The Left Bank |

The Left Bank

Nicole Frey

More than 30 years ago, a young couple came into the Left Bank. They had the Steak au Poivre Blanc or white pepper steak. That night, after they feasted on tender beef filet rolled in crushed white peppercorns and covered in a decadent, creamy, brown stock and cognac sauce, he proposed.

That same couple has returned to the Left Bank every year since that memorable night, eventually bringing children and grandchildren with them.

“And they always have the Steak au Poivre, and they say, ‘This is exactly how we remember it,'” said Kimberly Chelain, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Chef Jean-Michel Chelain. “We pride ourselves on consistency. That’s why people come back year after year. Today, next week, next year, you’ll get dependable, authentic, old-school French cuisine.”

Along with a menu of classic French dishes, like escargot and bouillabaisse, the Left Bank offers tempting seasonal dishes and specials in their cozy, green and white infused dining room.

“I want the impression of coming here and feeling at home, like they’re in my living room, not like they’re in a restaurant,” Jean-Michel says in his tell-tale French accent.

The classically-trained chef takes his craft seriously. Despite rising food costs, the Chelains refuse to sacrifice quality bringing in all food fresh and never freezing.

Jean-Michel concentrates on three stocks – veal, beef and lobster – and puts the utmost care and effort into perfecting these bases from scratch. Live lobsters are brought in for the lobster stock, which, among other dishes, goes into the lobster bisque – a rich, velvety soup bursting with lobstery flavor. Pair it with a slightly sweet, seafood-loving Sancerre and you’re in for a treat.

Or couple the delicate, buttery foie gras with a sweet Sauterne and let the flavors caress your palate. While the appetizers will certainly seduce you, move on to main courses like the Vol au Vent de Homard et Crevettes Sauce Homardine, made up of a thin puff pastry shell, lined with spinach and brimming with fresh lobster and shrimp, accompanied by a creamy saffron sauce.

Let the old French tunes carry you away and make your own memories at the Left Bank.

“Most of all, I want them to have a good time and come back,” Jean-Michel says.

The Left Bank

183 Gore Creek Drive, Vail Village


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