December 29, 2016
97 Main Street e101 | riverwalk | EDWARDS
970.926.7001 | juniperrestaurant.com
You can go to Juniper Restaurant in Riverwalk in Edwards to enjoy big flavors and substantial portions of signature and new dishes with or without making a big to-do about it.
Here's what we mean: folks in jeans and fleece vests can order a classic Manhattan up or on the rocks and feel just as comfortable as another party adorned in furs, drinking blueberry acai martinis. The restaurant seems to stand apart from the scene its new world contemporary cuisine could command, filling a sort of upscale-yet-casual dining niche.
Juniper opened in 2002 and immediately garnered its loyal multifarious following for its selection of starters — everything from braised short rib with whipped mashed potatoes, smoked onion jam, bleu cheese and baby arugula to a yellowfin tune poke cucumber roll with guacamole, lotus root chips and pickled Fresno chilies — and an eclectic menu of protein or pasta mains.
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"The menu is good across the board," says Scott Ofsanko, executive chef. "That is what it's all about. It is hard to steer someone one direction or another. We have pizzas, pastas, steaks and some Asian dishes on there, too."
Some listings, such as the veal scaloppini — with angel hair caprese, asparagus, lemon beurre fondue and veal reduction — have been at the top of the menu since the day the restaurant opened. It is the only dish on the menu that Ofsanko, who has been at the restaurant for seven years, didn't come up with himself.
"I change the menu around opportunities to be seasonal and local, but consistency is something people have always loved about us," Ofsanko says. "We keep it recognizable to the people who come in all the time and know what they want, but we change things up to fit the season or to keep the food fresh and local whenever possible."
Among the new entrées for the winter are a 32-ounce porterhouse, cooked for two with truffle potato gratin, grilled asparagus, béarnaise and onion rings; a braised pork shank with pimento cheese polenta, sautéed kale and pickled vegetables; and Colorado buffalo loin with ricotta gnocchi, haricot vert-mushroom sauté and porcini beurre.
The bar follows suit in this way of being all things to all people for its mix of beverages. Your Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Sazerac and other cocktails are on the very same menu as experimental mixology that twists a myriad of syrups, berries, fruits, spices, peels and creams to whiskeys, vodkas, tequilas and gins sourced from all over the world. There is also a lengthy list of cognacs and scotches, and, of course, beer and wine.
Whether you come rocking in with your shoes polished and hair done, looking for a round of rib-eye steaks and flavored alcohols, or slip in for an appetizer and a glass of wine with friends at the bar, Juniper will embrace both scenaria with a wonderful experience of eating and drinking. •
Refined and inviting as a riverside mountain bistro
Veal Scaloppini with angel hair caprese
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