Sweet Basil is a modern restaurant located in the village of Vail, 93 Gore Creek Dr, Vail, CO 81657. Known for its modern American meals, Sweet Basil is just above another notable restaurant, Mountain Standard. But because last year we descended upon the modern eats of Mountain Standard, this year we decided to try something new.
Below, I’ve included links to their website and menu for you to follow along.
Above I’ve included the lunch and desert menus; the dinner menu can be viewed from their homepage, below.
We decided to split both appetizers and mains among the group, and added a little taste of dessert at the end of our meal as well.
To start, we ordered the fava been hummus, the steak tartare, charred octopus, and carrot yuzu soup.
The fava bean hummus is a unique twist on traditional mashed chickpea hummus, green, creamy, and served with a warm flatbread on the side. It was a table favorite, and I would definitely recommend it for future Sweet Basil-goers. 😉
A couple years ago in Paris, Karsen and I tried what was known in Paris as the “best steak tartare in the world”. We hated it. This may have been because of our (sadly) young and inexperienced taste buds, but the steak tartare at this meal was much better than our first encounter with the dish. Although not as coveted as the hummus or charred octopus, the steak tartare definitely changed my previous view of steak tartare and tuna tartare, for that matter. With hints of Asian spice like gochujang and sesame, the steak tartare was a refreshing addition to the table.
The nori cracker on the side was also a favorite, a reminder of the shrimp “crackers” many dim sum restaurants serve with their dishes. 😉
The carrot yuzu soup was tasty, but it wasn’t quite what I expected in terms of flavor. The yuzu didn’t come through as prominently as I would have thought, and the majority of the soup was broth, which while appealing for some taste buds, was not appealing to mine. Here’s the yuzu soup, below:
The charred octopus was by far the highlight of my meal, the climax, the pillar, etc. The taste of meyer lemon sauce, green harrisa, and the perfectly charred octopus seemed to meld perfectly with my taste buds. Not too chewy or soft, the octopus was accompanied with delicious sides and was cooked to perfection. Not an exaggeration. This dish is a must for future guests.
That wraps up our appetizers, but we also ordered a couple mains, also shared in the middle.
The pork belly pastrami came first. It was delicious, but it fell apart easily. Unique tastes that should have been distinct like that of kale and gruyere, were not. For pastrami lovers tho, the pastrami was that of high quality and the dish as a whole was tasty.
P.S. We ordered truffle fries with cheese on the side 😉 that was the best part (alert! alert! known truffle addict here!)
I suggested ordering the salmon banh mi as an another main. Any guesses why? Because of the salmon? That’s right kids. 🙂 Maybe it was just because I had higher expectations for this dish, but the salmon banh mi also wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The pickled carrots seemed to overwhelm all other flavors; in addition, a constant of our meal was the cilantro that was featured in every dish.
The Icelandic cod tacos were the best main we ordered; the avocado and cilantro mixed well with the cod, and it was a good addition to some of our other seafood sides.
To end our meal, our waitress suggested the sticky toffee pudding, which we immediately jumped at because of our wonderful magnificent absolutely fantabulous experience with sticky toffee in London. While the beginning of our meal seemed to foretell a scrumptious ending, for kids, this sticky toffee is a NO-GO. The overwhelming taste was that of rum, so the rest of the pudding had difficulty standing out with its own flavor. We ordered two for the table.
The alcoholic ending of our meal didn’t ruin its delicious beginnings, however. In a future visit, I would definitely visit Sweet Basil again for another delicious meal.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (4 Smiley faces! Go Sweet Basil!)