Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 25, 2012 10:55 AM

Restaurant: Vintage Restaurant

Vintage Restaurant

231 1/2 Leadville Avenue
Ketchum, Idaho
This restaurant is described as the best restaurant in Ketchum, according to those who spend a great deal of time there.

It required four attempts before we could get a reservation at Vintage, but it was worth the wait.

The indoor part of the restaurant is located in a cabin owned by one Bert Cross, circa 1927. The outdoor part of the restaurant is located in what was the cabin's yard, walled off by an old wooden stake fence. Even though it was mid- July, there were various Christmas wreaths and other related decorations hanging from the fence.

There are old leafy trees that reach out above the outdoor area, as well as large umbrellas over some of the tables.

The restaurant seats 30-35 inside and another 26 at various tables, ranging from 2 -6, outdoors. In truly inclement weather the outdoor area is not usable, so the restaurant's owner has to make a judgment each evening as to whether he can use both dining areas.

We sat outdoors on a raised platform with another table of four people. They were sufficiently close that we could easily “share” in each other’s conversations. About two-thirds of the way through dinner the wind came up, rustling the trees, and a few raindrops worked their way through the overhanging trees.

The menu is limited, but provides sufficient options. This evening there were five appetizers, five entrees, and seven dessert options. As at a number of other restaurants, we shared all of the items.

Our first course was a fruit soup, which included mango, melon, kiwi, peach, mint, pineapple, and jalapenos. The second course was a beet salad with endive, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, grapefruit, and honey citrus vinaigrette. Both of these items were quite tasty, and the salad was notable for the fact that the endive was presented as slices not more than a quarter inch wide.

Our two entrees were Grilled Rack of Lamb, served with spinach, mushroom, feta cheese strudel, tomato ginger jam, fresh heirloom tomato, avocado, basil stack, and cabernet rosemary jus, and Jeff's Old Fashioned Crispy Skin Duck. The latter is served as a half duck, slow-oven roasted, with wild rice, bean sprout Egg Foo Young, honey roasted grapes and a Kung Pao drizzle.

For dessert we selected an Apple Tart, served with caramel sauce and New Orleans coffee ice cream, and a home-made mango sorbet.

The food was excellent, but the thing that made the evening particularly enjoyable was our server, Marissa. She was quite delightful and got excited in a nice way when describing some of the dishes in response to our questions about favorite choices. All of the service was excellent, including from the young man who greeted us, showed us to our table, and helped the server in a variety of ways.

There were two interesting items that were part of the service. First, a long spoon in the ice tea, the handle of which was curved in such a way as to allow it to be hung on the side of the ice tea glass. The second item was coffee cups with open handles making it easier to get two fingers in the cup handle.

There are two unisex restrooms. They are not outdoors. They are quite small, and rather old, like the rest of the restaurant. Yet, the white ceramic commode and the white ceramic wash basin, that is sunken in a green wooden counter, are sufficiently modern. There is a small framed mirror above the washbasin and several pieces of art hanging on the other walls. There are green wood slats around the room to waist height and the walls above are an off-green tan color. It was perfectly clean.

Reservations are a must and the restaurant has its own parking lot.

Debbie and both look forward to eating there again.

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