Ingrida Padleckyte always wanted to open a restaurant in the mountains—and serve the richest food around. She grew up on a farm in Lithuania, where her family raised cows, pigs, geese, horses, and turkeys, and went on to live in culinary hubs around the world, including London, Los Angeles, Norway, and Chicago. “I grew up on really flavorful foods,” she says. “Because you know how it is in the village—everything is fresh; no preservatives. I love to cook, I love to feed people, and everything has to be flavorful.”
Padleckyte has brought that mantra to life in Posh Joint, an ethnic café specializing in authentic Balkan fare that opened in Solaris two days before Christmas. She and her husband, Dan Vujadinovic, a Serbian restaurateur and former nightclub owner, import salmon from Lithuania and sausage from Albania and Serbia. Dinner entrées include octopus, short ribs, and an assortment of pizzas and pastas, while breakfast revolves around a rare range of crêpes: from the savory Baltic Sea (pictured above: smoked salmon, capers, tomato, cucumber, sour cream, olives, and spinach, dotted with caviar; $19.50) to the impossibly sweet Cora (Croatian coconut spread, Lithuanian raspberry jam, fresh raspberries; $14).
The couple actually ran a crêpe shop in Chicago when Padleckyte informed Vujadinovic about her mountain-restaurant dreams last fall. “Guess what,” he told her. “We’re going on vacation.” They walked around Vail first, then did the same in Aspen, where, Vujadinovic confesses, he’d wanted to open a restaurant since watching the movie Dumb and Dumber 20 years ago. Vail felt more like home, so they settled their business in Solaris. Long days—they’re open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.—that stretch into night, and early morning, haven’t tempered their enthusiasm.
“I love it here, because I love the mountains,” Padleckyte says. “I can sit here and look at the mountains all day. I feel like I can breathe.”
One day, she may even find time to ski.
141 E Meadow Dr (Solaris),
Vail Village, 970-471-9496