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Take Sunday off

Laura A. Ball
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyExecutive Chef Pascal Coudouy
ALL |

BEAVER CREEK – Every other day of the week it’s run, run, run, go, go, go. If you’re not at work, you’re doing the laundry or the dishes. You’re grocery shopping, picking up the kids, making dinner or walking the dog. When Sunday finally comes, you’re exhausted. You don’t want to lift so much as a finger, unless you’re putting your coffee cup to your mouth while having breakfast in bed.Brunch, a portmanteau word combining breakfast with lunch, may have a deeper meaning. Combine it with Sunday and you have the perfect excuse to put the kids in the car and go eat wonderful food minus all the work in the kitchen.

“Sunday brunch is a family day. It’s something where you go and spend a couple of hours not doing anything,” said Pascal Coudouy, executive chef at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa.Take it from Coudouy, who brought Sunday brunch to Bivans Restaurant at the Park Hyatt, offered every Sunday through Labor Day weekend from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Make sure to go hungry. You can’t get enough of the warm croissants, danishes, muffins and breads. The bagels are shipped fresh from New York. Traditional favorites such as eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles and omelets are made-to-order. The seafood bar boasts oysters, shrimp and smoke salmon. The world cheese plate contains 17 varieties from Spain, Italy, even Colorado. Entrees include petit filet mignon, lamb mignonetto, salmon filet with peppercorn sauce and wood-oven roasted chicken with wild mushroom sauce. Seasonal fresh fruit is in abundance, as is assorted fresh fruit juices. Of course, you can’t have too many desserts. Bivans offers a procession of pastries, cheesecakes, mousse and chocolate candies. And the champagne never runs dry.The meal that’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, brunch originated in Britain in the late 1800s as a meal taken late in the morning or just around noon to make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. While the practice of having brunch did not catch on in the United States until the 1930s, today it is major part of many hotel and restaurant weekend menus.”Only hotels can have big brunches, and the hotels in New York are a perfect example of this. If you want to go to brunch, you go to the Waldorf or the Plaza,” Coudouy said. “To do good brunches you need a lot of staff, so it’s easier for us to do it.”

When Coudouy came to the Park Hyatt from New York in 2000, he came up with the concept for a Sunday brunch. The brunch was wildly successful that first year. The next summer, however, everyone in the Vail Valley was doing a brunch, Coudouy said. Coudouy decided to forgo the brunch, until this year, because no one was doing brunch anymore. Coudouy hardly goes out, but when he does, certain elements must be present to make a restaurant good. He has to feel welcome in a restaurant. They have to have good food – not pretentious. And it has to be at the right price. Knowingly or not, Coudouy’s brunch offers all three.

“You have to enjoy it,” he said. “We are not here to turn tables. It’s an experience to enjoy.”

Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or laball@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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