Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Expect the unexpected at Ludwig’s | VailDaily.com

Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Expect the unexpected at Ludwig’s

By Tricia Swenson | Off the Hill

For several decades, the Sonnenalp Resort in Vail has received awards and accolades for its service, amenities and charm. Traditional architecture, decor and customary uniforms worn by the staff make you feel like you are in a ski town in Europe rather than the U.S. With a theme like that you'd expect to find only Bavarian fare at their signature restaurant, Ludwig's, but instead, expect the unexpected.

Ludwig's offers artfully crafted European cuisine, with the emphasis on art. Executive chef Florian Schwarz is a mastermind when it comes to concocting dishes in new and creative ways.

Take their Chicken & Waffles dish. It's served with swirling smoke contained in a glass dome plate cover to give it a smoky flavor, which adds to the bourbon, maple syrup, asparagus and strawberry aioli that supports the gluten free waffles.

One appetizer that's so popular they can't take it off the menu is the Lobster on a Red Wave. Chef Schwarz plays around with flavors like red fruits, wasabi and Maine lobster in a beautiful presentation that tastes delicious.

Perhaps the most eye-catching appetizer is the Uncovering the Mushroom Meadow dish. It's basically a miniature garden on your plate, complete with edible flowers. Almost too pretty to eat, you'll want to get the camera out before you dig in to this whimsical dish that also contains truffle ice cream.

Schwarz and his team pride themselves on taking classic recipes and dishes and playing with textures. "I learned many of these creative techniques in Spain. We'd take the flavor of lobster, shrimp, even bacon and turn it into a completely different texture," said Schwarz. "We've got such an international team, we all come up with ideas and love putting all this creativity into our menu.

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Ludwig's also boasts one of the largest wine lists in Vail with over 1,440 wines to go with the eclectic cuisine. Their menu is also entirely gluten free. To learn more go to http://www.ludwigsrestaurant.com.