Grand Avenue Grill offers American "Comfort Food" | VailDaily.com

Grand Avenue Grill offers American "Comfort Food"

Kathy Heicher

Partners Mike and Chris Ryan and Jamie Jones are offering casual American food and drink at 706 Castle in Eagle, along Grand Avenue in the building that formerly housed the Eagle River Smokehouse.

The trio formerly managed the Wild Horse Bistro in Edwards. Expect to see some of the signature menu items from the upvalley eatery, such as the black bean and carrot soup, on the menu.

“We feel like we’re getting a foot in the door at the right time,” says Mike Ryan.

The Ryans moved to Eagle a couple of years ago. They’re confident the town’s growth is right for an additional eatery.

“We want to get in so we can get a following of clientele before the big chains come in,” says Jones, a chef who worked at the Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek, as well as at the Wild Horse Bistro.

Mike Ryan also is a culinary school graduate who worked at the Hyatt in Beaver Creek before the stint at the Wild Horse. Chris Ryan’s degree in hospitality management adds another vital element to the partnership. The partners have 15 years of experience in the restaurant business.

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The trio researched their menu by spending weeks asking people to name a favorite restaurant menu item. Out of that effort, they developed a menu that is “99.9 percent” made-from-scratch items.

“We’re here for the locals,” says Mike Ryan.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Three soups will be offered on the menu daily, as will a variety of salads. The lunch menu includes burgers and a dozen different sandwiches.

Look for steaks, fish and smoked chicken and ribs on the dinner menu, with prices in the $11 to $18 range. There will also be some classic American comfort foods, such as fried chicken, meat loaf, chicken fried steak and trout. There will be a separate children’s menu with $4.95 entrees.

Fish specials will be offered every Friday, and prime rib is the Saturday dinner special. The dessert list will include creme brulee, bread pudding, a brownie sundae, apple pie and cheesecake.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” says Jones.

Whole smoked chicken will be offered as a take-out menu item, and the Grille staff will provide take-out service on the full menu.

In the newly remodeled back room there will be a full bar, and a television for customers keeping an eye on a ball game. Specialty drinks will include Mojitos – a Cuban drink featuring a combination of lime and mint – and some “really good” mudslides. The Grand Avenue Grill will be a non-smoking establishment.

Customers will find the restaurant has a much more open, bright look. Chris Ryan says when she was perplexed over interior colors and decor, Jim Dawkins and Pam Goquen of Slifer Designs stepped in and offered advice free of charge. Subsequently, the former red brick fireplace now has an updated stone facade, and the walls are lighter, inviting colors. The removal of a wall in the back room, some new paint and lighter-colored paneling and additional lights also have completely transformed that area.

If the photos on the wall look familiar, that’s because they’re the work of Eagle photographer Mike Crabtree, who specializes in local landscapes. The remodel has created an inviting atmosphere.

“We were looking for a comfortable, rustic feel,” says Chris Ryan.

The Grand Avenue Grill will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.