I had the best meal I’ve ever had in Vail tonight.Where? Kelly Liken? Sweet Basil? Larkspur? Those are the best and it could have been any of them, but it wasn’t … it was next door at the MARRIOTT! You gotta be kiddin’ me … Nope. Chef Mercer put on a show like you wouldn’t believe. The lineup was thus:Brie soup with truffle oil … puts the “rich” in richie rich. Paired with the ZMor Gewurztraminer (thanks chef) it was a total tounguegasm.An awesome tomato soup with marshmallows … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it … trust me, you’ll be back for more.Oysters Rockefeller … Chef says, “you probably haven’t had these in about 100 years.” He was right, but I promise it won’t be two weeks before we’re doin’ that again … Evelyn and I practically came to blows over the last one.White Pizza … more truffle oil (can’t GET too much of that stuff), some fun crispy greens (arugula maybe?) and about a dozen other wonderful flavors on top of a crispy crisp.At this point we’re already saying, “it’s too good not too finish, but we know there’s lots more coming.”Next … a sea bass to die for with some kind of super light, crispy coating … in lobster sauce!Then came the single best lamb chop I have ever had. Period. I’m 52. I LOVE lamb. I eat it a LOT. This was the pinnacle … and by more than a small margin.Ok, I think I can force down some of this seared tuna, wrapped around a super thin daikon radish and rolled in a tempura kind of coating. Take me now lord … it can’t get any better than this. But wait … it does …A dessert medley with a cinnamon phyllo apple wrap thing paired with an eiswine (sp?) that’s just too good to be true. Next to that was a soft, warm sinful chocolate cookie and vanilla ice cream, accompanied by some Baileys concoction that they ought to require a pilot’s license to drive.Unbelievable. All of it was just unbelievable. Too good to be true. Any one of those courses was as good as it gets. All together? I gotta be dreaming.If I live another 52, I hope someday I have another meal as good as that one at Ocotillo. I also hope I can return the favor to Mercer sometime, but it ain’t gonna be easy.Rob
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