In June, we took a trip to Colorado where my aunt has set up a beautiful home in the middle of the mountains. I had been searching around various review sites and had come up pretty short in terms of great restaurant recommendations in Summit County (which includes Frisco, Keystone, and Breckenridge). Luckily, my aunt knew exactly where to go for her birthday dinner.
And that is how we found ourselves at Mountain Flying Fish. A sushi restaurant in a land locked state? I was skeptical. But within a few minutes of sitting down, I knew we were in good hands. (I really shouldn’t have questioned it… my aunt lived and worked in Japan for a few years, so I have to trust her when it comes to Japanese food. )
My aunt has known the owners, Tetsuo and Toshimi Shimoda, for years, so when she told them that we were coming for her birthday meal, we went Omakase style and let the chef surprise us with his selected dishes.
My aunt also recommended her favorite sake, Mu, which comes in a beautiful cobalt blue bottle. It was probably the best sake I ever remember having. YUM!
We started with burdock, which I have never had. This was delicious in a light sesame sauce and tasted somewhere in between asparagus and green beans.
Then we had spinach with tofu. It was perfectly creamy… like a stiffer creamed spinach with more flavor.
Our next dish was just about the most beautiful (and delicious) things I’ve ever had. It was a calamari crab salad that included pieces of citrus, fresh yellow and red tomatoes, cucumbers, many types of seaweed, squash seeds, fresh calamari, crab, and a bit of curry (that was mild and delicious) with lettuce “cups” on the corner. The freshness of this was unbelievable.
And it was as beautiful as it was tasty.
We couldn’t get enough of it.
Next was black cod over fried burdock sticks and sweet miso sauce. The salad was black seaweed was tofu.
Seeing as though it was miso black cod that turned me into a fish eater, I was thrilled to see this and even more thrilled to eat it. It even pleased my uncle’s palate, and he is not a fish person.
Next came shrimp stuffed shitake mushrooms with okra. This brought about the same reaction from everyone at the table: “Okra?” Turns out it tastes damn good when it’s cooked right. And the shrimp stuffed mushrooms were bliss.
Our next dish was sockeye salmon sushi and sashimi over a shiso leave with cilantro. WOW. It is rare to have this amount of fresh flavors explode in a dish.
The veggies made it taste so fresh and the sockeye salmon was holycrapgood. I even developed quite the affinity for shiso leaf and will have to find it back here in NYC.
The tuna dragon roll came out next and, while I couldn’t have it due to the peppers, it was one of the most beautifully plated rolls I have ever seen.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this roll and I enjoyed looking at it.
At this point in the meal I think we all took a breath and wondered how much more was coming. The table looked like a train wreck and was evident for how much we enjoyed.
And then MORE came… a spider roll. Mmmm I love spider rolls. This was barely fried and had all the right flavors.
It was at this point where my aunt said “uncle” and said we probably should stop eating. She made a request for a local Japanese favorite, white rice in green tea. She said that only Japanese locals enjoy this dish, but she thought we would like it. She was right. It was a great warm end to the meal.
But could it really be a birthday dinner without a cake? Green tea tiramisu soon marched out and was absolutely delicious. Delicate flavors with just the right consistency. Yum!
The owners were so kind and so warm to us, and served such great food. They even agreed to pose for a photo-op.
Overall, Mountain Flying Fish made its way into the top 10 meals I have ever had. It was THAT good. I was so impressed that this hidden gem was this good. If you are in Breckenridge, you absolutely must go here. Put yourself in the chef’s hands and you will not be sorry. This beat pretty much every single Japanese/Sushi meal I have had even in NYC. And I have eaten at some of the “best.”
I can’t wait to go back.
Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10