Fall Line Kitchen, Vail, Colorado

The way to get into cold water, whether the ocean, a lake, or a pool, is to just go ahead and dive in. After the first shock, the water is delightfully refreshing. Restaurants in Vail are like that. The prices are a shock, but it’s best just to go ahead and make the plunge. We started off our trip at the Fall Line Kitchen.

I’ll cut to the chase and say that Fall Line Kitchen is a great place. Good setting, very good food, and great service. Fall Line Kitchen has been reborn with a new chef, some new decor, and at least one great server, Patrick. We went there for our first dinner in Vail, along with Liza and Mike, Scott and Julie Hammons, and Ella and Lily and Scott and Julie’s son, Hudson. A party of nine is an adventure anywhere, especially in Vail.

First, our waiter. His name was Patrick, and probably still is. He was a true professional. It was sort of like watching Rob Roberge captain a boat — a completely relaxed expertise. We started with cocktails. I ordered the “Specialty Drink” I mentioned in my review of Wilson County Barbecue, with a special request that the water be frozen. Patrick was happy to oblige.

I won’t bore you with the details of nine orders. Fall Line was too nice a place for me to take notes or a lot of pictures. As usual, I glanced first at the meat offerings on the menu, and was intrigued by the imported Japanese A5 Kobe tenderloin, if only to see what A5 meant. I noticed that it cost $30 (thirty) per ounce, and remembered (a) that tenderloin is not my first choice among beef cuts, and (b) you don’t plunge into a lake that’s frozen solid lest you break your … bank. The rest of the menu looked pretty chilly, but much less forbidding — steaks in the fifties, other entrees in the 30s and 40s.

.Recalling the advisability of a lighter meal, I ordered the ceviche to start

and the Prince Edward Island mussels appetizer as my main course. The ceviche was wonderful. Interestingly, it was dry rather than still in its marinade. Fall Line used a white fish that had been marinated in lots of lime, an avocado mousse, jalapeno, tajin (chiles and lime), and macadamia nuts, and served with coriander-spiced flour tortilla chips. This was a delicious dish, as good a ceviche as I’ve tried. The mussels also came with a great sauce, comprised of Belgian ale, cherry tomatoes, fennel, and ‘nduja, a Spanish sausage that, like chorizo, is fermented, and spiced with Calabrian chiles. ‘Nduja is softer than chorizo, spreadable, and hotter. I need to find some. It really made the sauce and, as usual, the sauce made the mussels.

Some other highlights: Michael and Liza split a 14-ounce wagyu strip steak that looked sensational, and Nancy enjoyed the Scottish salmon. Scott and Julie split a nice ribeye, and I presume that the kids had macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. We all shared several sides, including asparagus, and shishito peppers blistered with espellette, a Spanish pepper. They all were good, fresh, and well prepared.

The menu states that the food is “best enjoyed fresh,” and that they refuse take-out orders. Fall Line Kitchen is serious about their food. The ingredients are first quality and treated with respect and skill. The seasonings are well chosen and the dishes are thoughtfully conceived. You pay more than you’re used to paying — more than I’m used to paying — but you get a lot for your money. If you’re in Vail, you owe it to yourself to have a splurge, and Fall Line is a great place for one.

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2 thoughts on “Fall Line Kitchen, Vail, Colorado

  1. Hi John,
    I hope you’re enjoying Vail. If you want the best breakfast burrito in the valley, go to Sunrise in Minturn, CO (next town west of Vail; exit 171). Other favorites: corn beef hash, french toast; Lou’s scramble in a wrap if anyone wants a veggie burrito.

    Liked by 1 person

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