restaurant’s cellar of over 500 brands of wine to insure diners a fun, lively and always delicious time at vin48. •
Small plates: $9-$15 Large plates: $26-$32
Energetic locals’ spot with great views and
a warm welcome
Meats and fish grilled over fruitwood fire
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.