Best French Restaurant
Mirabelle at Beaver Creek
The French Press
The Left Bank
Of all the French restaurants in the county, readers chose a Belgian one to win the category. So what’s the difference? “Belgian cuisine is more innovative for me,” said Daniel Joly, owner-proprietor of Mirabelle. “It’s more contemporary as a style, a little more outside the box.” Belgian food borrows a great deal from classic French food, though it’s a bit lighter. Joly’s menu is classic. His bestsellers are the Colorado rack of lamb and Dover sole. “If I try to change the style of the Dover sole, I get yelled at. People come for vacation, and they remember they loved the Dover sole and they want it again.” And so the master Belgian chef will prepare the very French Dover sole. Happily.
The French Press might be tucked into Edwards’ Riverwalk, but it’s no secret. The dining room, which cheerfully holds a breakfast and lunch crowd, seems made for the comforting French dinners that executive chef Juan Anon sends out. Sometimes it feels like a crime to go out to a snazzy place and order chicken, but the honey-dijon-glazed bird is excellent, as is the rack of Colorado lamb. In Vail Village, The Left Bank has been equated with fine French food since 1970 when Luc and Liz Meyer opened it. Artfully prepared, such classics as escargot a la bourguignonne and bouillabaisse de crustaces remain entrenched on the menu. The veteran sous chef, Jean-Michel Chelain, and his wife, Kimberly, recently bought the restaurant. They continue to serve the classics, but add a few new seasonal items throughout the year.