I have to start out by saying my wife and I are "Foodies", and we often prefer to cook at home rather than settle for the mediocre, over-priced fare available at most restaurants these days.
Not so at The Left Bank! We dined on a Monday evening, and the atmosphere was comfortable, warm, and relaxed. The experience begins when Kimberly, the owner, greets you at the Maître D's station and makes even the first-time visitor feel like a welcomed old friend (which you will see many of at their regular tables--this has been a Vail favorite for over 45 years!) Her husband, Jean-Michel, is a celebrated French Chef (by birth and training!) and is in the kitchen preparing your first (but never the last) meal at The Left Bank. The service was prompt at all times, and we loved listening to Faustine, our waitress, newly arrived from Grenoble, as she read the evening's specials!
You must start with one of their wonderful cocktails from the extensive Cocktail Menu, many of which pre-date Prohibition. Check out the James-Bond-themed "Vesper", shaken, not stirred! Next, there was the bread basket, filled with warm, fresh French and multi-grain bread, which tasted just like we fell in love with while living in Europe years ago. Next, the salad was well-presented, and the house dressing was a tasty Dijon Vinaigrette. For the main course, we ordered the Filet Au Poivre (White Pepper Steak), which came with the tastiest pepper cream sauce, surrounded by perfectly cooked baby potatoes and vegetables. We ordered ours cooked medium, and they were juicy and flavorful, and the portion was perfectly sized. Kimberly recommended an outstanding Bordeaux for the wine pairing from their extensive cellar. For dessert, we had the Chocolate Soufflé. I thought I had had Chocolate Soufflé before, but I was mistaken! High-altitude cooking takes a special touch, and this soufflé has it--it will re-define your standard for soufflé. It is the lightest, fluffiest, most chocolatey soufflé I have ever enjoyed. Kimberly says the altitude is one of the secret ingredients! We finished the evening with cappuccino and an assortment of lacy, buttery cookies. The evening reminded us so much of dinners we enjoyed at our local "stammtische" table in our little village in Europe, especially the personal interaction at our table with the wonderful owner Kimberly. What an experience! We are already looking forward to our next visit!
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