Frites, Edwards, French/Italian
Vail CO, Colorado
27 Main Street
Decisions, decisions. With a beautiful upstairs, a royal setting downstairs and a spacious patio, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. The casual bistro’s ambiance calms you before you even take a seat. Try downstairs, where red velvet drapery, giant windows and plush chairs give you the chance to enjoy the food with a nice breeze and a view of the river.
Chef Ed Tracey has a love for not just French cuisine, but Italian fare, too, and the menu reflects his passions. Nearly everything is done in-house, from the buffalo mozzarella to the smoked meats to the pasta. Tracey can appeal to your taste buds no matter how hungry you are, with flavorful appetizers and classic panini, as well as the perfect steaks. Even if you’re just coming for a drink on the deck, it would be hard to pass up the plump saffron creme mussels.
Start with a martini, like the Kir Royal: Ketel one, cassis, pineapple juice and a splash of champagne. The wine list has plenty of options, and is listed by character, not country. Matthew Lewis is a knowledgeable and adventurous wine guide, so if you aren’t sure about what fits your fancy, he’s more than happy to point you in the right direction.
The antipasto plate tastes as good as it looks. Tracey puts lots of energy and flavor into the Italian sampling, which includes a tender duck proscuitto. Even the pearl onions will be gone from the plate before you know it. The pommes frites are just about the best thing that can be done with a potato, and go well alongside the steak bordelaise. As far as dessert goes, nothing tops the crepe, filled with vanilla ice cream and caramel.
The local-friendly establishment can seat large parties (10-20), and an entire floor can be bought out for occasions. Keep your eyes out for a summer risotto of the day and three-course dinner of the day. Frites is fine-dining food without the pretentious attitude.