Centre V Brasserie
Do you remember sitting in a dark movie theater, watching a scene shot in Paris? The hero and heroine are walking through rain-soaked streets, separately, lonely. Nobody’s worried because soon they will find each other and cozy up at a busy restaurant and feed each other nibbles of succulent this and savory that. There will be laughter and wine and smoldering looks. That restaurant is Centre V but there’s no “The End” – it’s only the beginning. The brasserie, inspired by French hallmarks La Coupole and Brasserie Lipp, opens late December in Arrabelle. “Brasseries are bustling, vibrant eateries with a traditional fare based on comfort food,” said Thomas Salamunovich, the man behind Centre V’s concept. “You can come and have as little as an order of pomme frites (french fries), or something as beautiful and involved as fruits de mer.”
Executive Chef Tyler Anderson moved to Vail for this job ” and 90 percent of his team followed him. Anderson and Salamunovich clearly speak the same language. “I’ve come from fine dining my whole life,” Anderson said. “I wanted to put my experience to work making food perfectly. I want to make the perfect roasted chicken, or the perfect steak.” He’s striving to create a restaurant chefs want to eat in. No smoke and mirrors, just excellent ingredients flawlessly prepared.
The pomme frites will most likely blow your mind. After being poached in duck fat to cook the potato, they’re then fried to crisp them. That kind of process leaves its mark on a fry. The roasted chicken begins in France, where the 14-ounce birds are raised. It will be fully cooked when it’s ordered, no half-baked hens losing their verve just to speed up the cooking process. (After devouring the poussin, steamy towels are passed around for your hands.) The three–tiered fruits de mer platter is certainly made to be shared. Sprawled across the crushed ice, oysters, clams, shrimp, crab, mussels, marinated scallops and periwinkles are ripe for the munching.
Just as French brasseries have a daily special that almost always corresponds with a day of the week, there will be plats du jour. Like the regular menu options (steak au poivre, duck confit) hearty items like duck a l’Orange and cassoulet will be the picture of sustenance. “It’s meant to be a communal, jovial, bustling place,” said Anderson. “A lot is shared. You’ll want to pass the plate around.” Big appetites are required, because souffles will also be a specialty, and come in portions for one person, two or four. You might want to bring a long spoon to insure your share.