December 29, 2016
60 Avondale Lane | Beaver Creek Plaza | Beaver Creek
970.754.5590 | toscaninibeavercreek.com
There is a secret menu at Toscanini. You have to ask for it, and if you do, the attentive staff armed with professional culinary knowledge and dressed in crisp, black attire will help direct you to the really good stuff.
Once you walk past the array of fire pits lining the ice rink in Beaver Creek Plaza and past the wall of wine leading to the main dining room overlooking the winter wonderland of Beaver Creek, just nestle into the warmth of the restaurant and enjoy a glass of Prosecco or homemade lemoncello and toast the winter season.
Of course everything at this elegantly modern Italian restaurant located just steps from the Villar Center for the Performing Arts is delightfully delectable, but there is an additional menu specifically tailored to gluten-sensitive guests created by Executive Chef John Zavoral that may be sans gluten but definitely does not lack in varietal choice, visual appeal or flavor.
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Think gluten-free means flavor-free? Not at this fine-dining establishment. Some restaurants may offer up an option or two, but Beaver Creek's Toscanini goes a step further and has an entire menu tailored to its guests that mirrors the original menu. Indulge in gourmet gluten-free pizzas from the Figura with poached figs, parma ham and First Snow goat cheese with a balsamic reduction to their Zucca butternut squash soup with allspice crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Known as the "collaborative chef" when working on his creations, Chef Zavoral enjoys playing with ingredient options in order to bring the best of both worlds together. Plus, he's not opposed to substitution twists on any menu item to accommodate guests, including dairy-free, gluten-free and kosher requests. Perhaps the ability to blend worlds comes from his roots on his family's 165-acre farm in Minnesota that mingles with his food artistry background, allowing him to leave his own menu mark.
"Why does it have to be froufrou? It's real Italian food the way Italians do it: simple, with quality ingredients," Zavoral says, smiling slyly as he talks about the influence of southern Italy on his pastas. "Besides, making and rolling pasta is like therapy to me. I love it."
There's not a boring dish on the menu. The Quadriefore braised duck with pecorino cheese, mushrooms and farm fresh peas and tomatoes "tastes like winter," beams General Manager Dana Gerimonte. The Pettine pan-seared scallops in mushroom risotto and truffle butter sauce is a chef favorite but certainly not to be outdone by the beef tenderloin with truffle aioli, manchego and crispy potato.
What's an authentic Italian dinner without a little Italian sorbet to polish off the evening? Their signature berry cobbler topped with a temptingly sweet white chocolate ice cream that contrasts the berry trio is the perfect way to top off an evening in Beaver Creek — whether you enjoy something off the secret menu or not. •
La dolce vita, with stylish, contemporary cuisine and authentically Italian flare.
The Vitello Piccata
With a kids menu and a live pizza chef, are you kidding?
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