Main St.’s main focus in Edwards | VailDaily.com

Main St.’s main focus in Edwards

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Edwards CO, Colorado
HL Main Street grill 1 KA 05-05-09
ALL |

Editor’s note: High Life publishes restaurant features, not straight reviews. We can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience we did.

If it weren’t for the walls, Michael Irwin could easily chuck a pork chop from his new kitchen at Main St. Grill into his old kitchen at Juniper.

When Irwin left Juniper, where he was part owner and head chef, last October, he didn’t know he’d be cooking less than 50 feet away within five months. But that’s exactly what happened ” Irwin is now the executive chef at Main St. Grill, located in the same building in Riverwalk.

“A lot of people say that,” Irwin said. “I’m not trying to drive a dagger into anyone’s heart, I’m just a perfectionist, 100 percent. I opened up Larkspur with Thomas (Salamunovich) and was at Sweet Basil. Now, at Main St., we want everyone to respect what we do and have a good name for ourselves.”

Since Irwin started at the restaurant in February, he and owner/chef Chris Heiden have been working to develop new dishes. They introduced 11 new appetizers, salads and entrees on Friday. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (May 11-13), all entrees will be $10. Heiden hopes locals will come in to “find their new favorite entree at Main St.,” he said.

The philosophy behind the updated menu is simple, Irwin said.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the culinary wheel. We just want to make good food, with good portions, for local people and give good service all the way around,” Irwin said.

Having Irwin join the team has injected new creative juices into the operation, Heiden said.

“Once you’ve been in business so long, to have some new ideas is great,” he said. “Mike and I work really well together, so it’s really fun.”

Heiden and his wife Nikki opened the restaurant just over 10 years ago. Originally the eatery was called Jambalayas, but two years in they changed the name and the concept, though they’ve always had a “Louisiana Classics” section on the menu, which includes Southern classics like Creole jambalaya, crawfish etoufee and red beans and rice that Heiden specially orders from a company in Louisiana, he said.

“We sell a lot of that stuff, people love it. We’ve had people from Louisiana come up here and tell us how much they like (the food). I never see us getting rid of those classics,” he said.

As far as the new items go, Heiden said the goal was to lighten some of the dishes up for the summer.

“We just want to freshen things up a little bit. It also makes it fun for us when we can try some new things,” he said.

His favorite new dish is the oven-roasted pork chop, he said.

“I don’t know if I should say that now with everything going on, but I do,” Heiden said, laughing. “We cut the chops ourselves and bread them, serve them with carmelized onions and garlic mashed potatoes ” it’s really good.”

The crispy spring roll appetizer has been a “huge seller” so far, Heiden said.

Thin crepes chock full of shrimp and cabbage are fried and served with a chili cilantro sauce that’s the perfect sweet/spicy combination.

The generous portion of Alaskan halibut, which comes with crispy gnocchi, homemade pesto sauce and cherry tomatoes, has bright, fresh flavors and is sure to be a popular summer time entree.

For dessert, bananas foster has long been a never-fail indulgence at Main St. but for people looking to branch out, try the sweet-and-sour key lime tart, which is made at Mountain Flour bakery in Eagle.

“We’re trying to use more local purveyors,” Irwin said. “I mean we don’t have a farm in Gypsum or anything, but we’re trying.”

High Life editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.

What: Main St . Grill

Where: 1st and Main Building in Riverwalk, Edwards

Open: Seven days a week. Lunch starts at 11 a.m., dinner starts at 5 p.m. Brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fare: American comfort food along with Lousiana classics

Entrees: $14.95 to $24.95

Kid’s menu: Yes

Contact: Call 970-926-2729

Reservations: No, except for parties of 8 or more

Off-season special: Two-for-one entrees through the off season. Ten dollar you-call-it entrees on May 11, 12, 13

Must-try:

– Shrimp and cabbage-filled crepe rolls fried and served with chili cilantro sauce, $8.95

– Fried pierogies ” wonton wraps stuffed with pork and mashed potatoes and served with sweet Thai sauce, $7.95