Northside Kitchen is charming breakfast spot by day transforming to elegant fine dining spot by night | VailDaily.com

Northside Kitchen is charming breakfast spot by day transforming to elegant fine dining spot by night

Ashlee Bratton
Special to the Weekly

Editor's note: This article was previously published as a paid feature in EAT, a compendium of restaurant snapshots featuring the best in Vail Valley dining. Look for it on newsstands everywhere.

This little restaurant just might be the superhero of the dining world. Just like Batman, the Northside Kitchen is one thing by day and another by night. Tucked in the parking lot of the Exxon station off the Avon exit roundabout, you might miss the power-packed options this landmark eatery has to offer. By day the Northside Kitchen takes on the guise of a charming bakery and cafe offering breakfasts and lunches that delight the senses and tempt the tongue. From breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros to various salads and sandwiches, there's sure to be something that sounds perfect for you. A selection of dazzling daily doughnuts made in the Northside Kitchen bakery beckon from the glass case as you step inside the door.

Dinner Time

By night, the Northside Kitchen transforms, shedding its breakfast and diner ensemble to turn into a rather elegant fine dining establishment, complete with white tablecloths, fresh flowers, glass stemware, mood lighting and a wine bar. Said wine bar is stealthily armed and dangerous with what's become one of the latest trends in vino — argon gas wine dispenser systems. Offering a selection of 50 famous high-end wines by the glass, this sophisticated technology preserves and maintains the integrity of the luxury wine. Wine enthusiasts can now enjoy a taste, a half or a full glass of any of Northside's wines that normally would come with a full-bottle price tag; for $19/glass, you can try a delicious glass of Caymus cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley.

Owner Jim Pavelich is a wine enthusiast himself with a vision to bring fine dining to Avon without the pretense or fine dining price tag. That's why both locals and tourists alike can enjoy a mouth-watering three-course year-round special designed by Executive Chef Kevin Bates for less than $40.

When asked about this season's carefully crafted menu selection sporting favorites from choice filet mignon (classically grilled, or served "chicken fried") to enticing lobster ravioli, creatively topped with apple beurre blanc, Bates proudly remarks, "We let the seafood do the talking."

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Though the grilled salmon with fig sauce is a winner, the pistachio-crusted lamb chops, double-cut bone-in pork chop and fried chicken all have their own fan clubs.

Pavelich can usually be found day or night making rounds chatting with guests or jumping in to bus tables while cracking jokes with his sidekick staff. His passion for his business is equaled by his love for the Vail Valley. The founder of the Vail Daily, he is now fully focused on bringing gourmet food to those who walk through the doors. And that's a lot of people, all of whom leave happy.

If you go …

What: Northside Kitchen, a casual by day, mountain elegance by night establishment.

Where: 20 Nottingham Road, Avon.

Cost: Three-course prix fixe dinner $38.95 nightly.

Signature dish: The Northside menu has more signatures than the Declaration of Independence.

More information: Call 970-949-1423 or visit http://www.thenorthsidekitchen.com.