Foxnut Asian Fusion
Stepping into the French Press is like entering a warm tableau. You might see a family in the corner, regulars in one of the leather-backed booths, and a couple out for romance cozied up near the deep velvet curtains. Owner Zak Stone and executive chef Juan Cruz Anon treat the restaurant like a home kitchen, caring for each guest personally. Their warm bravado imbues this French bistro with a genuine feel.
Chef Anon trained in the large kitchens of cruise ships and high-end restaurants. He moved to Vail for professional reasons. “I wanted to prepare each dish a la carte in the pan, and make each person’s meal delicious myself.” You can taste this dedication.
Stone has filled the boutique wine list with more than 100 changing favorites that include $24 finds to rare selections and limited production varietals. With these choices, one would be remiss not to order a bottle with dinner. Always ready with a great recommendation and the bottle’s provocative tale, Zak has taken the time to leave personal tasting notes alongside each of the wines. The list has become a great read.
The food features a care to flavor. The Marseille mussels swim in a garlicky wine-tomato broth. Once finished, we laughed at the cleanliness of our dish thanks to the careful scooping of the last drops of aromatic liquid – with rolls, spoons, anything we could find. The Hudson Valley foie gras, served over a pear-almond tartlette with a Tahitian vanilla mascarpone sauce, was a sinfully decadent combination. It would have been a shame to miss the sauterne pairing. The sweet surprise of the vanilla flavor, the savory richness of the liver and the silkiness of foie alongside the tart made each bite an indulgence.
One might be perfectly happy spending an evening immersed in appetizers, but the full menu merits gastronomic exploration. The entrees include French favorites with nuanced ingredient pairings. The lean venison is highlighted with a saute of grapes and scallions served with a sherry-port reduction, while the rack of lamb with a plum amaretto demi-glace and white truffle pomme frites are always on the menu.