Devouring Delicious Tapas and Chocolate Crepes in Vail, Colorado

by skitowngal
By Casey Sowul | Photo: Casey Sowul
December 2008

Last night, the manager of The Marketplace invited us to sample his fabulous tapas menu, gourmet pizza, decadent crepe dessert, and a few specialty drinks. We met Michael a few days ago after we inquired about his family's establishment, and were delighted when he invited us to investigate their menu offerings. We were far from disappointed, and will definitely be visiting the Marketplace when we come back to Vail.

To start off, Michael suggested a few of The Tavern's specialty drinks. We ordered a Bloody Mary and the Watermelon Mojito. Both were very good, not too strong, and flavorful. I am a self-proclaimed Bloody Mary snob and this one ranks high on my list. Our first tasting was the hummus plater offered on the appetizer menu. The pita tips were lightly baked, slightly crispy, and complimented the beautifully presented hummus. I didn't want it to end.

After our hummus platter, we tried the halibut fish tacos wrapped in flour tortillas, highlighted with blackbeans and pineapple salsa. Kevin and I both commented on how good the halibut was, not too dry or too moist. The halibut was lightly grilled, and was seasoned rather than covered in your typical fish taco sauce. This seasoning brought out the incredible flavor of the fish rather than covering it up.

As soon as we finished discussing the great tacos, the bartender, Jeremy brought out a Grecian Pizza covered with feta, artichoke, spinach, basil, peppers, and a very light coating of tomato sauce. The pizza was baked thin, topped with all my favorite items, and was served beautifully. Sharing this pizza and an appetizer would be a great combo for any lunch date. When we were done devouring the pizza, Jeremy talked us into trying a dessert crepe filled with bananas, strawberries, and Nutella, topped with vanilla and chocolate gelato and whip cream. If you come to Vail, do not skip this dessert! I'm sure the picture can speak for itself.

So What exactly is The Marketplace?

The Marketplace on Meadows Drive is an incredibly unique mixture of multi faceted dining option and various "shops" where you can wander, explore, and discover all that your stomach desires. The atmosphere is very casual and relaxing, hints of European dining and is very unassuming. The food is high quality, but won't break the bank.

First, there is the Cafe and Bistro, where you can sit down and enjoy a wide variety of breakfast, lunches, pizzas, and sandwiches. Menus items are created with the utmost care to combine carefully picked ingrediants with gourmet delights. As you begin to explore and head westward, you will find yourself in the center of the marketplace, where you can pick up local cheeses, milk, and produce, as well as imported meats and hard to find organic products.

Through the market, follow your nose into the creperie and awaken your senses to the warmth of fresh filled sweet crepes and homemade gelato served in 20 different flavors. From there, you can see the Tavern, through a brick archway and moody umber lighting hung from the ceilings. The Tavern offers a delicious tapas menu that includes seafood, vegetarian, and chicken items, as well as pizzas, desserts, and delicious drinks. Next door to The Tavern, end your journey by visiting the Wine Shop to pick up a bottle of your favorite Cabernet to enjoy after your next ski day.