Matsuhisa Vail | VailDaily.com

Matsuhisa Vail


My eyes always start swimming through raw fish renditions, signature sauces and Wagyu specialties available on the menu at Matsuhisa in Vail. I have some never-fail favorites on the menu, but usually the best choice is to simply say: "Omakase."

Be ready to be adventurous, but above all, to be impressed. Omakase is the chef's choice at Matsuhisa — it's always changing, but constantly featuring some of the best and most exotic dishes on the menu.

"We are always happy to create a menu if the guest is comfortable letting our team take the reins," says manager Jordan Harrill.

And your palate will be in good hands, from chef to table. Matsuhisa servers have impressively intricate knowledge of every ounce of the restaurant's raw, seared and tempura-fried goodness. They'll always suggest instructions, too, like to take every bite of the house-favorite, yellowtail sashimi, with a piece of jalapeño and a piece of cilantro.

"With a large menu like ours we feel like we are capable of creating the perfect meal for every guest," Harrill explains.

Let sommelier and Matsuhisa wine director Andreas Harl pair pours of Etienne Calsac champagne, German riesling and American chardonnay with your courses, or whatever it is he's inspired to share. Harl has a keen way of matching Matsuhisa's “New Style” Japanese flavors with ideal varietals.

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Cocktails like the Hendricks Gardner also carry dynamic flavors and make nice matches on the menu. This drink is served up in a martini glass, beautifully bright green with fresh serrano pepper, cilantro, ginger and lime. The TK 40 sake is a fruit-forward and easy sipping option, which is obviously also ideal with Matsuhisa's cuisine.

Embrace variety with a quartet of sashimi, offering a wide range and changing presentation of fish and Japanese-meets-South-American flavors, like kampachi with aqua de chile and yuzu soy, New Zealand king salmon with wasabi salsa and ponzu sauce, or Alaskan king crab with dried miso, yuzu and olive oil.

Signature tempura dishes are lightly battered and fried, so the uni, king crab, rock shrimp or shojin still really shine.

Meat lovers will want to dive right into lamb chops, filet mignon or Wagyu beef options, but don't underestimate fish-forward here. The sea bass with balsamic teriyaki is a butter-like fish filet, served over delicate white mushrooms and al dente Brussels sprouts. Harl's Gregory James chardonnay recommendation has legs of its own, but gracefully stands alongside the bass like a forever friend.

Always save room for mochi ice cream at Matushisa, or the impressive ball of Nobu Shave Ice to sweeten up the table as a centerpiece. Of course, sunsets are also a great way to top off your meal.

"Summer is an amazing time to be in Vail," says Harrill, "and we're really excited to have the terrace open for guests to enjoy a cocktail or dinner with friends and family while overlooking the mountain and the village."

Price
Shared plates, sushi and sashimi —
$6 – $32; Mains — $18 – $45 per person
•••
Ambiance
Spacious urban setting with rustic finishes. Great for group dinners, or an
intimate date
•••
Signature dish
Sea bass with
balsamic teriyaki
•••
Kid-friendly?
Yes

141 East Meadow Drive | Solaris | vail | 970.476.6628 | matsuhisavail.com