Balata in Edwards has a new chef, a new menu | VailDaily.com
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Balata in Edwards has a new chef, a new menu

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Edwards CO, Colorado
HL Balata 1 KA 01-07-09
ALL |

Editor’s note: High Life publishes restaurant features, not straight reviews. We can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience we did.

Simple and straightforward, without being pedestrian. That’s how Ted Schneider, the new executive chef at Balata Restaurant in Singletree, describes his food.

It’s “honest and simple” fare, with a focus on “fresh ingredients and from-scratch preparations,” Schneider said.

Schneider most recently worked as the executive chef at Da Vinci, the restaurant tucked inside the Vail Plaza Hotel. Before that, he spent years in the kitchen at Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek. In November, Schneider took over as executive chef at Balata and has since rewritten the menu.

While Schneider said it was a bit of a challenge to come into an established restaurant, he stands behind his food and says that everyone seems to be leaving happy.

“I really just try to make sure that each plate is the best it can be,” he said. “I’ve found that as a chef, if you stay true to the food, the rest takes care of itself.”

While developing the menu, Schneider tried to focus on seasonal ingredients with the ultimate goal being to “keep the food approachable, but unique,” he said.

One read through the menu and its clear he’s succeeded.

Forget ingredients you can’t pronounce, let alone want to eat. There’s little to no pretension here.

Take the fried green tomatoes ($8) appetizer. The tomatoes are breaded with panko breadcrumbs before being fried to crispy brown perfection. Served with housemade ricotta cheese and a slightly spicy, slightly tangy herb emulsion, it’s a nice way to start your meal.

Moving onto entrees, don’t skip the beef short rib ” so tender no knife is needed. A perfectly poached egg quivers atop the slow-braised beef. Break the yolk and sop it up with the black pepper spaetzle served on the side.

Restaurant manager Matt Jones is particularly fond of the grilled veal paillard ($32) with herbed Oregon crab and bread salad and lemon caper dressing, which has only been on the menu a few weeks.

“It’s a very light preparation and the fresh crab in the bread salad comes in a couple of times a week,” he said.

The “Club” menu is reasonably priced and chock-full of comfort foods such as beer-battered walleye with hand-cut fries and white anchovy tartar sauce ($16) and meat loaf with garlic spinach, gold mashed potatoes and port wine gravy ($16). It’s the playful nachos ($14-$16) that intrigue us to the point of a return trip “-flour tortilla chips are served with either house-smoked trout or grilled chicken, lime sour cream and green apple salsa.

Now that’s a new take on fish and chips.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

What: Balata Restaurant

Where: 1265 Berry Creek Road, at the Sonnenalp Golf Club in Singletree in Edwards.

Open: 4 p.m. to close, Tuesday through Saturday.

Fare: Straightforward, seasonal American.

Entrees: $19 to $36. Pub menu has sandwiches and salads starting at $10.

Kid’s menu: Yes.

Contact: Call 970-477-5353

Reservations: Recommended.

Must-try:

– Fried green tomatoes with house-made ricotta cheese and herb emulsion, $8.

– Slow-braised beef short rib with black pepper spaetzle and a poached egg, $23.


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