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Beyond pub fare

Cassie Pence
Shane Macomber/smacomber@vaildaily.com From left, Chad Cremonese, Fred Davis and Jeffrey Petruso are the heart and soul behind Full Belly kitchen and pub at The Inn at Riverwalk. The restaurant serves up beyond-pub fare with innovative spins on American comfort food.
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When listening to Full Belly founders’ living situation, you might think you’re hearing the plot for the next must-see NBC sitcom: Three old-time friends start a restaurant together while living in the same house with four dogs, one’s sister and one’s brother.But the dedication – not to mention the sense of humor – it takes to live in a house with five people to realize the dream of opening up a neighborhood pub translates into the high-quality food and jovial atmosphere you experience at Full Belly kitchen and pub, located in The Inn at Riverwalk in Edwards.Owners Chad Cremonese and Jeff Petruso recruited the skills of executive chef Fred Davis after working with him at a pub in Pittsburgh.”I said if I ever open up my own place I want Fred,” Petruso said.Davis has a knack of making simple American cuisine taste extraordinary. A prime example is his half rack of ribs appetizer ($11). The sauce is spicy and thick, and the dish is topped with Cajun onion rings. The onion rings are first soaked in a “secret” sauce to give them a kick. “I grew up in a big family with lots of children. Our culture was based around food. You’d get disciplined over dinner,” Davis said.Davis learned to cook from his mother, who ran a bakery out their house. He serves up his mother’s biscuit and pancake recipes during Full Belly’s breakfast.

Petruso’s mother is also represented on the menu. She’s not Italian, but since she’s married to one, she has to know how to cook. The evidence is her Italian wedding soup ($4) and creamy Caesar dressing; the best Caesar dressing I’ve tasted.The trio spent many hours developing the menu, sorting through six legal pads full of food ideas. “There’s nothing on the menu that we didn’t sit down and try and say we love it,” Petruso said.The steak salad ($10) is a good choice. Thinly sliced steak is circled around a bed of mixed greens topped with sweet potato crisps, with a drizzle of lime chipotle vinaigrette. The chipotle adds some spice, complimenting the tender pieces of steak. The pork chop ($18) exemplifies Davis’ creativity in the kitchen. A delectable brandy peach sauce accompanies the chop, which sits on a bed of creamy, cheesy risotto. The cheese of the risotto balances the sweetness of the sauce perfectly.The smoked trout linguine ($19) is also an entree worth sampling. Housemade linguine floats in a white clam tomato basil sauce with chunks of smoked trout. Although Davis claims he doesn’t like to bake, you know he’s good at it after you taste his peanut butter pie ($5) or flourless chocolate cake with port ice cream ($5). Both excellent choices to ensure your belly is full.Full Belly kitchen and pub is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from 7 a.m. The breakfast menu features original dishes, like toffee and pecan pancakes ($5.50), smoked gouda and applewood bacon frittata ($6.50) and hash brown crusted shrimp with southwestern eggs and bloody mary sauce ($12). Lunch features an array of sandwiches from a pulled pork ($8) to an open faced ahi ($9). For more information, call at 926-2756.

Friendly, neighborhood pubFull Belly kitchen and pubOpen for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m.Located at The Inn at Riverwalk in Edwards926-2756Happy hour specials



From 3-7 p.m., daily- 2 for 1 beers- $2 off glasses of wine- $2 wells- $2 off any call liquorThe I’s Have It Trio play every WednesdayArts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.com.


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