La dolce vita, with stylish, contemporary cuisine and authentically Italian flare.
The Vitello Picatta
With a kids menu and a live pizza chef, are you kidding?
60 Avondale Lane | Beaver Creek Plaza | Beaver Creek | 970.754.5590 | toscaninibeavercreek.com
There’s just something about fine Italian cuisine that puts it on top of just about everyone’s vacation dining list, and there’s nothing that can fulfill that craving quite like a family recipe of vitello picatta, or veal scaloppini — especially when each bite seems to melt in your mouth alongside sips of a bright and structured red rosé wine from Montepulciano.
Toscanini has mastered this signature veal and pappardelle pasta dish, served alongside a beef short rib in morel ragù, brown butter, fava, lemon and capers, but there’s so much on the menu to get excited about. In the true spirit of Old Tuscany, Toscanini — next to the ice rink in the heart of the Beaver Creek Village — lends itself to la dolce vita, indeed, with an atmosphere that is lively and informal. The cuisine is stylish and contemporary, the flavor authentically Italian.
Chef John Zavoral, Toscanini’s former sous chef extraordinaire, is taking things into his own hands these days, continuing the legacy of recently departed Chef Paul Wade.
“We’re keeping the rustic menu, and John’s playing around with it, as well,” says General Manager Dana Gerimonte, who’s always on hand for an enthusiastic discussion on anything the restaurant has on offer.
With an open kitchen and pizza bar tucked in between the bar and dining areas, guests can watch, and even hear, Chef John and his staff prepare individual pizzas, house-made pastas, and fresh seafood; and when the dining room fills at prime time, the lively atmosphere and view out to Beaver Creek Plaza seems right out of your last visit to Florence.
For starters, you can’t beat the carpaccio — mouthwatering, wafer-thin slices of beef tenderloin with a quail egg, a crispy potato chip or two, pearls of olive oil and an avocado aioli. The capesante pancetta, or seared scallops and crispy pork belly, meanwhile, is to die for, served with corn purée, honey and white balsamic gastrique.
Kids will love the pizzas made by hand at the pizza bar, the fungo pie with forest mushrooms, brie, sage, roasted garlic and pecorino cheese being, perhaps, the most popular; or who can resist the calamari arrostito, with roasted squid, arugula, tomatoes, lemon and a spicy aioli for creamy dipping?
Ready for the traditional second plate, or entrée? Besides the veal scallopini, above, someone at your table absolutely must order the griglianto bistecca, grilled flat iron steak, with goat milk ricotta gnocchi, a sampling of wild boar sausage, arugula and a gouda crème sauce.
Gerimonte just might be able to hook you up with the perfect wine pairing, meanwhile, as all the wine at Toscanini — for 18 years a Wine Spectator Award-winning collection — is Italian, too, and the restaurant’s extensive and dynamic cellar with 250 or so selections is reason alone to visit.
For dessert, there’s no reason not to try the seasonal berry cobbler, featuring the best in-season peaches, strawberries, blackberries available that day — unless you just must have Toscanini’s traditional tirimasu.
Toscanini’s bar and lounge area is the perfect stop for cocktails before heading down the escalators to the Vilar Center. The restaurant is open daily at 3 p.m. for après and 5 p.m. for dinner; reservations are highly recommended. Extensive kids and gluten-free menus are available.
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