Mountain Standard is a relaxed and rustic fine dining restaurant with a creative menu and a wonderful creekside indoor-outdoor atmosphere. Flowers, the water, mountains and bistro lights create the perfect mood, and the food is fantastic. With quality ingredients, they prepare food over an open wood fire and I think that’s what gives it such deep flavor.
We started with drinks, I had a Mesa Verde Margarita. There was another drink called Mesa Verde and I asked them to turn it into a Margarita and they did it, with wonderful results. It had cucumber, ginger beer, lime, and a nice bite from jalapeño.
I wanted a plain green salad and they gave me mixed greens with the lightest most delicate Ranch Dressing I’ve ever had tossed in with the greens–it was perfection. We each had our own main course and side dishes to enjoy family style.
We shared some warm Coal Roasted Olives with raisins and rosemary (every bit as good as that sounds) and grilled Broccoli with Cheese Whiz (not as gross as it sounds because it was a yummy home made cheese sauce).
Next was some Bruchetta that was bright green and refreshing with crushed avocado and fava beans, goat cheese, chermoula, and preserved lemon. The lemon made the flavor really pop and I could swear there was mint in there somewhere. It was more like very ornate avocado toast and it was excellent.
As an entree I had the Alaskan Halibut with sunflower romesco, olive oil potatoes, fennel, oranges, and olives. But by the time I got it, I was already too full to have more than a bite because I was saving room for dessert. It was an interesting combination (and great heated up the next day).
What I really loved about Mountain Standard is what I think restaurants should offer–food that tastes like the first time you are tasting it. I’ve had Bruschetta a hundred times, but it’s never tasted like this. I’ve never had a salad with Ranch Dressing that tasted like this (how they managed to make that one taste new is really something). The drink, the olives–all fresh with new and exciting flavors.
The kitchen crew is a lively bunch. A round of drinks for the cooks is right there on the menu, and when you order one, they bang on pots and pans and woot and holler. My son was way into that and wanted to buy them a round several times just to hear the uproar.
Dessert was also a surprise. I’ve had ice cream and berries, but they combined this with some meringue on the bottom which gave it the most amazing texture. We all loved it.
We also shared a Mint Ice Cream Sandwich. I’ve had those before too, but never where the mint was so pronounced that I felt like it came straight from the garden to the plate. We all had to fight my son for that one. Then there was a Mocha Torte which was a bit too rich for me on a full stomach.
Mountain Standard, Vail Bottom Line
If you’re in Vail, you have to have a meal at Mountain Standard. The atmosphere is wonderful, the food is ultra-fresh and exceptional. I will never forget it, my meal at Mountain Standard will go down in the books as one of my all time favorite meals. This is a Vail must. Just be sure to make reservations if you want to go for dinner past 5:30 because they stay super busy. Find out more on the website HERE.