EAT // Summer 2017

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an epicurean experience - s u m m e r 2 0 17 -

TASTES LIKE

SUMMER

what they're serving in Eagle County's best restaurants


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v a i l d a i l y

EDITOR’S LETTER

VAIL DAILY MAGAZINE DIRECTOR Karen Suing | ksuing@vaildaily.com

EDITOR Wren Bova | wren@vaildaily.com

ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Carly Arnold | hello@carlyarnold.com

PHOTO EDITOR Dominique Taylor | taylordmedia@icloud.com

IDEA GUY Mark Bricklin | mbricklin@vaildaily.com

AD DIRECTOR Patrick Connolly | pconnolly@vaildaily.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Kristin Anderson, Charles Townsend Bessent, Katie Coakley, Kim Fuller, Jennifer Geisman, Heather Hower, John LaConte, Ross Leonhart, Traci J. Macnamara, Justin Q. McCarty, Kimberly Nicoletti, Randy Wyrick

ADVERTISING DESIGN TEAM MANAGER Afton Pospíšilová | apospisilova@cmnm.org

ADVERTISING DESIGN TEAM Darin Bliss, Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Jordan Lugibihl, Madelyn LyBarger, Malisa Samsel

ADVERTISING SALES COORDINATOR Chelsea Rosenthal | crosenthal@vaildaily.com

ACCOUNT MANAGERS Paul Abling | pabling@vaildaily.com Carole Bukovich | cbukovich@vaildaily.com Zach DuFresne | zdufresne@vaildaily.com Amanda Picola | apicola@vaildaily.com Chris Pryor | cpryor@vaildaily.com Jennifer Wuebbolt | jwuebbolt@vaildaily.com

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t’s playtime, kids. Each season as we put together EAT, local food trends emerge. I remember the year when everything came up scallops. For a while, cooking sous vide was all the rage. Chicharrones, arugula, farro, halibut — they’ve all had their reign. But for this edition, the only trend seems to be it’s-summer-exclamation-point. Chefs are playing with watermelons and avocados and Colorado “stripers” — playing being the operative word here. So they throw eggs in the smoker, they serve sausages with bao buns, they grill stone fruit and toss into a salad. They’re having fun. We’ve now reached that point in the locavore food movement where we can expect that our dining establishments are using local products whether or not they tell us about it. Local and regional food sources are more and more commonplace, from greenhouses right off the kitchen to farmers and ranchers who personally deliver bushels of produce and whole animals. The nose-totail concept invites enthusiasm and creativity from our chefs. When talking about it, their eyes light up and their words come faster. And it’s contagious. Welcome to EAT. These aren’t reviews, but overviews of many of the valley’s best dining establishments. From Colorado cuisine to Continental classics, we cover a lot. This is no anonymous adventure for the writers and photographers — the restaurant owners and managers ask us to come. We do. We eat. We ask questions, and we write. And on the following pages are the tales we’re telling. Happy EATing, Wren Bova EDITOR

CIRCULATION MANAGER David Hakes | dhakes@vaildaily.com

SWIFT COMMUNICATIONS PRESIDENT Bob Brown | rbrown@swiftcom.com

COLORADO MOUNTAIN NEWS MEDIA GM Jim Morgan | jmorgan@cmnm.org

SWIFT MAGAZINE DIRECTOR Susan Ludlow | sludlow@swiftcom.com

VAIL DAILY PUBLISHER Mark Wurzer | mwurzer@vaildaily.com

COLORADO MOUNTAIN NEWS MEDIA PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Bill Walker | bwalker@cmnm.org •••

The Vail Daily is a wholly owned subsidiary of COLORADO MOUNTAIN NEWS MEDIA 200 Lindbergh Drive | P.O. Box 1500 Gypsum, Colorado 81637 p. 970.328.6333 | f. 970.328.6409 Copyright ©2017 Colorado Mountain News Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

COVER PHOTO BY dominique taylor

At Vin48 in Avon, a glass of rose is a great choice to accompany chickpea ravioli with beet pasta and green curry, and El Regalo Ranch goat tacos. For more info, see page 55.

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PHOTO EDITOR’S LETTER A VISUAL FEAST

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’m not sure if I became a foodie or a photographer first. Mum was a photographer, working in restaurants, and dad was a restaurateur. Either way both passions are firmly entrenched in my DNA. As the photo editor of EAT magazine for several years now, I am still in awe every time the production cycle begins because I have managed to combine two of my greatest passions in life into a career. I get paid to organize, shoot and sometimes even eat some of the best food in the Vail Valley. It’s not an easy job, demanding constant and evolving creativity, flexibility, efficiency and self-control. We get a relatively short window of time at each restaurant to photograph food and drinks, trying to best capture the creator’s vision of each component. Then there are the hours spent in front of the computer editing, often staring at six or more slightly different versions of the same dish, trying to determine which looks the most enticing. My dad likes to say, “People eat with their eyes first.” That puts a lot of responsibility on us, the photographers. Yet each season my small-yet-amazing team of photojournalists and I push ourselves and each other to produce images that will make readers salivate with desire while restaurateurs, chefs and bartenders beam with pride at their creations. The final reward comes when someone tells you they went to a restaurant looking for the dish you shot. This is my job and I love it — bon appétit. Dominique Taylor PHOTO EDITOR

almost…

After narrowing down the cover shoot of 140 images to a more manageable 32, we selected a final three. These are the two that got away. We ultimately wanted the ooze of the filling peaking out, providing visual contrast and a sense of being in the moment. The fork brings a human element to the dish, as someone is about to dig in. What do you think? Which would you have chosen? Email us at eat@vaildaily.com.


LET US STAY WITH YOU.®

Unwind with alluring adventures and experience the magic of the mountains. Delight in bountiful summer celebrations. Indulge in inspiring culinary experiences in our Unwind with alluring adventures and experience the magic of the mountains. stellar collection of dining options. Pamper yourself with a carefully curated menu of treatments at our award-winning spa. ritzcarlton.com/bachelorgulch

Delight in bountiful summer celebrations. Indulge in inspiring culinary experiences in our stellar collection of dining options. Pamper yourself with a carefully curated menu of treatments at our award-winning spa. ritzcarlton.com/bachelorgulch BACHELOR GULCH

©2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. ©

2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.


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11 PHOTO GALLERY Eye-popping dishes that will delight. BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR, KRISTIN ANDERSON & CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

18 THE EAT COMPENDIUM Snapshot views of the county's best restaurants. EAT STAFF

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THE SWEET SPOT

FROM PIEMONTE, CON AMORE

For many, the meal isn't over until a little sugar makes an appearance. BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR, KRISTIN ANDERSON, JUSTIN Q. MCCARTY & JONATHAN HUFFMAN

A love letter to one of Italy's historic wine regions and its people. BY KATIE COAKLEY



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MELANIE WONG Writer You like to grow your own I have quite the herb garden going this summer Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Saffron Go-to summer dinner Cold Vietnamese noodle bowls topped with lemongrass beef and lime-fish sauce Culinary trend you’re digging I love the retro direction craft cocktails have taken — I love me a good boulavardier or sidecar at a prohibition bar or decked-out tiki lounge Best recovery breakfast Eggs Benedict Favorite local picnic spot My rooftop deck

DOMINIQUE TAYLOR KIM FULLER Writer Go-to summer dinner Heirloom tomato and burrata caprese salad Culinary trend you’re digging Edible flowers Tunes for a summer dinner party Rodrigo y Gabriela Best recovery breakfast Huevos rancheros Favorite local picnic spot Maloit Park on the river outside of Minturn Summery adult beverage Reposado tequila on the rocks with a half a lime squeezed

BRENDA HIMELFARB KRISTIN ANDERSON

CONTRIBUTORS

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Photographer You like to grow your own Carrots straight from the garden are amazing! Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Truffles Go-to summer dinner Salmon salad Favorite local picnic spot Top of Cordillera overlooking the valley

Writer You like to hunt your own I hunt peaches and other summer delights at the farmers’ markets Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Caviar Go-to summer dinner Rocky Mountain trout Tunes for a summer dinner party Andra Day Best recovery breakfast Pepto Bismol Favorite local picnic spot Nottingham Lake Summery adult beverage Prosecco, of course

Photo Editor You like to pick your own Herbs Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Duck Go-to summer dinner Grilled lamb chops Tunes for a summer dinner party Acid jazz Best recovery breakfast Leftover roasted potatoes, refried with bacon, eggs and tomatoes Favorite local picnic spot Anywhere along the river Summery adult beverage Paloma with tequila and fresh grapefruit juice

WREN BOVA Editor You like to forage your own Berries Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Champagne all the time Go-to summer dinner Salmon, salmon, salmon Best recovery breakfast Griddled corn tortilla with eggs, avo and pickled jalapeños Favorite local picnic spot Ford Amphitheater lawn, Bravo-time Summery adult beverage A classic G&T with lots of lime

CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT Photographer You like to forage/hunt your own Foraging mushrooms around the Vail Valley is always pleasant. Although I’ll leave the growing things to Mother Nature, I’m a fan of putting meat on the table, and in the freezer Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Matsutake mushrooms Go-to summer dinner A charcoal grill and something real thick and juicy. Oh, a couple grilled veggies for good measure Culinary trend you’re digging I think it’s rad that restaurants are trending towards sourcing food locally, especially in the Vail Valley Tunes for a summer dinner party Anything by Sam Cooke Best recovery breakfast A Boo burrito at the Turntable in Minturn! New owners and a makeover, but still the same Boo Favorite local picnic spot Tuesdays on the grass at the Hot Summer Nights concert series in Vail Summery adult beverage Tecate and beer salt, somewhere on the water. Or bourbon straight out the bottle, somewhere near a campfire


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TRACI MACNAMARA

KATIE COAKLEY

Writer You like to grow your own Garden greens Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Truffles Culinary trend you’re digging Black cocktails Tunes for a summer dinner party HIPSTER BBQ channel on Pandora Best recovery breakfast Anything with corned beef hash Favorite local picnic spot Bravo! Vail lawn Summery adult beverage Moscow mule

Writer You like to grow your own Tomatoes Go-to summer dinner Grill-you-can-eat (everything cooked on the grill) Culinary trend you’re digging Artichokes Tunes for a summer dinner party Motown, or best of the early ‘90s Favorite local picnic spot Piney Lake Summery adult beverage The Summer Bouquet at Bol

MADELYN LYBARGER

CONTRIBUTORS

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Designer Go-to summer dinner Caprese salad Tunes for a summer dinner party Bob Marley Best recovery breakfast Spinach Benedict from Bob’s Place Favorite local picnic spot Anywhere along a trail or river Summery adult beverage Prosecco and grapefruit juice

JENNIFER GEISMAN Writer You like to pick your own Anything grilled. My favorite I-didn’t-have-time-to-cook dinner is gathering up all the vegetables we have, placing them in tinfoil tents with a sprinkling of salt and pepper to steam on the high rack on my grill. The heat is just enough to steam the vegetables to the perfect soft-crunchy combo and can easily be done while chicken breasts or salmon cook on the main grill rack Culinary trend you’re digging Avocado on everything! Tunes for a summer dinner party Right now the favorite Pandora station in our house is Chris Stapleton — it’s a great mixture of country, bluegrass and Southern Rock Best recovery breakfast Kale, almond milk and a banana in the Nutribullet Favorite local picnic spot People watching on a bench at Gondola One Summery adult beverage Sangria, of course!

CARLY ARNOLD Art Director You like to grow your own Basil Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with Truffles Go-to summer dinner Anything I can throw on the grill Culinary trend you’re digging Street food-inspired dishes Tunes for a summer dinner party Glass Animals Best recovery breakfast Biscuits & gravy or a Bloody Mary — both spicy! Favorite local picnic spot Nottingham Lake Summery adult beverage House Margarita at Boxcar

LAUREN GLENDENNING Writer You like to pick/catch your own I love going for u-pick-em peaches in Palisade, or catching fresh yellowtail snapper with my grandmother in the Florida Keys Luxury ingredient you wish you could afford to play around with White truffles Go-to summer dinner Blackened fish with fresh lime and yellow rice Culinary trend you’re digging The use of the whole animal Tunes for a summer dinner party Anything Chris Cornell Best recovery breakfast Over-easy eggs on toast with cheese Favorite local picnic spot The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Summery adult beverage Aperol Spritz



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The Rose in Edwards gets playful with the Watermelon Bird's Nest — compressed watermelon "eggs," crispy fried leek, potato strings and corn husks "nest," goat cheese, mint oil and harissa honey. PHOTO BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR


The grilled asparagus with crispy Serrano ham at Pendulum in Vail Village is adorned with freshly grated smoke-cured duck egg yolk. PHOTO BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR


At Harvest in Edwards, snapper ceviche tumbles out from crisp sweet potato chips.

PHOTO BY KRISTIN ANDERSON


At Matsuhisa Vail, the shave ice dessert is drizzled with seasonal syrups at the table.

PHOTOS BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR


Terra Bistro's spin on an Old Fashioned starts with a base of Leopold Bros. Colorado whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and Cointreau, aged in an oak barrel. PHOTO BY CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT


Fried ice cream in a crispy taco shell is a mix of flavors, textures and temperatures at Los Amigos in Vail Village.

PHOTO BY CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT


Lomo Saltado at Mixtura in Edwards includes beef tenderloin with yellowpotato fries, rice and the restaurant's signature aji amarillo.

PHOTO BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR


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EAT HERE NOW EAGLEVAIL 20 Hush Cannabis & Confections

EAGLE 21 Frost Creek

EDWARDS 22 Sato Sushi Bar & Restaurant 23 The Rose 24 Cafe 163 25 Vista at Arrowhead 26 Mixtura 27 Harvest 28 Gore Range Brewery

MINTURN 29 Minturn Country Club

VAIL 30 Almresi Restaurant 31 Matsuhisa Vail 32 Blue Moose Pizza 33 Vail Ale House 34 La Tour 35 Flame at the Four Seasons 36 Los Amigos 37 Pendulum 38 Yama Sushi 39 Pepi’s Bar and Restaurant 40 Elway’s Vail 41 Bōl 42 Cucina Rustica 43 The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons 44 Russell’s

45 Bistro Fourteen 46 Game Creek Restaurant 47 Ludwig’s at Sonnenalp Hotel 48 The Fitz Bar & Restaurant 49 The 10th 50 Terra Bistro 51 Grill on the Gore 52 Tavern on the Square 53 White Bison 54 Vintage 59 Green Elephant Juicery

AVON 55 Vin48 56 Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequilaría 57 Boxcar Restaurant & Bar 58 Fiesta Jalisco 59 Green Elephant Juicery

BEAVER CREEK 32 Blue Moose Pizza 60 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill 61 Revolution 62 Hooked 63 Toscanini Ristorante 64 Bachelors Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch 65 WYLD at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch 66 Anderson’s Cabin at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch 67 Buffalos at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch 68 Daniel’s Bar & Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch 69 Splendido at The Chateau 70 Black Diamond Bistro 71 Mirabelle


B E AV E R C R E E K V I L L A G E An intimate alpine village Like no other

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Retail shops and spas

Restaurants

7 Galleries

Enjoy this Summer in Beaver Creek Village Beaver Creek Village is an alpine village experience like no other, where opportunities abound. After your day exploring the mountains, come by to enjoy our Village and visit the many boutiques, galleries and restaurants that await you. We welcome guests from around the world and look forward to showing you why we make this place our home. Beaver Creek Merchants Association


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HUSH CANNABIS & CONFECTIONS 40833 HIGHWAY 6 | EAGLEVAIL | 970.331.1671 | HUSHCANNABIS.COM

by KATIE COAKLEY photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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here’s a new luxury product on the market for those who choose to partake in the cannabis culture. Combining gourmet chocolate with ultra-refined cannabis extract, Hush Cannabis & Confections is going to take your high and elevate it. “There are a lot of products that will get you high, but if it didn’t, would you still eat it?” asks Brandon Thompson, member at Hush. “For a lot of people, it’s no.” Hush, which is located in EagleVail, will open in late summer, offering connoisseurs and newcomers a chance to find something that not only will produce the desired buzz, but also will taste spectacular. Owner Jason Griffis moved to Vail four years ago; creating Hush has been a labor of love for more than two years. However, his hard work is about to pay off. Working with Christopher Elbow, an artisan chocolatier known for his creative and unique designs, Griffis, Thompson and director of operations Blake Gammon are creating a product that not only looks beautiful, but will change the answer to the above question: This is chocolate that you most definitely would eat, no cannabis needed. This is Elbow’s first foray into the world of cannabis, Thompson says, but his partnership is certainly a

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PRICE

$28-$30 for a six-piece box of chocolate •••

AMBIANCE

Shops across the state/ Elegant retail storefront •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Luxury chocolate infused with marijuana

coup. Elbow has been lauded by FOOD & WINE and Oprah and has participated in collaborations with luxury brands like Lamborghini. “Really it’s the first time that someone of his caliber has come into this world,” Thompson says. “It’s kind of an exciting prospect, that he’ll bring that level of craftsmanship and ingredients and artistry to a product that many people in this industry are looking for.” The result of this collaboration is an experience that’s not been seen in dispensaries thus far. Begin with the package: a dark gray, long, slim rectangle, tastefully branded with Hush’s signature gold lips, the box looks like something in which you would receive jewelry. Open it up and six miniature mountains, impeccably presented, are nestled in their individual

wells. The mountains are colored, according to their flavor, with white speckles suggesting snow on the peaks. Sampling un-medicated versions, each bite evoked an involuntary closing of the eyes, simply to savor the rich chocolate and decadent filling. There might have been a slight moan of delight. Hush has created something that you would most definitely eat, even if it didn’t get you high. Hush will be selling five flavors of chocolate: coffee, salted caramel, raspberry, citrus and vanilla bean, with either 5 or 10 milligrams of marijuana infused. This shop is for patrons 21 years old and older —

all products contain cannabis. While Hush will open with the mountain-shaped caramels, the group has plans to expand their offerings. “After all, these are Christopher Elbow chocolates,” Thompson says. “These are his recipes. If you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy this. And if it’s not a bridge that you’re ready to cross yet, you can still appreciate what he’s done.” • At Hush, chocolates come six to a box in a variety of flavors: coffee, salted caramel, raspberry, citrus and vanilla bean. left The chocolates are injected with ultra-refined cannabis extract. above


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FROST CREEK by KATIE COAKLEY photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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here’s treasure hiding in Eagle. Located down Brush Creek Road, there are swaths of emerald, fields of citrine and ovals of deep sapphire. Frost Creek, a private mountain club that includes 1,100 sprawling acres, three ponds and an award-winning golf course, is a gem of a club. And while its activities and amenities are reserved for members, there is one jewel that is ripe for the picking and open to the public: the Frost Creek Restaurant. Take a seat on the expansive patio and

1094 FROST CREEK DRIVE | EAGLE | 970.328.2326 | FROSTCREEK.COM

simply soak in the view for a moment. From this vantage point, you can see for miles down the valley, culminating in the snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide. But tear your eyes away for long enough to peruse the menu. Helmed by Marc Copenhaver, the restaurant at Frost Creek offers classic club fare complemented by fresh and fun new options. “This place is the inspiration for the food,” Chef Copenhaver says. “I didn’t come here with a menu in hand. I stepped out onto the patio and started being inspired. It all comes from this place. I like to think that our food brings a sense of place to the plate, and that’s what we do.”

For example, in addition to a traditional Caesar salad guests will find a grilled shrimp salad that is the very embodiment of a summer day. With the crustaceans perfectly grilled and fanned over a mound of Bibb lettuce, avocado and grapefruit, it’s a composition of heat and coolness, citrus and creamy goodness that satisfies in an almost indescribable way. For a taste of the Masters melded with a Colorado sensibility, try the “Palmetto” sandwich, which pairs housemade pimento cheese with applewood smoked ham and green tomato chutney on grilled sourdough bread. The pimento cheese is rich, but the green tomato chutney helps cut through the decadence; the ham is a perfect smoky addition to the classic spread. SEASONAL INSPIRATION Copenhaver’s menu is seasonally focused, which means that you’ll see new options when you visit at different times of the year. “Changes in the menu will be initiated by changes in the season, and not the other way around,” he explains. “We’ll never change the menu until products are in our hands.” As a result, each visit to Frost Creek could present a new dish to try, perhaps incorporating Olathe corn or peaches from Palisade. It’s the perfect excuse to return again and again. Come for lunch after a leisurely bike ride from Eagle, or head over for brunch on Sunday. Or, for an experience that changes weekly, try dinner. No matter when you choose to visit,

PRICE

Brunch: $6 - $18; Lunch: $6 - $16; Dinner: $9 - $32 •••

AMBIANCE

Laid back and friendly; active-wear welcome •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Crispy beer-battered fish tacos or grilled Colorado Angus strip steak pita •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Without a doubt

you’re going to walk away convinced that you’ve found gold. Frost Creek’s restaurant is open to the public on Wednesday through Saturday for lunch from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 6 – 9 p.m. and for brunch on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • top left

A trio of Frost Creek signature

cocktails. top right Fresh Blue Crab Crunch Salad with pickled celery and house-made Green Goddess dressing. left The view from Frost Creek is stunning.

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SATO

SUSHI BAR & RESTAURANT 0105 EDWARDS VILLAGE BLVD. SUITE E 101, EDWARDS CENTER SATOSUSHIEDWARDS.COM 970.926.7684

by JENNIFER GEISMAN photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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pon entering Sato, patrons are warmly greeted by the restaurant’s inviting staff, which gives this locals’ sushi joint the unique combination of sophisticated cuisine, but without all the drama. Using classic Asian techniques fused with an imaginative, modern flair, Sato’s chefs award customers with the freshest ingredients and a menu that has something for every palate. Whether it’s a date night before the movies or a fun lunch with your girlfriends, Sato offers cult-favorites that bring back repeat customers meal after meal. The locals swear by the spicy tuna

EDWARDS

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sashimi salad, which is presented like a piece of art and delivers flavor with each bite. Customers also favor the spicy garlic edamame with sambal sauce, the Dynamite Shrimp with petit carrot ginger salad and the crispy Brussels sprouts with Granny Smith apples, all of which fill your mouth with a combination of

fragrances that inspire headiness. Once you’ve opened the mouthwatering floodgates, Sato’s entrees are the natural next step to your meal. Sato’s signature Duck Confit and Forbidden Truffle Risotto, featuring a ginger-thyme demi-glace, cherry syrup and chive oil, and the salmon, crusted with pine nuts and sauced with a smooth, supple Saikyo beurre blanc, create a one-of-a-kind experience that you will want to duplicate every time you go. If you are enjoying a meal with friends, you can’t go wrong with sharing the spicy pad Thai, which highlights the flavoring of chicken, egg, onion, peanuts, cilantro and a little kick to wake up your taste buds. Finish your meal with one of Sato’s intricate sushi rolls that consistently top patrons’ lists: the Hawaii Five-O Sixteen, combining yellowtail, watercress, macadamia nut, Negi, tsuma, and asparagus; the Eagle Roll, featuring sesameseared tuna, tempura asparagus, Yama gobo, avocado, serrano, shiso, black tobiko and spicy poke dressing; and the Summer in Vail Roll, which is a cucumber-wrapped roll with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, black tobiko, avocado, shiso, tsuma and ponzu. Need to take a load off at the end of the day? Enjoy Sato’s daily Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which includes a menu of drinks and sushi ranging from traditional yellowtail Hamachi and spicy tuna roll to the Caterpillar and Sato rolls. Open until

PRICE

Appetizers: $4-$24; Entrées: $22-$34; Sushi rolls start at $10 •••

AMBIANCE

Sushi bar and restaurant •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Spicy tuna sashimi salad

10 p.m., the restaurant also serves a superior nightcap: chilled sake for two. And the white chocolate bread pudding with white chocolate sauce and milk chocolate shavings will be devoured in seconds. For more traditional Japanese desserts, try the green tea ice cream with cinnamon wonton or the trio of mochi ice cream (green tea, mango and red bean). • The Phoenix Roll, featuring an Albacore mix with spicy mayo, habanero masago and negi along with red and yellow bell pepper, watercress, avocado and shrimp tempura. left Wasabi-pea-crusted halibut, kabocha squash, wild rice and lemon saikyo miso. above


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THE ROSE by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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our years ago, The Rose opened in Edwards and set roots firmly in the hearts and stomachs of patrons in the Vail Valley. Known for utilizing fresh, local produce as well as crafting dangerously delicious cocktails, The Rose bloomed in its

97 MAIN STREET | RIVERWALK EDWARDS 970.855.0141 | THEROSEEDWARDS.COM

PRICE

Lunch: $5-$24 Dinner: $5-$25 cozy spot in the Riverwalk. It thrived. However, just as with anything that grows, The Rose needed to spread its canes. This summer, The Rose is blooming, spreading its petals but retaining the glow of goodness that emanated from its first bud. When it opens, The Rose will double in size but will retain the original exposed brick and arches that have enchanted patrons. Now, seating at this originally

small space has doubled, ensuring that fans and newbies alike will have plenty of room to sit, congregate and enjoy. Many of the renovations will not be seen, but experienced. Owner Bryan Redniss waxed poetic about walk-in coolers and new cooking equipment that will allow them to execute new and classic Rose dishes. “We have fridge space!” he wrote in an email. “That is huge in terms of not running out of food and having to run to Vail to restock from our prep kitchen.” The Rose is a sister restaurant to the Alpenrose in Vail, but it quickly gained a distinct vibe and loyal following. The menu has always been focused on global cuisine, featuring a Vietnamese banh mi next to a fried chicken sandwich and street tacos. Redniss assured us that the menu will continue to be inspired by delicious dishes from around the world, utilizing fresh, local and organic ingredients, like veggies and micro greens from nearby The Farm at Knapp Ranch in Lake Creek. Look for new collaborations with local purveyors such as Hovey & Harrison, located at Edwards Corner. Redniss tempted us with descriptions of a lunchtime Cubano that presents a nose-to-tail approach for the succulent pork, cooking the bread with the pork fat from the braised shoulder used in the sammy. And while there will be some new proteins introduced, the menu will remain robustly veggie and seasonally influenced. “Our new menu will be changing often this summer as we go by the ingredients we can get locally from the farmers, which changes weekly,”

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AMBIANCE

Cozy and cool, like eating dinner in an Anthropologie store •••

SIGNATURE DISH

The Rose Salad with lemon vinaigrette; banh mi •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Yes: the dessert case is patterned with the noseprints of small children

Redniss says. “The fresher the better. We will always have our classic dishes and cocktails on there, some with a seasonal twist, but for the most part we will just be trying to put out good, honest, healthy, fresh food and drinks that we think are delicious and want to share with our customers and friends. It does not suck in the summer.” • top left The House Zombie, left, with three rums, falernum, pastis, grenadine and bitters, and Beet Lemonade, right, with beet-infused gin, chili syrup and lemonade and a selection of fresh macaroons. top right Yellow tail crudo with scallion purée, citrus oil, micro cilantro, puffed rice, grapefruit and cucumber juices. left Pickled shrimp salad. page 11 Watermelon Bird's Nest with watermelon, fried leeks and goat cheese.


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CAFE 163 by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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ou can tell a great restaurant by how they do the essentials: perfectly poached eggs, expertly grilled chicken, a well-composed Bloody Mary. At Cafe 163, the classics are not only done well, but the menu is the perfect combination of breakfast all day (a category that’s lacking in the valley) and satisfying lunch fare. Visit on any day of the week and you’ll find the tables filled with a mix of locals and in-the-know visitors; the bar plays host to those having their “usual.” But don’t be fooled into thinking that this bustling space is just another cafe. "At Cafe 163 it is about more than the food, which is delicious by the way, but about the environment," says Kim Risi, coowner of Cafe 163. "We are the friendly neighborhood cafe you can depend on for great food, excellent service and the casual run-in with your neighbors."

105 EDWARDS VILLAGE BLVD. #D101 | EDWARDS 970.926.1163 | CAFE163.COM

Start on the breakfast side and you’ll find a variety of options that should appeal to almost any hankering. While there are options for those with a sweet tooth, the highlights are on the savory side. From generously stuffed omelets to a clean-your-plate tasty huevos rancheros to enough versions of Eggs Benedict to convert a traitor, Cafe 163’s options will keep you satisfied until well into the afternoon. Pay special attention to the sauces that garnish the dishes: all are made in-house. While there are drink specials daily (with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options), peruse the signature Bloody Mary menu for an excellent start to the day. With five different varieties to choose, including a Bloody Maria made with tequila, there’s sure to be one that will suit your palate. The Pepper Bloody, with Absolut Peppar, fresh muddled jalapeño and pepper bacon, is the ultimate blend of spicy and savory. For a slightly different twist on spice, try the Habanero Bloody,

with house-infused habanero, garlic and basil vodka. It’s like a caprese salad in a glass. If there’s a Bloody Mary special written in colorful chalk on the menu board, don’t hesitate in ordering.

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LUNCH OPTIONS The menu encompasses fish and fowl alike, focusing on deli favorites. Love a Reuben? Cafe I63’s Reuben is everything you want: toasted rye, expertly seasoned corned beef, tangy sauerkraut and enough creamy 1,000 Island dressing to tie it all together. The cheesesteak is straightforward: There’s no sense in messing with a classic. The gyro is a particular favorite: The pita is filled to the brim: Use a fork to compose the perfect bite of lamb, tzatziki and crispy lettuce, as it will be less messy than trying to create it freehand. While there are some changes in the wind — word of a renovation and perhaps some additions and twists to the menu have been bandied about — the staff and owners are keeping mum. However, change doesn’t have to be worrying: We have it on good authority that the mellow atmosphere, the friendly staff and the classic dishes that have made Cafe 163 a staple for so many in the Vail Valley will remain. •

PRICE

Breakfast menu: $8 - $13; Regular menu: $4 - $12.50 •••

AMBIANCE

Bustling and cheerful. In hurry? Grab a seat at the bar •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

Huevos rancheros for breakfast, the 163 Gyro for lunch •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Absolutely

Eggs Benedict with avocado, spinach, tomato and asparagus and the Cafe 163 Bloody Mary. left Kale salad with baby kale, tomatoes, carrots, cranberries, sunflower seeds, ginger sesame vinaigrette and grilled chicken. above


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•••

AMBIANCE

Mountain casual with a world-class patio •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Compose your new favorite •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Absolutely

VISTA AT ARROWHEAD by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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n a beautiful summer day, the only choice for dining is al fresco. For one of the most spectacular patios around, head to Vista at Arrowhead. This beloved restaurant has been wining and dining guests for more than 15 years and, with co-owner Daryl DeYoung at the helm, the atmosphere is more exuberant than ever. Take a seat and enjoy the musical stylings of the valley’s favorite piano man, Micky Pogue. Order a cocktail (maybe a signature margarita?), peruse the menu and start the almost onerous task of deciding on dinner: There are too many good things to choose from. CHEF’S CHOICE Vista’s menu is seasonally inspired with a Colorado focus. Plates are beautifully composed, with individual elements working together in perfect harmony. Take the burrata panzanella: jewellike heirloom tomatoes are delicately dressed and perched on a foundation of homemade croutons. A bundle of burrata crowns this dish, lending a creamy lightness to what is surely one of summer’s most perfect bites. It’s when perusing the main courses that Vista really shows its brilliance. The left-hand side lists Chef’s Composed Entrees, a selection that includes grilled organic Shetland Isle salmon, pan seared Alaskan halibut and Harris Ranch braised short ribs. Life is short: order

the short ribs. These fall-off-the-bone succulent ribs are paired with white cheddar grits and Swiss chard with bacon and onions and mushrooms. It’s a hearty, soul-warming dish that will have you sneaking “one more bite” even after your stomach claims it’s full. TAKE THE REINS But the right side contains the “Customer Composed Entrees.” Like a tasty version of Choose Your Own Adventure, guests pick their protein then pair it with a homemade sauce like nut-less basil pesto, lemon picatta or soy-ginger butter. Add the sides that you like and boom — exactly what you’re craving, delivered with a smile. DeYoung explains that, instead of creating dishes and having people change them up due to dietary restrictions or preferences, he and Executive Chef David Collins decided to try this version, which is not only fun for guests, but also allows the kitchen to work more efficiently. “Of course, we still wanted to have dishes that we’ve put together, but this gives guests the opportunity to choose exactly what they want,” DeYoung says. It also means that if a favorite dish has disappeared from the left hand side, the guest can still create it. Case in point: the Rocky Mountain Trout Picatta was a huge hit in the winter. It’s not on the composed side this summer, but DeYoung said that many people still come in and create their own. Even the dessert menu allows for choice: either order your own vanilla maltshake with cinnamon doughnuts

676 SAWATCH DRIVE | ARROWHEAD | EDWARDS 970.926.2111 | VISTA-ARROWHEAD.COM

or frozen chocolate mousse (both excellent ideas), or choose the dessert sampler, which allows for several bites of each dessert listed. For those who hate to commit, it’s the perfect option. Vista is all about choices, letting the guests take the reins and create their own perfect experience. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is there to assist,

but it’s a remarkably empowering — and ultimately delectable — experience. • Burrata panzanella with fresh tomatoes, Italian olives, fresh basil and toasted bread. below Pan-seared Alaskan halibut, lemon risotto, sauteed spring vegetables and mango salsa. above

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First courses: $8-$18; Entrees: $23-$33; Sides: $5

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MIXTURA 34500 U.S. HIGHWAY 6, B1 EDWARDS | 970.569.2440 MIXTURA-RESTAURANT.COM

by TRACI J. MACNAMARA photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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arm weather invites exploration, and Mixtura — the new Peruvian fusion restaurant in Edwards — gives you one great reason this summer to get out on a culinary adventure. Here, you’ll discover a whole array of new flavors not found elsewhere in the Vail area, and you’ll walk away with renewed respect for the patience that goes into preparing top-notch cultural cuisine. Mixtura takes its name from Mistura, Latin America’s largest food festival that happens annually in Lima, Peru, and this restaurant embraces the festival’s focus in showcasing regional Peruvian specialties. But Mixtura also mixes it up with a wide variety of menu options that range from classic Peruvian plates to those that have European, Asian and African influences.

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In a family-friendly setting that has both restaurant and bar seating, begin your beverage exploration with the classic pisco sour, a simple but beautiful cocktail that puts pisco, a South American brandy, to its best use. On a warm summer evening, the cool

frothiness of this drink that also includes lime juice, simple syrup and egg white will have you singing the praises of Peru’s best-known drink. While Mixtura has 12 different pisco cocktails on its menu, other refreshing non-alcoholic beverages include the fruity chicha morada and Inca Kola, a soft drink that’s more popular than Coca Cola in Peru. For a flavorful starter, choose the easy-to-share Peruvian Anticuchos. These skewers of beef, chicken and shrimp have been marinated to perfection and come with a tangy huancaina sauce for dipping. Mixtura’s ceviche is also standout and can be shared as an appetizer or enjoyed as an entrée. Owner and chef Jonathan Rojas takes pride in the preparation of his ceviche, and it shows. “It takes time and patience to get the flavor just right,” he says of the ceviche and of other marinades he creates to make Mixtura’s meat plates burst with flavor. With days spent marinating, the fullflavor Lomo Saltado is a highlight among Mixtura’s entrées. In this dish, which could be likened to the Peruvian-stir-fry version of steak frites, thinly sliced strips of marinated beef tenderloin are combined with onions, tomatoes and aji amarillo, derived from Peruvian yellow peppers. Try it: The crispy French fries served on the side taste even better when dunked into the juices that spread across the plate. “The best way to share a culture is to share its food,” says Rojas, who was born in Lima. “We opened our restaurant here so that others can get a taste of Peruvian food and culture

PRICE

Apps: $4-15; Entrées: $15-$25 •••

AMBIANCE

exciting Peruvian fusion cuisine in a casual setting •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Ceviche and Lomo Saltado •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Yes

that can’t be found elsewhere in Vail.” Celebrate the beauty of Peruvian fusion from cocktails to dessert with the sweet ending you’ll find in Mixtura’s chocolate quinoa cake and lucuma mousse. A taste of this smooth and creamy classic that’s served in a glass and topped with homemade mint caviar will have you coming back for more. • Cholo Power Marino with ceviche, Peruvian-style fried fish, seafood paella and fried yucca. left Milucuma with Lucuma Mousse, quinoa chocolate cake, mint caviar alongside a Machu Picchu cocktail. page 17 Lomo Saltado. above


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•••

AMBIANCE

Comfortably modern with a relaxed family style. The open-air terrace has breathtaking views of the mountains and golf course •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Boulder Natural chicken breast with homemade gnocchi, wild mushrooms, fava beans and thyme jus •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Definitely

HARVEST by HEATHER HOWER photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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ou can’t be everything to everyone, as the saying goes. However, Harvest in Singletree is disproving that theory with its robust menu, hearty enough for hungry golfers and expansive for discerning palates. This wasn’t by mistake. Sarah John, events and programming manager, explains that it was challenging to create a menu that fits the bill for club fare and a classic menu that tempts diners — but Chef Rosa Provoste has created “amazing, beautiful dishes” that perfectly fit that bill. Provoste got her start early, creating stunning meals in Chile: She cooked with her mother from a young age. She furthered her education with a specialty in the culinary arts; add in a healthy dose of travel and it’s easy to see her passion and inspiration in her creations. “My mother’s homemade cooking, the time and care that she put on the products (is my inspiration). I'm also always inspired from the place where I live, the culture and the people,” Chef Rosa shares. Start your culinary tour off right with

1265 BERRY CREEK ROAD | EDWARDS 970.477.5353 | SONNENALPCLUB.COM

a view — get a patio table where you can see the lush green runs at Arrowhead and watch the swimmers in the lengthy pool, then sip the Saint 75, a Harvest twist on the classic French 75 with CapRock gin, St. Germain elderflower liquor, lemon lavender simple syrup and prosecco. Executive Chef Rosa’s gazpacho is summer in a cup. Move on to the watermelon and speck salad, which is big enough to be shared so as not to fill up before the main course arrives. Watermelon cubes highlight the frisee salad with touches of goat cheese and speck for a salty accompaniment. The snapper ceviche is brilliant. Large, meaty bites of snapper, doused in yellow leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) with serrano peppers for a hint of heat and cilantro for brightness — incredible, unusual and a must. It’s one of those plates that is “full of life,” as John says with her signature smile. “I absolutely love to work with seafood, so ceviche and seafood stew are some of my favorites,” Chef Rosa says. It’s obvious in the beauty of the plate. “However I also love a good classic sandwich, a good brined chicken breast. Our burger is fantastic and everybody loves the cold gazpacho soup just as I do...”

The next big decision: the entrée. Choices include pan-seared salmon with brown rice and earthy mushroom broth; a Boulder Natural chicken breast with homemade out-of-thisworld gnocchi, fava beans and thyme jus; cioppino with a local twist — Colorado striped bass. The options are creative yet comfortable. And, of course, the burger is perfect after a round of golf or between dips in the pool. For those who want to lounge poolside and eat their burger too — Harvest offers a robust poolside BBQ menu daily. Harvest welcomes nonmembers right along with its members, creating a convivial atmosphere. Pool parties for 8 year olds can go off while a bride is feted on the patio. And, not to leave out the most important meal of the day, Harvest has a simple selection of breakfasts, either to grab and go on the way to work; or to lure the freelancer in who

will sip a frothy latte while enjoying a moment of quiet in a busy day. From morning until night, Harvest’s eloquent menu offers a variety of options, unique twists, interesting spins and classic meals well worthy of a mid-valley escape. • top Boulder Natural chicken breast, left, and Cioppino dishes. above Traditional Spanish gazpacho made with fresh tomatoes, basil oil and garlic croutons. page 13 Snapper ceviche.

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Starters $6-$15; Mains $17-$30

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GORE RANGE BREWERY by TRACI J. MACNAMARA photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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ummertime’s the best time for outdoor dining, and the open-air patio at Gore Range Brewery makes an inspired setting for sipping microbrews, socializing with friends, and taking in the beauty of the summer season. With colorful flowers spilling out of planters and birds chirping in the trees, wind down here after an adventure-filled day with food and drink that’s consistently delicious. If you’re new to Gore Range Brewery, start out with a flight of artisanal beers to get a taste for what this place is at its heart and center: a craft brewery with a high-quality food selection that’s varied enough to please everyone in your

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party. In warm weather, the Great Sex Honey Lager and the Orange Summer Wheat beers go down especially well, as do summery signature cocktails such as the strawberry jalapeño margarita and the Kentucky citrus mule. Good to know: Gore Range Brewery creates all of its infusions in house, from its strawberry-jalapeño tequila to its orange-vanilla bourbon to its renowned pickle vodka, and all of its own beers are 95 percent glutenreduced through a natural process. Creative twists on traditional bar appetizers in addition to upscale starters serve well as snacks and small plates for sharing. Beer drinkers will love pairing their favorite hoppy beverage with Gore Range’s tangy fried pickles or its dense, doughy homemade pretzel sticks that come with beer cheese sauce and spicy

0105 EDWARDS VILLAGE BLVD | EDWARDS 970.926.BREW (2739) | GORERANGEBREWERY.COM

mustard for dipping. The caramelized onion tart goes beyond normal pub fare in this sweet and savory small plate that piles blue cheese, honeycoated caramelized onions, arugula and walnuts on a puff-pastry crust.

PRICE

Apps: $6-17; Entrées: $13-$26 •••

THE BIG IDEA: SMALL, SIMPLE AND SPECIAL “We keep things simple on our menu with classic recipes done correctly and consistently well,” says Pascal Coudouy, Gore Range Brewery’s owner and executive chef. “And our daily specials give us the chance to showcase what’s fresh and seasonal for small-quantity, high-quality plates.” While the BBQ Spice Rubbed Brisket Dip is much loved among Gore Range’s menu staples, be on the lookout for exciting additions to the daily specials menu, from fresh mussels to poutine, the beerperfect Canadian snack plate that includes French fries, gravy and cheddar cheese curds. Among Gore Range’s entrées, the sautéed trout is a smooth summer choice that’s light and citrusy, drizzled with a lemon caper sauce and plated alongside smashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. Bonus features? Everything on Gore Range Brewery’s menu is offered at an affordable price point, which is well appreciated by loyal local customers and visitors alike who return for high quality food and drink, time and time again. Plus, the glutenfree menu here is amazing and features items not found

AMBIANCE

Casual brewpub with buzzing summer patio scene •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

BBQ Spice Rubbed Brisket Dip •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, with wide family booth seating available

elsewhere, including fish and chips. Finally, close out your summer evening at Gore Range Brewery with a light dessert option, such as the Toblerone mousse, a whippedup concoction that’s reminiscent of the beloved Swiss chocolate with its combination of airy chocolate mousse, honey and a nutty crunch. • Strawberry-jalapeño margarita, Kentucky Mule and a flight of beer on the patio. top right Smoked salmon pizza with chive cream cheese, capers, tomato and red onion. left Caramelized onion tart with honey, bleu cheese, arugula and walnuts next to fried pickles. top left


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by HEATHER HOWER photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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ot many restaurants produce a sense of wonderment that the Minturn Country Club does. It’s hard to tell who has a better time: the children whose eyes light up in awe of the magic created by TJ Ricci or the hungry diners who leave with a bevy of new friends and a few grill tips. The Minturn Country Club is like an old friend — where new restaurants pop up with the latest gimmick or fad, the Country Club sticks with what is tried and true: satisfying meals that diners grill themselves. Settle into a deep booth, get a glass of wine and head to the salad bar. Next step: select the steak, chicken, fish or shrimp that will please your palate. Make your way to the oversized grill — this is where the fun starts. Seriously. Sidle up to the couple who has been coming regularly for years and knows their way around — grilling thick slices of butter-coated Texas toast while flipping the steak, adding a bit of seasoning salt before sauntering away, pleased with their technique. Copy it! Others are new to the process and need the helpful tips provided by the local waitstaff (oil the fish, use the spatula instead of the tongs, the hottest part of the grill is the center). The bacon-wrapped filet is a steal and divine. Each night there is a special, ensuring the Minturn Country Club has some of the best deals on a steak dinner in town.

The list of sides, purchased a la carte, is extensive and fits the steakhouse vibe. Sure, the baked potato is always a safe bet to go alongside a 16-ounce New York prime strip steak, but the decadent twice-baked potato oozes creamy goodness. Other options include onion rings, French fries, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato fries, or sweet Colorado corn when it’s in season. Joe Honnessy and Tom Ricci are the owners but TJ, Tom’s son, is the man behind the magic — literally. He’s been part of the Minturn Country Club since its inception 37 years ago. And although he’s quick to say not much has changed over the years — after all, when you have a recipe for success, why change it up — he started bringing magic to the meals about a decade ago. Sleight of hand, trick of fate, it doesn’t matter because TJ might be performing for the kids but it’s the parents and grandparents who seem truly shocked by the disappearing pen and reappearing playing cards — somehow launched into the ceiling. While the tricks seem really cool, Ricci thinks the real magic is how many local kids have worked their way through high school, college and beyond thanks to MCC. “We have an all-local staff,” Ricci shares with pride. They come back year after year and add to the atmosphere with their local knowledge and low-key ways.

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131 MAIN STREET | MINTURN 970.827.4114 | MINTURNCOUNTRYCLUB.COM

MINTURN

MINTURN COUNTRY CLUB

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PRICE

Appetizers $7-$15; mains $17-$45 •••

AMBIANCE

Fun and festive steakhouse with lots of action •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Bone-in rib-eye, U.S.D.A. prime N.Y. strip, filet mignon, yellowfin tuna and more •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Magic tricks and shuffleboard!

If you’ve been lucky enough to have TJ perform a few tricks at your table, sit back just a bit longer to be wowed by the Minturn Tator — you won’t find this feat of delectable engineering anywhere else. Ice cream, shaped like a potato, infused with chocolate sauce, rolled in cocoa powder — so it looks like a real potato — then explodes with roasted almonds and whipped cream. All in all, a visit to the Minturn Country Club is a mix of the “good ole days,” with a touch of nostalgia and more than enough joy for tomorrow. •

top Select what you'd like to grill from the Butcher Shop case. above Join other diners at the grill where there are plenty of seasoning options. left TJ Ricci doesn't just tend bar; he performs table-side magic tricks, too.

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ALMRESI RESTAURANT

by JOHN LACONTE photos courtesy ALMRESI RESTAURANT

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t’s as though Vail’s new Almresi restaurant was plucked from the Black Forest in Germany and set down gently in Seibert circle atop of Bridge Street at what is precisely and popularly known as “the old Tap Room location”. It's owned and operated by the Thoma family. Seasoned restaurateurs, they have been constantly surprised in their first year of operating Almresi, a new Alpine-style restaurant at the top of Bridge Street. One of their first surprises was the warm welcome they received from the other restaurateurs in Vail.

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“They were so supportive,” says Diana Thoma. “The people are so friendly and so helpful, even telling their guests to try our restaurant. Another big surprise was how much of their business was sustained by locals —many can be called “regulars,” already. The biggest surprise, though, came when the guests started trying to buy the plates off the tables. “We never thought about selling these things, but people told us ‘you have to,’” says Alyssa Thoma. “They want to have our plates, wooden boards, even the napkins. I sold so many wine glasses and fondue dishes. The best seller was a shot glass of a hiking boot for schnapps. They bought hundreds of these.”

333 BRIDGE ST. | 970.470.4174 | ALMRESI-VAIL.COM

ALPINE CHARM Now reopening for summer, the menu will be lighter, with more authentic items from the old country that winter guests must try. While Gluehwein, a traditionally spicy hot wine, is popular in the winter, for the summer they will serve “Gluehwein on the Rocks.” A signature dish will be the flammkuchen, which is similar to a flatbread decorated with delicacies like fresh figs or in the traditional way with bacon, onions, leek and crème fraîche. “When you go in the Alps, they always have a flammkuchen baking in a wood oven,” Franz Thoma says. On Saturdays throughout the summer Almresi will host a traditional Fruhschoppen —a traditional Bavarian get together — with live music, beer, weisswurst and pretzels from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And with the summer opening, the restaurant is now equipped with a shop where you can purchase outfits like the wait staff wears, that hiking boot shot glass that was so popular in the winter, and many more authentic alpine items. The Thomas were very particular in their design: All of the wood was brought from Germany, all the furniture was made in Germany, a large beam stretching across the bar was sourced from an old farm in Austria, cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest hang across from the bar, on display is a 200-year-old traditional European oven, and the lights hanging over a longer family table were

PRICE

$16-$40 •••

AMBIANCE

Authentic, rustic, cozy, alpine style •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Austrian traditional Hut Essen, "eat your hat" •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

fashioned out of Swiss milk cans. “People bought all of our clocks off the walls and then wanted five more cuckoo clocks to order,” Diana says. “At one point I said to my daughter, ‘Keep everything because we don’t have enough for the restaurant!’” By September, the shop will be fully stocked with choices for your Oktoberfest outfits for the whole family. “If we don’t have the right size for you, you tell us and in two weeks we will have everything here,” Diana says. • Brotzeitbrett. Saturdays include fruhschoppen with weisswurst, pretzel and a stein. left Dining room "Kuhstall." top left

top right


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•••

AMBIANCE

Modern meets mountain with soaring ceilings but plenty of intimate nooks, making groups and dates equally comfortable •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Broiled black cod with miso •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

MATSUHISA VAIL by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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he sun was just starting to make its descent behind the mountains when I slipped behind my table at Matsuhisa. The views of Vail Mountain are spectacular, but I soon forgot the setting as the experience unfolded before me, one bite at a time. The first act begins with cocktails, as it should. The Gardener, made with Hendrick’s gin, serrano pepper, cilantro, ginger and lime starts the show with a bang; the Matsutini, made with vodka, Nobu’s own soju, passion fruit, yuzu and a champagne float, is more refined, easing you into the performance. No matter which opening act you choose, the stage is set for the flawless presentation that follows. Your narrator and guide for this experience is your excellent server: He or she is ready with thoughtful tips to ensure maximum enjoyment for each bite. Take the yellowtail with jalapeño, for example — a classic Matsuhisa-style sashimi dish. We were instructed that the best way to enjoy it was to take a bite with both the jalapeño and a leaf of cilantro with the tuna; we did as we were told and the resulting blend of spice and freshness carried by the fish was superb. Look for cameo appearances and special preparations, like the golden

141 EAST MEADOW DRIVE | SOLARIS | VAIL 970.476.6628 | MASTUHISAVAIL.COM

eye snapper, which was served with a dried miso preparation. The resulting bite was a play of savory and sweet: the delicate flavor of the fish playing with the yeasty crunch of the dried miso powder. It was like seeing a favorite actress in a role that seemed a stretch, but proved phenomenal in the end. STAR-STUDDED MENU A short interlude allows you to converse as you enjoy, savoring the flavors and allowing the experience to flow, much like the wine that is perfectly paired by sommelier and Matsuhisa wine director Andreas Harl. While the impressive wine list is available for perusal, let Andreas direct the pairings — he’s a pro at providing the perfect wine for dishes from tempura king crab to Toban-Yaki. The show continues, with new performers to wow and amaze you, like Nobu’s signature new-style sashimi. Rather than the traditional raw fish, the salmon sashimi is lightly seared on the plate in a sauce of soy yuzu, chile, lemongrass and sesame. It’s just one of the new takes on traditional Japanese cooking that has made him famous. While much of the menu remains available throughout the year, there is always something new to try. “We try and stick with the seasons,” explains Matsuhisa sous chef Peter Ives. “In the summer, we

get in lighter fish and seafood, like scallops and shrimp or skate.” Or the lantern squid, which is available only once a year off the coast of Japan. This starlet of seafood is given a Nobu twist, Ives says; perhaps it will be prepared as new-style sashimi. From tried-and-true favorites to new twists and preparations, the play of ingredients and flavors at

Matsuhisa never disappoints. So pick any seat in the house (they’re all good) and prepare to be starstruck. • Japanese Live Scallop Tiradito with soy salt, ricotta chili paste, cilantro and yuzu. below Teriyaki with cast-iron-seared sea bass on top of sake-sautéed Brussels sprouts and honey mushrooms. page 14 Shave ice. above

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BLUE MOOSE PIZZA 675 LIONSHEAD PLACE | LIONSHEAD | 970.476.8666 76 AVONDALE LANE | BEAVER CREEK PLAZA | 970.845.8666 BLUEMOOSEPIZZA.COM

by JOHN LACONTE photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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here’s lots to enjoy in Lionshead in the summers, and at Blue Moose you can take it all in from a front-row seat. In that seat, you can watch kids learn how to build their own pizza during Family Fun Fest on select Saturdays, hear the music from the Vail Jazz Festival Thursday nights in Lionshead Square, or snack on gourmet meatball sliders for $3 each during happy hour. The Blue Moose patio abuts the public square in Lionshead, where an atmosphere of family fun lasts throughout the summer. That atmosphere spills over into Blue Moose — in fact, they welcome it in through the windows. “We open up the doors so you can hear the music from the square in the restaurant, and the patio becomes a part of the square,” says manager Madi Allday. Kids will enjoy classic Blue Moose pizzas like the Big Moose (pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, onions and green peppers), or the Mediterranean salad pizza (onions, artichoke, feta, roasted red peppers, pesto hummus), while adults are encouraged to try classic Vail drinks like the Old Nine Line, (10th Mountain whiskey, simple syrup and a dash of

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PRICE

Apps: $4.95-$11.95 Pizzas: $13.95-$25.95 Slices: $3.25-$4.50 Entrées: $11.95 •••

AMBIANCE

Fun, family-style pizzeria, with restaurants in Lionshead and Beaver Creek villages •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Hand-tossed, New York style pizza •••

KID FRIENDLY?

You bet!

bitters), named after a ski run that was named after a long-removed chairlift. A VERY HAPPY HOUR To sample what’s new for summer, a trip to Blue Moose during their 3 to 5 p.m. happy hour is recommended. “We have great shareable apps like spinach artichoke dip or garlic cheesy

bread, wings — we introduced two new sauces this year, so we have buffalo, sweet red chili and barbecue,” says manager Meghan Del Sole. “And as always, guests can get any and all pizza by the slice, including our house specials, or they can build their own favorites.” The Blue Moose signature bruschetta was added to the happy hour menu for this summer, which pairs wonderfully with their selection of Colorado draft beers. Both the bruschetta and the beers are just $3. House-made sangria will be available during happy hour for $4, and a one-topping slice can be paired with any Colorado draft beer for $6. The Nolan family, who owns Blue Moose and has lived in the Vail Valley for over 20 years, is known for supporting

other Eagle County restaurants and breweries; in fact, they’re proud to offer suggestions on other local establishments right on their menu at Blue Moose. As such, their Colorado draft beer selection is as local as it gets, with an amber and a pilsner from Crazy Mountain Brewing in Edwards, and an IPA and a Blonde ale from Bonfire Brewing in Eagle. Try them all in the Blue Moose Colorado Craft Flight for just $3 during happy hour. • Blue Moose has many premium options such as Cowboy Pizza, The Vintage, Mediterranean Salad Pizza, Autumn Pizza, Summer Pizza, The Big Moose and more. left Bruschetta with a Blue Moose Colorado Craft Flight. above


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t might not stand out as you’re driving through Vail, but the Vail Ale House is a reasonably-priced gem amongst casual dining restaurants in West Vail. Located about 15 seconds off the West Vail exit of Interstate 70, the family-friendly sports bar and restaurant is one of the biggest spaces in town — perfect for team banquets and large groups looking for a place to gather without reservations. For families looking for somewhere to go at the drop of a hat with a hungry crowd, the Ale House is a one-stop shop for the whole group — or team — to enjoy. With a capacity of almost 200 people, the bar is in the center of it all at the Ale House — featuring 20 craft beers. Among the mainstays — there’s also a rotating beer list — is the Vail Ale House Pale Ale, made by Bonfire Brewing in Eagle. The brewers use the same base each time they brew it, but each batch is always just a little different. You want sports? The Ale House has every game and 15 flat screens to play them on. They also have pool tables. You want music? The Ale House has a stage featuring live music from local up-and-coming bands. You want happy hour specials? The Ale House celebrates “Social Hour” every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m. You probably want food? Although it is technically called an ale house, the food is not

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2161 N FRONTAGE RD W. | 970.476.4314 | VAILALEHOUSE.COM

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by ROSS LEONHART photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR and JUSTIN MCCARTY

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PRICE

Beer: $5-$9; Starters: $10-13; Sandwiches, burgers and flatbreads: $12-$15 •••

AMBIANCE

Classic sports bar with large ceiling, plenty of seating and TVs everywhere •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Wings, rattlesnakes (bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers), salads, flat-bread pizzas and burgers •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Yes, there’s a stage for live music, pool table, TVs and plenty of tables away from the bar

forgotten, and everything on the menu leans heavily on terrific quality and big flavors. Head chef and manager John Omstead has created a menu full of artisan bar food. Flatbread pizzas, wings, poutine and rattlesnakes — oh my. (Rattlesnakes are bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers). There’s something for

everyone at the Ale House, with fresh salads and sandwiches available. In the summer, the Nut & Berries salad features mixed greens with fresh strawberries and blueberries in addition to walnuts, bleu cheese and a citrus vinaigrette. It’s both healthy and satisfying, as are the organic chicken options, such as the San Diego sandwich with grilled chicken, Swiss cheese, bacon and avocado. Of course, the hand-cut fries are hard to resist after a day hard at play. Mike Sweeney, Jeremy Pagden and Rob Page purchased the restaurant in January of this year. Under the new ownership trio, the Vail Ale House is making a concentrated push toward

conservation. From eliminating waste to using recyclable to-go boxes, the staff is thinking green “because it’s the right thing to do,” Page says. And that’s something everybody can feel good about. So instead of swinging through the fast-food in West Vail, bring your team to the Vail Ale House, and you won’t leave hungry. • top For large gatherings, a customized buffet makes it easy. above The fig flatbread includes poached figs, creme fraiche, goat cheese, balsamic onions and fried sage. Pictured with a Cucumber Cocktail. left The San Diego grilled chicken sandwich is topped with Swiss cheese, doublecut bacon, avocado and White Rascal aioli.

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LA TOUR by BRENDA HIMELFARB photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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he culinary team at La Tour is perfectly attuned to crafting creative dishes that are thoughtfully sourced and carefully served. Capturing the true farm-to-table vision, La Tour consistently serves beautifully prepared, innovative, dishes — and has for over 18 years. It is a mainstay in what locals call “town,” and the “go-to” restaurant for both locals, and visitors as well — for one always leaves La Tour singing its praises. It’s always that good. Located in Vail Village, La Tour’s setting, with its inviting patio that resembles a quaint bistro you might find in small European town that, at once, invites you in to break bread. The restaurant’s flavor reflects the personalities of its owner, Chef Paul Ferzacca and his wife, Lourdes, whose

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122 E. MEADOW DRIVE | VAIL | 970.476.4403 | LATOUR-VAIL.COM PRICE

warmth is reflected in everything La Tour — including mentoring younger, gifted talent who are moving up in the industry. Case in point: the restaurant’s new executive chef, Sammy Shipman, who is joining Ferzacca after six years at Game Creek Restaurant. “I love that we can walk out our front door, see what’s fresh at the farmer’s market, then come back here and create new dishes,” says Shipman. “So essentially, we’ll be creating a new dish weekly, and being able to grab it all just out our door is great. I love having such creativity in the workplace.” The chef’s creativity begins in La Tour’s appetizers, which include hibachi-barbecued oysters. Even if you’ve never eaten an oyster — and think you never will — think again. This dish is richly compelling. Seasoned with butter, garlic, parsley, bacon, parmesan and lemon, the oysters truly melt in your mouth.

And that’s just the beginning, for each entrée is seductively nuanced. To begin, the smoked avocado with arepas, a Columbian snack based on ground maize dough, is brightened by the jicama slaw and cascabel chile. It will leave you wanting more. If you like fresh halibut, look no further than the broiled Alaskan halibut entrée. Served with watercress, summer truffles, Olathe sweet corn and truffle beurre blanc it is a play of demure and decadent, melt-in-your-mouth wonderful. And the grilled venison medallions presented with Parisian gnocchi and burrata cheese has layers of flavor — just another of the restaurant’s polished entrees. Complete your meal with the 10th Mountain bourbon chocolate mousse cake served with pistachio ice cream, luxardo cherries, and bourbon sauce. Need I say more? Of course, the meal would not be complete without the ministrations of Beverage Director Kai Guerin, who contends that he learned from the best — the previous director, Roland Micu, a Master Sommelier. “The classic way to pair is to contrast with a dish,” explains Guerin. “The way I like to pair is by region. So, if you’re having a dish that is from a specific region of a country I would pair it with a wine that comes from that same area.“ Says Derek Neel, the dining room manager, “What makes our menu so special is that everything is locally sourced and so creative. Our food is approachable. We have a great wine list. And people from all over the

Sunday brunch: $9-$17 Appetizers: $13-$15 Entrées: $32-$49 •••

AMBIANCE

A convivial setting for classic and contemporary French cuisine •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Dover sole à la meunière •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, kids’ menu available

world come to eat here. You never know who you’re going to meet.” When asked about the crispy panko chicken paillard, the favorite dish of many regulars, Ferzacca says, with a smile, “It’s definitely been the comfort food of this restaurant. A lot of people come in just because of that dish.” The panko chicken might be a mainstay, however, La Tour is always moving forward. It is the quintessential restaurant: always a most perfect example of quality in every respect. • Grilled venison medallions, Parisian gnocchi, burrata cheese, kale, orange and fresh sage brown butter. top right Hibachi-barbecued oysters with garlic, bacon and parmesan. left 10th Mountain Bourbon chocolate mousse cake, pistachio ice cream, luxardo cherries and bourbon. top left


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AT THE FOUR SEASONS ONE VAIL ROAD | VAIL 970.477.8650 FOURSEASONS.COM/VAIL/ DINING/RESTAURANTS/FLAME/

by TRACI MACNAMARA photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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ucked inside of the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, Flame is a steak-lover’s destination, but it’s also a place to go for an elevated dining experience, whether the occasion is a first date or a family-friendly night out. With an elegant lodge-style dining room, high ceilings, and wide windows that open up to the outdoors, Flame has a classy ambiance but yet radiates the comfort of its mountain surroundings. Summer’s the time for enjoying a cool cocktail before dinner, so choose from among several flavor-bursting options including the Burning Leaves, which mingles smoky mezcal with

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herbal Chartreuse, Aperol and lime. The mezcal in this drink pairs especially well with the guajillo pepper jelly glazed pork belly, a savory-sweet starter that includes tender-centered pork belly bites, creamy Colorado goat cheese smoked grits and a charred tomatillo relish. The main attraction at Flame is its meaty entrees, from dry-aged ribeye and T-bone steaks to lamb chops and the melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon.

Feeling saucy? Here’s where dining at Flame becomes fun—and creative. With an array of sauces that come out as colorful as an artist’s palette, it’s possible to dip and dunk until you discover the perfect flavor combination. Customize your plate even further by choosing from a variety of house-made rubs and irresistible toppings such as the seared foie gras or the blue cheese butter, which offer additional opportunities for flavor and decadence. Exciting new takes on classic sides include the crispy Brussels sprouts kimchi and the smoked Gouda dill mac and cheese. Executive Chef Marcus Stewart remains at the helm of the Flame kitchen, but with such buzzing energy about the place, it’s obvious that he works with an inspired crew, including Sous Chef Gerardo Viejo. “At Flame, our kitchen is like the heart that pumps life into everything we do,” says Viejo. “We have established relationships with local suppliers to bring the freshest, highest quality ingredients into our kitchen throughout the summer season.” Farm-fresh produce comes just west of Vail from Palisade, and Colorado’s own 7X Ranch and Rosen Farms supply several Wagyu steak options and the lamb chops, respectively. With its farm-to-table philosophy and sustainable approach to cuisine, Flame gives you one more reason to feel good about this dining experience— from start to finish. But don’t walk out the door without at least tasting a few sweet bites. The Peanut Butter and

PRICE

Apps: $14-24; Entrées: $38-$75 •••

AMBIANCE

Modern mountain steakhouse •••

SIGNATURE DISH

18-ounce 7X Wagyu NY strip steak •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, with a playful kids’ menu

Jelly Mousse Cake is standout among Flame’s desserts, with its light layers of berry cake and mousse topped with a crunchy peanut brittle exterior. The Flame atmosphere is refined, and very fun, which makes it an inviting place to come after an adventure-filled day—and linger beyond sunset in the company of good food, family and friends. • Prime New York Strip, Smoked Gouda, Dill Mac & Cheese. left Guajillo Pepper Jelly Glazed Pork Belly with Haystack goat cheese smoked grits, charred tomatillo relish. above

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LOS AMIGOS

400 BRIDGE ST, VAIL | 970.476.5847 | LOSAMIGOSVAIL.COM

by KATIE COAKLEY photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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t takes a very special place to remain in the hearts and minds of both locals and visitors in Vail. Known as the location where you can watch people tumble down Pepi’s Face in the winter and hiking and biking in summer, Los Amigos has been welcoming guests with a friendly smile and a tasty margarita for more than 40 years. Los Amigos features authentic Mexican cuisine, something that Chef Todd Purse is passionate about. “Everything is fresh,” he says. “All of our sauces are house made, using dried or fresh chiles. We use fresh ingredients; it’s the real thing.” These guys know what they’re doing. Both the sous chef and the hot foods sous chef have been at Los Amigos for 15 years; Purse has almost two decades at the restaurant. And while there are classic dishes that will always remain on the menu, Purse enjoys collaborating with his chefs to keep it fresh. Grab a table, order a margarita and get ready for a taste of Mexico. Summertime brings special additions to the menu, such as sliders. Based on a Mexican torta, green chile burgers are topped with jalapeño bacon and chipotle butter, served with buttered corn on the cob and tater tots. The Enchilada Especial Del Azul is another winner: a layer of blue corn

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PRICE

Appetizers: $4-$15.25; Lunch: $9.75-$13.95; Dinner: $11.25-$34 (portion for 2 people) •••

AMBIANCE

Friendly, high-energy restaurant with excellent people watching •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Enchilada Especial del Azul and margaritas KID FRIENDLY?

Yes, even grownup kids

tortillas are filled with shredded chicken and smothered with Los Amigos’ green sauce and monterey jack cheese, topped with sour cream. The egg is listed as optional, but it’s a necessary option. For a lighter lunch, there are mini versions of the tacos and chimichangas, perfect for sharing. Or try the street tacos, a popular menu item available with sautéed sirloin steak, grilled Mahi Mahi and, if you’re lucky, Baja-style fried lobster.

“I’ve been doing lobster tacos on Fridays,” Purse admits. “A lot of people wait until Friday to come in and get them.” And while he can’t promise that they’ll be available every Friday, it’ll be like Christmas in summer if you can time your visit accordingly. Just be sure to save room for the fried ice cream. Purse adds Oreos to the cornflakes that coat the ice cream; if you’ve ever wondered how to make the traditional version better, here it is. And while the food is excellent and the music is rockin’, a big part of the draw to Los Amigos is the atmosphere. Walking in, you feel as if you’re already part of the crew. Grandparents bring their

grandkids, folks bring in friends that are new to town and suddenly everyone’s chatting like they’ve known each other for years. It’s a vibe that’s difficult to attain and impossible to cultivate. “I think that’s what keeps people coming back,” says Rodney Johnson, general manager of Los Amigos. “The fun that they have.” • top Sliders with green chili burgers, jalapeño bacon and chipotle butter. above A selection of summer cocktails showcases the view of the slopes from the deck. left Street tacos featuring sirloin steak and house-made tomatillo sauce. page 16 Fried ice cream.


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PENDULUM by MELANIE WONG photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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here’s a lot that’s buzzworthy about Pendulum, one of the newest additions to the Vail Village dining scene. It has a prime location on Bridge Street next to Vail institutions Pepi’s and Gorsuch, and a sophisticated, mountain-chic interior. However, the truly memorable aspect of this upscale locale is Executive Chef Jake Burkhardt’s unique, globalinspired dishes that will have both locals and tourists coming back for more. Pendulum features American-style food with a Latin influence, many

232 BRIDGE ST. | VAIL | 970.470.4803 | PENDULUMVAIL.COM

inspired by Burkhardt’s world travels. For example, the grilled octopus is a riff on northern Spain’s famous pulpo de Gallego, showcasing the notoriously hard-to-cook seafood alongside a colorful array of creamy sweet potato, delicate greens and bright grapefruit segments that add a citrusy zing. The result is pulpo that is as tender and well-executed as anything you’d find this side of the Atlantic. “(Burkhardt) draws inspiration from his travels,” says Goran Basarov, senior sous chef, who also brings his own Macedonian heritage to the kitchen. “He recently took a trip to Panama, so we’re already expecting some special dishes to come from that experience.”

PRICE

Small plates $8-$14, entrees $30 A meal at Pendulum is a feast for the eyes, nose and taste buds. The kitchen seems particularly adept at showing off the colors of summer, especially in dishes like the summertime cavatelli, a meltin-your-mouth combination of veggies, seasonal mushrooms and a beautiful bright green pea-and-cream sauce. Pendulum never lets diners forget they’re eating real food made from quality ingredients. The roasted Colorado striped bass comes as a whole tail, complete with a crispy skin holding in wonderful juices and flanked by coconut rice and a colorful fennel salad. Even the cornbreadcrusted creme brulee reminds you of its origins with artistic corn-husk garnishes. FANTASTIC BEVERAGE PROGRAM Pendulum’s dining room is open, airy and bright, with a centerpiece bar set off by rustic decor and light-colored wood. Snag a table by the large patio doors that open onto the heart of the Village and try one of the creative craft cocktails on Brandon Bigalke's list. Fans of the classic Old Fashioned will like Pendulum’s tequila version, which has thoughtful touches like winter-spiced simple syrup and a lemon twist. If you want a taste of the beach in the mountains, try the tiki-inspired strawberry smash, a blissful combination of strawberry shrub, tequila and Combier liqueur. The result, as one bartender put it, is “pretty girly, and hella strong.” Don’t forget Pendulum’s carefully curated wine list, handpicked by wine director and restaurant manager Matthew Pauls. He promises vino aficionados will find small brands and unique

•••

AMBIANCE

Latin-influenced American in a mountain-chic setting •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Grilled Spanish octopus with charred sweet potato and veggies •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Yes

wines with an Old World focus. In fact, he recently went on a wine hunting trip to Spain and came back with some selections he’s excited to share with diners. "We try to offer small-production wines that provide exceptional value," he says. If you're short on time, swing by the restaurant's daily happy hour from 3-5 p.m. Pendulum diners may also like White Bison, the establishment's sister restaurant around the corner on Gore Creek Drive. • Roasted Colorado striped bass with coconut rice, fennel salad, cipollini onion and olive escabeche. top right Wagyu empanadas with salsa verde, chipotle crema, harissa aioli, cotija cheese. left Spring Vegetable Salad, asparagus, peas, ramps, fava beans, red mustard greens, Iberico ham, almond and carrot crumble, aged sherry vinaigrette. page 12 Grilled asparagus with crispy Serrano ham. top left

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YAMA SUSHI by TRACI J. MACNAMARA photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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hen the sun’s radiating heat outside, the light and crisp flavors you’ll find at Yama Sushi deliver welcome refreshment. This small space in Vail Village sizzles with a hip vibe, and when alpenglow’s flooding the Gore Range peaks visible from the front door, Yama is a place where you can spend a charmed summer evening in Vail — or stop by for a drink and a snack on the way to a show. For a cooling effect, start out the Yama experience with a specialty cocktail such as the Katana, a cucumber martini that mingles the energizing flavors of cucumber-infused vodka, Hendricks gin and lime. While this one’s smooth without being too sweet, Yama’s bar also churns out an impressive array of creative cocktails to satisfy a variety of tastes, and if you’re lucky enough to find an open barstool, the bar is a prime place for watching what unfolds from the kitchen. Yama’s shoulder-to-shoulder seating invites sharing, so begin by choosing a few small plates for the table. The Alaskan King Crab Claw is a great choice, with smooth-textured lobster and a savory flavor punch that comes in the form of a truffle ponzu sauce that’s drizzled over the top. The scallop trio brings beloved, buttery scallop bites to the table in three different forms: tartare, ceviche and pan-seared, each styled as a mini-dish complete with its own garnishes from picked red ginger to texture-bursting salmon roe. Sushi, sushi specials and rolls are main attractions at Yama, exuding a bright, playful spirit. “Summer brings

168 EAST GORE CREEK DRIVE | VAIL | 970.476.7332 | YAMASUSHIVAIL.COM

availability of fresh, new product to help us create colorful and flavorful specialty dishes for the season,” says head sushi chef, Efrain Canales. One such dish is the Saikyo Hoisin Yellowtail that stuffs thinly sliced yellowtail full of flavor, with blonde miso hoisin, cilantro and a good bit of shredded daikon crunch. Thinly sliced serrano peppers, micro red shiso, yuzu sumiso sauce and scallion oil top off a beautifully presented plate. This refreshing blend of ingredients is repeated in other Yama specialties for the kind of meal you’ll crave after a day spent hiking, biking or exploring all that Vail has to offer. The Blondie Roll also captures characteristically Yama eye-popping appeal in a roll that includes tuna, asparagus, and cucumber and is topped with layers of color: the muted greens and yellows of avocado, bright pink tuna, the cheerful green of serrano peppers. The sweetness of the lemon plum sauce that’s served on the side balances other savory and spicy flavors. In addition to cocktails, Yama’s drink menu features a wide selection of hot and chilled sake, domestic and Japanese beers, and wine, making it possible to create an evening of adventurous tastings or perfect pairings. And if you’d like to close out on a sweet note, choose a dessert of mochi and fresh berries, complemented with piping hot green tea that comes in a personal French press. • Alaskan King Crab Claw, grilled and served with tempura shishito and micro wasabi greens, drizzled with truffle ponzu. below Shiso Tuna with thinly sliced yellowfin tuna wrapped around shiso leaf, julienned cucumber and freshly grated wasabi root, topped with Japanese mignonette. above

PRICE

Sushi and Small Plates: $7-$24 •••

AMBIANCE

Energized sushi lounge

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•••

SIGNATURE DISH

Alaskan King Crab Claw KID FRIENDLY?

Yes; kids love Yama’s skewers and Japanese sodas


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•••

AMBIANCE

Traditional Austrian •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Wienerschnitzel •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

PEPI’S BAR AND RESTAURANT by RANDY WYRICK photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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epi and Sheika Gramshammer were part of Vail in 1961, before there was a Vail. They built and opened Gastof Gramshammer in 1964, making them the last original owners of an original Vail business. Order a libation from their newly remodeled bar and stroll slowly looking at the pictures on the wall. They’re an accurate Vail history, and tell hundreds of stories. Carol, the hostess, has been with them since 1981 and has her own cache of Vail tales with which to regale on your way to your table beside Gore Creek Drive, where Pepi’s poppies adorn the streetside, and people walk hand in hand through Vail Village. We sat down as dusk descended on the Summer Solstice, looked around and couldn’t believe how lucky we were to be in this beautiful and historic spot, at this golden time of day. The best part, though, is that we were about to indulge in Chef Helmut Kaschitz’ fare. He’s both lucky and driven. He was just 14 years old when he walked into a commercial kitchen in his native Austria, and was smitten. “I told my mother that this is what I wanted to do,” he says. His mother wisely encouraged him. If you’ve ever enjoyed his work you’ll want to write his mother a fan letter. Carol left us in Jack’s capable care.

Just repeat, “In Jack we trust,” and you’ll do fine. Pepi’s is deservedly famous for many things, including its game entrees. In the winter you’ll want to try the Antlers Room, where much of the cooking is done tableside, the culinary equivalent of performance art. But it was not winter. It was the Summer Solstice and we were streetside on a perfect, golden evening. Jack poured a versatile yet full-bodied cabernet that would accompany both entrees of rack of caribou and steak adorned with a demi-glace sauce on a bed of seasoned mashed potatoes, baby carrots and asparagus. Both the steak and the caribou were presented like sculpture pointing symmetrically toward heaven, to which your rapturous senses soon would be transported. We know what you’re thinking: “Why would you order a steak in a place like Pepi’s?” Because, my young friends, sometimes the uncomplicated fare is the most challenging to make distinctive. In preparing something like steak, two facts are certain above all others: • No real man tells another real man how to prepare his steak. • You want to prepare yours like Chef Helmut does, if you can get him to tell you how he does it. The Texan at the table next to

us ordered the steak special on a dare. It was so good it brought tears to his eyes. Open your meal with Hungarian Goulash, gluten free and perfectly seasoned with onions, paprika and whatever angel dust Chef Helmut keeps in his kitchen. “Some things must remain a secret,” he says, smiling. They’ll bring you an extensive libation list. Indulge yourself. You cannot go wrong with Pepi’s Margarita, or perhaps Pepi’s House Infused Bloody Mary, or try something from their exhaustive list of German beers. If it’s cool outside, get your kids some of

231 EAST GORE CREEK 970.476.5626 | PEPIS.COM

Chef Helmut’s famous hot chocolate, and a famous Gluhwein for yourself. Opt for the classic Pepi’s Strudel for dessert — there’s a good reason it’s a classic — with Williams Pear dessert wine. You’ll linger as the last of the Summer Solstice fades away, smiling at the alpenglow over Vail Mountain and knowing that whether you’re enjoying Pepi’s and Sheika’s Gastof Gramshammer hospitality on the longest day of the year, or the shortest, this was time well spent. above below

Roasted half duckling. Grilled peach and speck salad.

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Apps $12-$17, lunch $12-$18 and dinner $20-$38

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PRICE

Apps $15-$29; Mains $9-39 •••

AMBIANCE

Casual, yet upscale, fine steakhouse dining •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

Lamb chop fondue, Steak Diane and Tyler’s Skuna Bay Smoked Salmon •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

ELWAY’S VAIL by KIMBERLY NICOLETTI photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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ust as in the game of football, in the “game” of restauranteering, it pays to be agile, flexible, highly experienced and perfectionistic with every move. That’s what Chef Tyler Wiard does every day at Elway’s, located in The Lodge at Vail, in the heart of Vail Village. He has built a team that has been at Elway’s for years and years — people who feel like family, and who approach their “job” with utter passion. “Quality is everything,” says sommelier Eddie Currie. “Tyler always says, ‘If we can’t do it right, we’re not doing it at all.’” Wiard’s philosophy revolves around simplicity. He chooses the best seasonal ingredients, and then lets them speak for themselves. As a steakhouse, Wiard chooses the best quality meat — even his bone-in ribeye boasts qualities of a NY Strip, which is nearly fat free. Then, he complements the cuts with his specialty steak seasonings, which are tight combinations that blend naturally, like salt and pepper. Yet, Elway’s isn’t just a steakhouse (even though its steak Diane is to die for). “We have learned that we can be a classic steakhouse with very classic starters and very classic wines, and then we also go to a modern level,

174 EAST GORE CREEK DRIVE | LODGE AT VAIL | VAIL | 970.754.7818 | ELWAYS.COM/VAIL

with, for instance, our halibut dish,” Wiard says. “We give guests a wide range of classic fare to modern fare.” For example, he uses bacon to act as the “smoke” element in his Roasted Rocky Mountain Trout with potato chile relleno and corn salsa. He’s careful not to serve an overpowering smoked salmon, but, rather, balances it with a cream cheese flan, capers, sweet onions, heirloom tomatoes and dill oil. With approaches like these, the combinations in all of his dishes come out just right; they allow the main ingredients to shine, while delivering the perfect complement of flavor. Even during summer, he has a knack for offering comfort food, often associated with heavier winter menus, with a fresh touch, such as the mac and cheese with light, crunchy parmesan on top, or the ice cream sandwich with fresh strawberries and a sophisticated “Ding Dong” for dessert. THE WINE CELLAR AND MORE Meanwhile, sommelier Eddie Currie has curated a wine list comprised of 500-550 wines, which range from well known options to difficult-to-find vintages from smaller, boutique vineyards. “We don’t stick to anything heavy,” he says about the wine list, adding that it’s a labor of passion. “It’s all about quality.” The cocktail list, inspired by crafters from the Northern and Southern

states, as well as Brazil, reflects the regional diversity, as well as “the fun you only find in Vail,” Currie says. Elway’s physical atmosphere mirrors the diversity of menu items (from John Elway’s Favorite Burger with smoked gouda, bacon, and an over-easy egg, to Maine lobster tail, ahi tuna or a Porterhouse) through the dining spaces spread along the restaurant. Guests can choose the air-conditioned atrium, which overlooks aspens and other greenery, patio dining surrounded by aspens (and augmented with heaters during chilly

nights), or the main dining room, with white-cloth tables, accented with walls of wine bottles and a semi-open kitchen. Overall, Elway’s offers an upscale, professional dining experience, with a more-than-friendly staff, which results in ultimate comfort at the base of Vail Mountain. • top Tyler's Skuna Bay Smoked Salmon with cream cheese flan, capers, red onion, tomato, dill oil and grilled bread. above USDA prime tenderloin, madeira mushrooms and arugula-cherry tomato salad.


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141 EAST MEADOW DR #113 | SOLARIS | VAIL 970.476.5300 | BOLVAIL.COM

VAIL

by KATIE COAKLEY photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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hen was the last time that you had a truly marvelous, take a million photos, tell all of your friends dining experience at a bowling alley? If you’ve found Bol, located in the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village, then you know the secret. More than just a bowling alley — albeit it a very high-end one — Bol is also a culinary destination. Helmed by Executive Chef Paula Turner and Sous Chef Tom Wittich, Bol’s menu is focused on seasonal ingredients and shared plates, which can be passed among the lanes as easily as they can be slid along a table. Though you may not want to share… Order a bowl of the nori and nuts, which Turner says is just “outrageous and really fun,” to ramp up your appetite as you sip on a stellar cocktail created by beverage director and spirits savant James Hallmark. The Summer Bouquet is a crisp, refreshing option with Wheatley vodka, St. Germaine, crème de violet, lemon and soda that Hallmark describes as a “summertime porchpounding vodka drink.” It’s deceptively delicious. Or opt for the Mad Beets, which combines Spring 44 gin, fresh beets, rhubarb, lemon and a bit of sugar. Earthy and a bit tart, it makes getting your veggies an extremely pleasant affair. SUMMER LOVING “I’ve really geared the menu towards summer at this point,” Turner explains. And while there are some

PRICE

Snacks and shareables: $5-$18; Starters: $8-$18; Pizzas and Mains: $18-$65 •••

AMBIANCE

Upscale, trendy vibe inside, see and been seen on the patio •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Starter: Baby back ribs; Main: Boulder Natural crispy ½ chicken •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes: the Solaris Terrace is a great place to run around and work up an appetite

year-round favorites that remain, like the Gringo Nachos, lamb lollipops and hot cauliflower, the menu focuses on our favorite, shortest season. Sharing is caring, so order a few starters and salads to sample. While it may be difficult to relinquish your hold on the deviled eggs, just smile and make sure that you grab one with dill and caviar. While all three versions are good, the caviar adds a wonderful texture to the rich, dill-dashed yolk. Summer is in full bloom throughout the menu, but the salads really showcase nature’s bounty. Turner sources most of her greens from LaVenture Farms in Gypsum and the salads reflect the proximity. The Butter, Peas and Prosciutto salad is light and fresh, with asparagus, fava beans and spring peas on a bed of butter lettuce; shaved manchego and crispy prosciutto chips add salt and crunch. The Lobster Farmstand salad is another winner, with a 12-minute egg adding another level of decadence to the lobster-studded, rich and tangy salad. Before the idea that summer means nothing but greens slips into your head, Turner wants to blow your mind. “I’ve added another beef this season with Creekstone cows raised in CO, WY and KS, and their NY Strip Steak is outrageous,” Turner said. “I’m loving this dish this summer. It’s a light steak dish, but for someone who wants to eat a steak,

it’s a really great summer steak dish.” While a light, summer steak dish may sound like an oxymoron, Turner has nailed it. Served with a grilled artichoke, Parmesan roasted tomatoes and a tempura onion, the steak is extremely flavorful and tender, but doesn’t leave you groaning like John Candy after the Old 96er. If you’ve saved room, order a margarita popsicle or the gluten-free chocolate cake with matcha powder and green tea ice cream. But if you didn’t, don’t fret. Bol is open late—there’s plenty of time to bowl a few games and work up another appetite. • top The Mad Beets cocktail combines Spring 44 gin, fresh beets, rhubarb, lemon and a bit of sugar. above A trio of deviled eggs includes dill and caviar. left Lobster Farmstand salad, with 12-minute egg.


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CUCINA RUSTICA 174 EAST GORE CREEK DRIVE | LODGE AT VAIL | VAIL 970.754.7872 | LODGEATVAIL.ROCKRESORTS.COM/DINING/CUCINA.ASP

by MELANIE WONG photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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reakfast fanatics and brunch heroes, rejoice. The ultimate mountain morning dining experience is here. Thanks to a lush screen of greenery, you’d easily walk past the elegant stone patio of Cucina at The Lodge of Vail, even though the restaurant is steps from Gondola One in the heart of Vail Village. The restaurant is one of Vail’s best-kept secrets when it comes to the morning meal, offering a fresh, bright and generously portioned array of options that range from fresh-squeezed juices to decadent renditions of breakfast classics such as French toast, frittatas and omelets.

THE GOOD STUFF Cucina distinguishes itself with its health-conscious, yet extravagant items, such as the Green Plate, a dish that dazzles with its bright garden colors. Perfectly poached eggs sit daintily on large avocado halves, and sautéed kale, chard, asparagus, tomatoes and feta cheese round out the rest of the plate. With a generous side of crisp breakfast potatoes, we promise you won’t even notice this dish is vegetarian. For diners eager to head out for a day in the mountains, Cucina has a number of quick, lighter favorites that don’t skimp on flavor or complexity. Try the yogurt parfait mixed with fresh fruit and homemade granola, topped with bee pollen and coconut. Or, simply choose from one of the

delicious vitality smoothies. We loved the creamy mixed berry smoothie topped with chia seed and the Summer Refresher, a minty lime-and-melon smoothie perfect for hot summer days. “When creating this menu, my first notion was that we feed a lot of athletes and outdoor lovers and I want to fuel their bodies with what the body needs — the good and fun stuff,” says Rudy Williams, Cucina’s executive chef.

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HEARTIER FARE If you’re looking to linger, gather around a table in the cozy dining hall or kick back on the tranquil patio and settle in with a cappuccino or made-to-order juice. Don’t miss the Chef’s Benedict, a beautiful take on the breakfast staple. The eggs and hollandaise sit nested on a bed of gruyere cheese and prosciutto, all perched on a slice of thick-cut brioche, while a menagerie of sautéed veggies and fresh fruits leaves you feeling energized. Willams’ rifts on the classics are both creative and natural, and as an added bonus, many of his ingredients are sustainable and locally sourced. You’ll wonder why eggs Benedict wasn’t always made this way. Cucina offers brunch service on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., featuring all the favorites from the breakfast menu, as well as a morning cocktail list. “People can expect to discover a hidden garden patio with plenty of shade, and a very relaxing, quiet atmosphere where they can sit back and enjoy a summer afternoon in Vail,” says Williams. •

The Green Plate: Two poached eggs served inside a fresh avocado bowl with sautéed kale, Swiss chard and asparagus topped with arugula, heirloom tomatoes, fresh lime and feta cheese. left Chef's Benedict: Poached eggs, thick-cut Brioche, prosciutto, gruyere, mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, asparagus and traditional hollandaise. above

PRICE

Juices, smoothies and sides - $4-$9 Main courses - $11-17 •••

AMBIANCE

Mountain-comfort cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere •••

SIGNATURE DISH

The Green Plate— poached eggs, avocado and sautéed, seasonal veggies •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes


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THE REMEDY BAR VAIL

ONE VAIL ROAD | FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND RESIDENCES VAIL FOURSEASONS.COM/VAIL/DINING/LOUNGES/THE_REMEDY_BAR/ 970.477.8600 by TRACI J. MACNAMARA photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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hen Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail tosses open its floor-to-ceiling windows and lets the fresh mountain air flow into The Remedy Bar, you’ll know it’s summertime in Vail. At this hip lounge and dining area perched above the pool, you can snack, drink, and dine while swinging to the sounds of jazz music or unwind while watching golden light bathe the hills. And with the addition of the Munchie Brunchie this summer, you’ll have an additional reason to start off Saturday and Sunday mornings at a slower pace: an inspired, elevated brunch. The Remedy Bar is well known for its innovative beverage program, which makes it a not-to-miss destination for fresh food and drink pairings. “We create all of our own juices and shrubs in house for a refreshing taste in our fruit-based drinks,” says bar manager Aaron Ritrovato. A shrub in this context is a fruit-based cocktail ingredient that creates a pleasantly balanced taste rather than a sugary or syrupy sweetness. Try out this smooth-sipping addition in the colorful V, a vodka cocktail that includes the housemade blueberry and rosemary shrub, St-Germain, citrus, and the bubbly goodness of Veuve.

PRICE

Apps: $5-$18; Small plates, entrées: $13-$48 •••

AMBIANCE

Hip bar and lounge with upscale bites •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Spicy Tuna Huarache

While the V is just one example of The Remedy Bar’s creative originals, new takes on classic cocktails are also done well here. Some unorthodox muddling and shaking—along with a Remedy select bourbon — makes the Remedy Old Fashioned an easy-drinking version that pales others in comparison. Dining options at The Remedy Bar range from pork belly slider snack bites to a steak frites entrée, and this is the place to settle in with some small plates or gourmet pizzas to share, such as the bison pizza, which includes house-made pepperoni, fennel sausage, roasted sweet peppers, and mozzarella curds. Whether you’re snacking or dining at The Remedy Bar, one standout small plate among many is the Spicy Tuna Huarache. In this definite palate pleaser that’s served atop a crunchy tortilla crisp, ahi tuna is seasoned and garnished with sriracha aioli and pickled jalapeño for a light, spicy bite that goes down well on a summer afternoon. With the addition of the new Coloradoinspired Munchie Brunchie offered at Remedy on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer season, you’ll want to let your weekend mornings linger. This elevated brunch experience features exciting dishes you won’t find elsewhere such as a salmon and tater tot waffle complete with caviar and crème fraîche. And, as expected from Remedy, a bottomless Bloody Mary bar will feature an extraordinary mix of ingredients in addition to toppings such pickled okra, peppers, seared Spam, and shrimp. Vail Jazz partners with Remedy for live jazz performances on Sunday evenings

throughout the summer season, and with full schedule of other activities and entertainment planned for this summer, you can count on the atmosphere at The Remedy Bar to be fresh, interesting, and — above all — fun. • left The V: Breckenridge vodka, lemon, blueberry, St. Germaine and Veuve Clicquot.

top Smoked salmon tater tot "waffle" with caviar, shaved egg, tomato and crème fraîche. above Pizza trio: Bruschetta with roma tomatoes, shallots and mozzarella curd; Grilled Artichoke with scamorza and oven-dried tomatoes; Pork Green Chile with crispy pork belly, pineapple and cotija cheese.

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RUSSELL’S 228 BRIDGE STREET | VAIL | 970.476.6700 | RUSSELLSVAIL.COM

by KIM FULLER photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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ertain corners of Vail have kept it classic, and Russell’s is at the top of that tried-and-true list. The steakhouse was opened in 1989 and is located on Bridge Street in the heart of the Village, right next to the Covered Bridge. “We don’t change our menu and people come back year after year for the consistency,” says Michele Lewis. Many locals belly up to the bar for camaraderie and occasional live music shows, and returning guests often make their reservations a season in advance to ensure they get their fill of the restaurant’s timeless touch, delicious food and warm service. Request a window seat facing west to observe the bustle of town in the evening, or enjoy the quainter side of the restaurant to take in the rushing river. Russell’s has an approachable wine by the glass list, and a pour of the Pinot Grigio from Friuli, Italy, may be just what your palate needs to get ready for a round of appetizers. Try the tuna sashimi, served lightly blackened and marinated cabbage, ginger and wasabi. It’s a lighter dish that’s full of flavor, and it’s perfect for the table to share. Escargots is not to be missed, served decadently with butter and a touch of curry spice, and ideal with a glass of equally elegant Chardonnay. For your salad choice, combine two mainstays with the Half & Half, featuring a fresh and savory Caesar on one side of the plate, alongside a couple slices of the

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PRICE

Appetizers and salads: $10 - $22; Mains: $28 - $63 •••

AMBIANCE

Classic steakhouse with views of Bridge Street or Gore Creek •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Dish: Surf & Turf with Alaskan King Crab and an 8-ounce filet KID FRIENDLY?

Well behaved, yes

Tomato Basil Salad with blue cheese, pine nuts, onion and basil vinaigrette. There isn’t a piece of meat on Chef Markus Gatter’s menu that will disappoint, but go for the Surf & Turf if you’re looking for the most dynamic dish. A half pound of Alaskan King Crab is served with an eight-ounce filet. Crack the crab shell to dip its tender meat into drawn butter, and slice a forkful of beef to slide it through a side dish of béarnaise. All entrees are served with Russell’s scalloped potatoes

and the vegetable of the day, like green beans. Other side dishes are available to order, including sautéed mushrooms, steamed asparagus, potatoes au gratin or mashed, while they last. Dessert is a hard choice, with steakhouse signatures like raspberry cheesecake, crème caramel and Mud Pie that entice — but the all-around showstopper is the Goldbrick Sundae. It’s got everything, from French Vanilla ice cream with a raspberry sauce, to milk

chocolate and walnuts poured over the sweet pile. Try it with a glass of ice wine for the full finale, but you may want to sit a while longer and enjoy the view. • Grilled rib-eye and Alaskan king crab served with scalloped potatoes and the vegetable of the day. bottom left Russell's has views of both Bridge Street and Gore Creek. bottom right The Half & Half: Caesar salad alongside tomato-basil salad with blue cheese. above


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VAIL

BISTRO FOURTEEN EAGLES NEST VIA EAGLE BAHN GONDOLA | VAIL MOUNTAIN 970.754.4530 | VAIL.COM

by JOHN LACONTE photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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here’s only one Vail bistro with a view of a 14,000-foot peak, and that’s Bistro Fourteen. Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, the restaurant offers daily lunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The gondola departs out of Lionshead Village, taking guests more than 2,000 vertical feet up Vail Mountain. Once at the top, a nature park called Epic Discovery now greets guests after launching in 2016. Epic Discovery has brought a new energy to the top of the mountain, and at the center of that, says General Manager John Bailey, is Bistro Fourteen. “It’s the hub of activities day and night time,” he says. And the food is exciting, as well. New for this year, the watermelon caprese comes with compressed watermelon, Haystack applewood-smoked goat cheese, port wine reduction, micro orange mint and pretzel crostini. The turkey sliders are topped with cranberry mustard, tomato, gruyere cheese and Brussels sprout slaw on a sweet potato bun. “Chefs Matt Good and Austen Larson create crowdpleasing dinner specials every Friday and Saturday night,” Bailey says. “Some of our most popular items are the lamb Reuben, watermelon caprese, wedge Cobb salad and queso flameado.”

MID-MOUNTAIN HUB Fridays and Saturdays are when you’ll find the most vibrant atmosphere atop Vail Mountain, with a family fun setting and live music outdoors, weather permitting. For a slightly calmer setting, try visiting on a Thursday afternoon. A variety of guests enjoy Bistro Fourteen in the summer, whether sightseeing in the gondola, hiking or biking on the mountain, or attending Vail for the first time as a wedding guest. There are light dishes available for a warm day on the patio; those recovering after a more strenuous activity may want to add some protein to their meal with a touch of wild game or Colorado-proud meat. It’s hard to top the lamb Reuben with house-cured and smoked Colorado lamb, braised red cabbage and dill havarti cheese on pumpernickel bread. Bistro Fourteen offers specialty drinks that go well with wings or the Cobb wedge salad, and their full service bar features microbrews handcrafted in Colorado. And if you go there on a Saturday, says Bailey, you’ll see that “Bistro Fourteen is a fantastic spot for wedding guests to gather and celebrate the beautiful event with a toast and appetizers.” Bistro Fourteen is open every day through Sept. 4, and weekends only Sept. 8 through Oct. 1. •

PRICE

Starters: $12-$17; Mains: $17-$26 •••

AMBIANCE

Family-friendly dining with majestic views of surrounding peaks •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Lamb Reuben with house-cured and smoked Colorado lamb, braised red cabbage and dill havarti cheese •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Three-course children's menu for $10

Turkey sliders with a turkey patty, cranberry mustard, tomato, Gruyere cheese, Brussels sprout slaw and a sweet potato bun. top right Watermelon caprese with compressed watermelon, Haystack applewoodsmoked goat cheese and a port wine reduction. left Milk chocolate pot de créme with roasted marshmallow cream, salted caramel, candied Marcona almonds and graham crisp. top left


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GAME CREEK RESTAURANT

by KIMBERLY NICOLETTI photos by JAY RUSH, VAIL RESORTS and CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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ame Creek Restaurant can only be described as sensory overload — in a very, very good way. Brunch or dinner at Game Creek begins with an uplifting experience on the Eagle Bahn Gondola, high above Vail Resort’s lush green trails and treetops. Panoramic views of the valley showcase the usually snow-covered region in a whole new, summer light.

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Atop the mountain, a shuttle delivers guests to the charming European alpine chalet, where hundreds of wildflowers color the meadow with hues of purple, blue, red, orange and yellow. Inside, large windows open to vistas of Beaver Creek, Meadow Mountain and Mount Jackson. Once seated, the sense of smell kicks in, as aromas of innovative American cuisine — with French, Italian, Spanish and hints of Middle Eastern flavors — bespeak the culinary delights awaiting guests. “We utilize as many local Colorado products as we can for our dishes,”

GAME CREEK BOWL | VAIL MOUNTAIN ACCESSIBLE VIA GONDOLA AND SHUTTLE FROM EAGLES NEST 970.754.4275 | GAMECREEKVAIL.COM

says Jennifer Rizza, general manager of fine dining. “Sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint are essential for our team of skilled chefs, as well as crafting food that speaks to the region.” Sunday brunches provide a relaxed, indulgent afternoon. The menu changes weekly to tempt the palate with a variety of savory and sweet seasons, with creative blends, as well as breakfast and lunch staples, fresh salads and house-made pastries. And, a brunch at Game Creek wouldn’t be complete without its Bloody Mary bar. Guests pick their “poison” — vodka, gin or tequila of choice — and then customize it with classic ingredients, as well as a selection of house-pickled vegetables. Game Creek’s prix fixe dinner menu features three, four or five courses. The smallest one begins with a starter, soup or salad, followed by an entrée, such as Alaskan halibut, and dessert, from rich chocolate to Palisade peach or Gypsum rhubarb. The four-course meal includes both a starter, like crab or rabbit, and soup or salad, and the Chef’s five-course tasting menu offers the best of an already spectacular line up, with his five, perfectly paired, signature Game Creek dishes. “Dining at Game Creek is an adventure for all the senses,” Rizza says. “The entire experience of dining at Game Creek is unique; it’s the experience you will share with friends and family for years to come. Whether a special occasion, celebration or simply a night out to enjoy a divine meal, Game Creek is the perfect backdrop, topped off by a spectacular sunset that might just bring a tear to your eye. •

Venison with red onion jam, rutabaga, carrot and cassis. top right Located at the top of Game Creek Bowl, Game Creek Restaurant commands beautiful views. left Banana chocolate with cherries and salted caramel ice cream. top left

PRICE

Apps: $14-$16; summer après deck appetizers offered 5:30-7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday Entrées: $89 3-course prix fixe menu, $99 4-course prix fixe menu, $130 5-course Chef’s tasting menu •••

AMBIANCE

Cozy European chalet, nestled in the legendary back bowls of Vail Mountain •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

Rabbit with chorizo, potato, pancetta and tarragon; Gingerbread-crusted Colorado lamb with sweet potato and red cabbage •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Yes


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$18 for children age 6-12 years old and children five and under eat for free •••

AMBIANCE

Serene and relaxing •••

SIGNATURE DISH

The breakfast buffet •••

KID FRIENDLY?

Absolutely

LUDWIG’S by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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here are days when you need to grab breakfast on the go, perhaps sacrificing taste and atmosphere for quick energy and portability. But then there are days when you can savor the morning, soaking up the sun and basking under bluebird skies. On these days, go to the Sonnenalp. When you’re seated on Ludwig’s bright and spacious, glass-encased terrace, it’s almost as if there is no barrier between outside and in; and when the giant doors are spread open and the roof is open, there really isn’t. It’s a peaceful place, one that is perfect for sipping a hot tea or a latte from the Sonnenalp’s signature coffee cups. Hand painted and large enough to satisfy even the fiercest caffeine fiend, these cups are more than just the vessels for morning java bliss — they’re a symbol of the harmonious blend of European and American that the Sonnenalp is known for. While the a la carte menu is not extensive, it does include breakfast classics like versions of eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros, perfect for those

AT SONNENALP HOTEL who are definitive in their breakfast desires. However, it’s the buffet for which the Sonnenalp is famous. "The brunch buffet evolved naturally," explains Patricia McNamara, director of sales and marketing for the Sonnenalp. “We probably believed we were too European at first and then we crossed over into more American fare. Now we’ve found the right flavor between European and American.” It’s important to have a game plan before you begin. Take a stroll and explore the various options. Eggs? Sure: scrambled, hard-boiled, folded into a quiche, poached for a Benedict or made into an omelet? Looking for sweet options? Sample the homemade blintzes, crepes, pancakes or French toast before moving on to the expansive selection of homemade pastries. Carnivores will enjoy two types of sausage and bacon that are so good they might make an appearance in your dreams that evening. Then there’s the yogurt, muesli and cereals, which can be topped with fresh and dried fruit, plus the selection of various cheese and meats, along with sliced veggies. It’s these options that will transport you to a cozy chalet in the Alps.

20 VAIL ROAD | VAIL 970.479.5429 | LUDWIGSRESTAURANT.COM

“We listen to what our guests say,” McNamara says. “For example, we tried to change the muesli one time — that did not go over well. We brought back the original.” The pride in the food and the attention to quality are evident in even the smallest details, like the different types of homemade salsas and jams that are placed strategically on the buffet. “We try to look for ways to hit all the taste buds,” McNamara says. There are plenty of days when it seems necessary to be on the move, rushing to hit the trails, clip on the pedals or do a million other things. But some mornings should be savored, used to catch up with old friends or simply as an opportunity to listen to Gore Creek burble by. On these mornings, the Sonnenalp is waiting for you with a giant coffee cup, ready to help you relish the day. •

top Gluten-free Belgian waffle topped with berries and bacon. above Eggs California with avocado, tomato and hollandaise, served alongside hot chocloate.

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PRICE

European breakfast buffet: $20-$36 for guests age 13 and over depending on season

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THE FITZ BAR & RESTAURANT by KIM FULLER photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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t’s five o’clock at The Fitz, and happy hour never tasted better. As a summer evening hits its stride, restaurant and bar manager Taryn Miletti prepares her impressive “sous vide cocktails” like the Trailhead, a spice and flavordriven jalapeño blackberry tequila drink. Miletti’s unique way of infusing a spirit, then compressing it and finishing it with a sous vide, reflects the playful and delicious innovation that’s also coming out of the kitchen. Chef de cuisine Gage Smit has put together a well-balanced menu for the season, including marketfresh salads, a mouthwatering selection of bruschetta, share-worthy appetizers and heartier large plates. Smit and Ken Butler, executive chef, both have worked in finedining kitchens, so it’s no wonder that they’ve achieved a perfect combination of delectable food in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

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MANOR VAIL LODGE 595 EAST VAIL VALLEY DRIVE | VAIL 970.476.4959 | THEFITZVAIL.COM

“We are trying to use everything fresh and make everything from scratch as much as we can,” Smit says. “We like to stay close to our roots like that, and we like to serve great food.” Look toward the river from the outdoor patio at The Fitz to see their garden plots. That’s where many of the edible flowers and micro greens are picked before garnishing your meal. Share an order of the tomato butter and sausage Prince Edward Island Mussels. The flavorful rendition created in this classic dish is superb and will keep you reaching for more forkfuls. The watermelon salad really showcases Smit and Butler’s collective experience in making gourmet cuisine, as the compressed fruit is given intricate details like black sea salt and goat chèvre to ensure each bite is exquisite. Presentation is emphasized here, so everything that’s on the table seems photo-worthy. And the bites that follow Smit’s edible art certainly live up to their visual splendor. Large plates like the Colorado ribs play well to the season. This rich and

satisfying dish features pork belly and peach barbecue sauce, served with apple slaw and kidney beans. More delicate flavors are found in the kitchen’s house-made pasta, on the menu this summer with Hazel Dell mushrooms, Midnight Moon goat cheese and Soleggiati tomatoes. The menu truly has something for everyone, including every sweet tooth at the table. Try the Roasted Palisade Peach dessert, created with honey glaze, cinnamon, mascarpone and oatmeal crumble. You’ll definitely want to snap a photo first, but then don’t wait any longer to dive right in. • Prince Edwards Island mussels with tomato butter, Continental sausage, fennel, garlic and grilled batard. left Strawberry Basil Smash: Muddled strawberries and basil, St. Germain liqueur and Tito's vodka. above

PRICE

Salads and shared dishes: $8-$18; Large plates: $18-$36 •••

AMBIANCE

Inviting and spacious with outdoor seating, and in close walking proximity to the Ford Amphitheater •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Colorado ribs with peach barbecue sauce and apple slaw •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, definitely


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•••

AMBIANCE

Upscale mountain dining with incredible mountain views •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

Salmon carpaccio: house-cured salmon, shallot, cucumber, capers, fresh herb fennel salad and lemon vinaigrette; Lamb bratwurst sliders with roasted red pepper relish, wholegrain mustard slaw and pretzel buns; Porcini-scented quail with gnocchi galette, beet greens, roasted cauliflower, baby carrots and savory herb pan sauce •••

KID FRIENDLY?

THE 10th by KIMBERLY NICOLETTI photos courtesy VAIL RESORTS

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hef Tim McCaw’s cuisine and the inspiration for The 10th’s name stem from the same source: soulful service. The 10th takes its moniker from the 10th Mountain Division, which trained on nearby mountain passes over 75 years ago and ultimately played a vital role in World War II by securing northern Italy. Today, at The 10th, McCaw “believes in making good food that speaks to the soul,” says Jennifer Rizza, General Manager of fine dining. McCaw’s modern alpine cuisine features updated twists on classic alpine dishes, such as a Lyonnaise salad with asparagus, Haystack goat cheese, mustard vinaigrette and a fried egg, or the chicken bruschetta sandwich served open faced with crispy prosciutto, confit tomatoes and balsamic reduction. McCaw uses fresh ingredients that resonate with classic flavors, which makes each dish stand out. He draws inspiration from the Italian mountain region of Piedmont to the French Alps, as well as the Spanish Catalan region, and, of course, the Rocky Mountains. The 10th’s a la carte menu offers a variety of hearty and healthy menu selections, sure to please many diverse palates.

Yes, kids dine on a 3-course kids' menu TOP OF GONDOLA ONE | MID-VAIL | 970.754.1010 | THE10THVAIL.COM

BEAUTIFUL SETTING “The cuisine at The 10th complements and evolves culinary traditions,” Rizza says. “Dining at The 10th combines extraordinary food with top-notch service, all set against the background of Vail Mountain and the mountain peaks that surround her.” The 10th provides an elegant space for dining, with tremendous views of the Gore Range from the front windows of the main dining room, and views of the Look Ma trail, as well as an abundance of wildflowers blooming in the meadow. Its architecture lends an upscale feel, with stone columns throughout the expansive space. For lunch, visitors can either “work” for their meal by hiking or biking up the mountain, and then settling into the cozy embrace of The 10th, they can ride the gondola, or they can blend the combination of both options by hiking or biking one way and relaxing in the gondola the other way. Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to simply drop by for a drink in the mountain-chic bar. “’Hand-crafted’ and ‘crafted with care’ are the philosophies of the bar team at The 10th,” Rizza says. “They enjoy developing flavor profiles layered into a signature cocktail.” The 10th also offers a broad Colorado craft beer program and intriguing wine selections from the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence-rated wine list. Every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer, The 10th features outdoor

yoga on the deck, which is a spectacular way to connect to nature, and then enjoy a light bite — like a beet salad with ricotta salata and pea greens, rainbow trout with a warm tomato vinaigrette — or a refreshment in the middle of the mountains. “Dining at The 10th is truly an experience not to be missed,” Rizza says. “Whether dining on the comfortable summer deck or in the main dining room, the views are spectacular, surpassed only by the culinary prowess of Chef Tim McCaw.” •

top The view at The 10th rivals the food. On nice days, the patio is a great option, too. above The 10th Salad with red and golden beet carpaccio, local goat cheese mousse, quinoa, arugula and walnut vinaigrette.

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Apps: $12-24 Entrées: $20-30

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TERRA BISTRO by KIM FULLER photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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erra Bistro’s dining room has a casual elegance that reflects its approachable yet refined menu. Executive Chef Shawn Miller’s mountain bistro cuisine incorporates organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced and thoughtfully prepared. “Each season at Terra Bistro, we

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352 E. MEADOW DRIVE | VAIL MOUNTAIN LODGE | VAIL 970.476.6836 | TERRABISTROVAIL.COM

try our best to utilize the highest quality ingredients that we can get to bring a healthy, seasonal feel to each menu item,” says Miller. Start your evening with a Woody Creek Basil Gimlet, made from Coloradoproduced organic vodka. The cocktail has its own visual glow, and the savory touch of torn basil rounds out the vibrant flavor of lime juice in each sip. Miller celebrates summer with earthinspired additions to the menu’s starters

and main courses. The porcini-crusted scallops combine land and ocean with king trumpet mushrooms, toasted sesame oil and spring onions, and the roasted beet salad bursts with both color and flavor. “When you are using whole foods, and ingredients that are in season, you get the most from each ingredient,” says Miller. “Some of these added benefits are flavor, freshness, as well as vitamins and minerals that are not always found in genetically modified, canned or frozen foods.” This summer, the kitchen is increasingly working with Buttercrunch Farm out of Eagle for several different sprouts and leafy greens that are aquaponically grown. “This method ensures very high quality products with a minimal impact on the environment,” Miller says. Heartier appetites will dive into Terra’s inspired main courses. Pair a glass of Cristom Pinot Noir with the Colorado lamb chop. This dish has a Greek twist and it’s so unique and flavorful. Baba ganoush and bell pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and tzatziki create lively flavor combinations with every bite. “Our summer season menu certainly has a lighter side to it, but at the same time offers a few hearty steaks and chops, as well as some old favorites such as our crispy fried asparagus, our duck fat fries with truffle aioli and our famous chocolate molten dessert,” says Kevin Nelson, managing partner for Terra Bistro. “We are equally passionate about our wine list, which offers countless hidden gems along with well-

PRICE

Starters: $11 - $18; Main Courses: $29 - $45 •••

AMBIANCE

Refined mountain bistro •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Colorado lamb chop with baba ganoush, goat cheese and tzatziki •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Well-behaved, yes

known favorites.” This summer Terra Bistro will be starting dinner service one hour earlier than in the past, with reservations beginning at 5 p.m. The bar also opens at 5 p.m. for happy hour until 6 p.m. • Woody Creek Basil Gimlet with Woody Creek Colorado vodka, torn basil, lime juice, and a touch of sweetness. top right Cornmeal-crusted walleye with sunflower seed risotto, cherry tomatoes, daikon radish and sunflower sprouts and cilantro vinaigrette. left Pork Porterhouse with pea and cardamom puree, peach mostarda and kalettes with lardons. page 15 Old Fashioned. top left


v a i l d a i l y

GRILL ON THE GORE

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MODERN MENU Inside the clubhouse is the newly imagined Grill on the Gore. Chef David Sanchez is now driving the cart, creating a menu that is a draw on its own merit: Add in the allure of the new digs and you have a place that everyone can, and should, enjoy, no matter what your handicap is. “The new menu, it’s modern cuisine but it’s very much geared toward the golfer and also other outdoor activities,” explains Sanchez. “It’s convenient, but it’s also an amazing setting. We probably have one of the most beautiful settings anywhere.” Scan the menu and you’ll find easy putts, familiar and approachable dishes that you may think you know, but watch for the roll of the green: Sanchez and his team always “have some sort of twist or some way of elevating the cuisine,” he says. It’s not just talk.

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VAIL GOLF CLUB | 1775 SUNBURST DRIVE | VAIL 970.477.5277 | GRILLONTHEGORE.COM

by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

iving at 8,150 feet, many things are elevated: your heart rate when you’re climbing up a mountain, the joy that you get when your golf balls fly farther than at sea level and the cuisine that you’ll enjoy after that very successful 18 holes. The new Vail Golf and Nordic Clubhouse is spectacular — there’s really no other way to put it. The vistas from the patio have always been amazing, giving you an inimitable view of the Gore Range, but now the design of the clubhouse also measures up to the location.

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PRICE

Starters: $7- $17; Soups, salads and sandwiches: $5 - $15 •••

AMBIANCE

Modern golf camaraderie •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Bao sliders •••

KID FRIENDLY?

To a tee

Take, for example, the humble hamburger. Yes, it’s a hamburger, but this hamburger has been lovingly constructed with every detail considered. The tomatoes are cut when the burger is ordered instead of pre-cut and seasoned, imparting more of that tomato taste. Each lettuce leaf is carefully selected and Sanchez says they tasted dozens and dozens of burgers to choose the special blend of meat that is now resting so nobly on the bun. Just a simple burger? Not even close. The turkey club, which is a staple on any golf club menu, is recognizable, but wait until you taste it. Instead of bacon strips, Sanchez makes a sweet bacon jam which is a perfect complement to the cheese which is another twist: brie, instead of the usual cheddar or Swiss.

“It raises it to another level,” he says. “That’s really important to us. Approachable, recognizable dishes are now elevated by the quality of the ingredients, but also the twists of the thing that you expect in that sandwich.” The menu is a wonderful blend of time-honored and new. There are wings, but they’re smoked with peach wood; sliders are served with grilled bao buns, stuffed with smoked pork belly, pico and slaw; a traditional gyro is turned into a salad, with all of the comforting flavors minus the pita.

Just like its location at the Vail Golf Clubhouse, Grill on the Gore is creating cuisine that is well known, but elevated. Park your bike, drop off your cart and pick your patio seat: This charming and delicious spot is a hole in one. • top Bao Sliders with smoked and glazed Colorado pork belly, pico de gallo and signature slaw. above "No Bettah" Burger with chef-selected beef, brioche bun, cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. left Colorado links, locally made sausage, pickled slaw, house-made mustards and Bao buns.

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TAVERN ON THE SQUARE by KIM FULLER photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR and JONATHAN HUFFMAN

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f you have ever wanted to bring your dog to date night, now’s your chance. Tavern on the Square in Lionshead has a special “doggie menu” for your pooch to enjoy on the mountainside terrace, including options like grilled diced chicken, scrambled duck eggs and steamed carrots, and if you’re staying at the Arrabelle at Vail Square hotel, your furry friend may get some special organic biscuit amenities as well. “I just got a puppy a few months ago, so I have been doing my research,” says pastry chef Jenn Davis. “He’s

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into blueberries and flaxseed and coconut oil, so I bring ingredients like that into the food here.” All that care and even more intricate flavor is put into the standard guests’ menu. Executive Chef Paul Wade and Sous Chef Nick Steger delight in serving their Arrabelle guests, as well as anyone in town or coming off Vail Mountain who wants a delicious and memorable meal. Handcrafted cocktails like the Smoke Show Paloma showcase how the restaurant’s bartenders are taking classics up a notch. This tequila drink has a spicy kick, and the mezcal rinse adds a smoky hint to round out bright flavors of lime and grapefruit.

675 LIONSHEAD PLACE | LIONSHEAD 970.754.7704 | ARRABELLE.ROCKRESORTS.COM

SEASONAL DELIGHTS Steger's summer dishes showcase the season. The Summer Tomato salad starts with a variety of colorful hues from local heirloom tomatoes, red onion, herb salad and basil, all nestled around a ball of creamy burrata cheese. It’s light yet decadent, refreshing and rich simultaneously; it’s everything that makes this season shine. The menu’s new Island Poke Bowl highlights your choice of protein, from ahi tuna to octopus, crispy tofu to organic salmon. Each bowl is served with sticky rice, kimchi, kaiware, edamame, cucumber, wakame, chili mango, pickled ginger, wasabi, yozu shoyu sesame dressing and crispy glass noodles. Seafood lovers can take it a step further by ordering the Bucatini. This bowl of texture-rich noodles comes with handshucked lobster and shrimp, spinach, garlic, lemon, saffron and parsley. It begs for a glass of chardonnay that’s just as deep in flavor and indulgent in spirit. The Wapiti elk dish may even make your well-fed doggie jealous. It’s a coffee-cured elk loin with charred spring onion, pickled huckleberries and curry quinoa couscous. It’s recommended rare, allowing the true flavor of the meat and all the accompanying tastes on the plate to come through. And don’t forget dessert. When Davis isn’t baking gourmet dog biscuits, she is crafting amazing sweets. Try her coconut cheesecake — it’s gluten-free

PRICE

Shared plates, sandwiches and salads: $7 - $21; Large plates: $18 - $41 •••

AMBIANCE

Upscale yet casual mountainside bar and restaurant •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Elk loin with huckleberry syrup puree and red cabbage, basil oil and quinoa curry couscous •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes. And dog-friendly outdoor seating

and picture perfect, served on a coconut macaroon with a fresh mango salad. • The doggie menu at Tavern on the Square includes peanut butter, dog treats and fruit. top right Coffee-cured Wapiti elk loin with huckleberry syrup and curried quinoa couscous. left Heirloom tomatoes with basil and burrata. top left


v a i l d a i l y

WHITE BISON

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223 GORE CREEK DRIVE | VAIL | 970.763.5470 | WHITEBISONVAIL.COM

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by HEATHER HOWER photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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itting on a sunny deck, listening to the sounds of Gore Creek intermingle with a two-man band, sipping a cocktail, the sun kissing the space — this is what a lazy summer afternoon is all about. And this, combined with fresh comfort food, is just what White Bison is all about. Don’t worry, though, if there isn’t room on the deck. The interior is just as light, airy and inviting — beckoning your party to pull up an ottoman or sink into a sofa and sip, nosh and enjoy. The cocktail menu is deep and the options endless. Look around and see what your deck compatriots have ordered because half the fun is checking out what they have – and it might help you narrow your selection. There are the classics of course: an Old Fashioned or Moscow Mule, but be daring and try a tiki cocktail – whether a Mai Tai, a Fleur de Rico, a grown-up slushy …. Or 3 dots and a dash, which will cause whispers of admiration and jealousy when it comes out adorned with an umbrella and pineapple in a ceramic tiki glass. Sip carefully! Hailing from Tennessee, Executive Chef Jake Burkhardt combines southern spice with Rocky Mountain flair for a menu that satisfies. His inspiration always reverts back to what’s best in season. “Nothing is better than an ingredient that is at its peak of ripeness,” he says. White Bison sources meats from Colorado ranches and farms, using only Colorado bison, chickens, pork and steaks. The Farmers Market Salad, with

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local baby lettuce, crispy watermelon radish, roasted corn, chickpeas, bacon and sherry vinaigrette, is an easy way to start the meal. Share the crispy walleye tacos with a pal — three of them served with cilantro lime slaw, fire-roasted pico and chipotle aioli, a perfect mix of fire and cool. “I like to base my dishes on local farm-driven ingredients as much as possible. When I create a dish for White Bison, I focus on food that people will feel comfortable with and reflect on seasonal trends,” he says.

LIFE-CHANGING BURGER Chef Burkhardt embraces comfort with freshness with the decadent White Bison Burger — two Colorado bison patties, a generous serving of caramelized onions, American cheese, house-made pickles and smoked tomato aioli on an English muffin. “My favorite creation on the menu is our Bison Burger. I love a great burger,” Chef Burkhardt says. “I have always loved using an English muffin as a burger bun, and a diner-style burger cooked on a flat top in its own fat with American cheese. So this is a combination of both — and it’s life changing.” For the less-hungry, but equally enthusiastic, eater, dive into the pulled pork sliders with Memphis-style barbecue sauce, cabbage slaw and those house-made pickles. Delish. Dessert is done right at White Bison. With the creek raging by, take your time and digest before diving in to more goodness. Chocolate never disappoints as is witnessed with the cherry chocolate cake — a complex mix of sweet, tart and chocolate. Win, win and win. The carrot cheesecake has equal layers of cheesecake and carrot cake with pineapple compote, toasted coconut and a thin layer of carrot crisps. Sam and Mike, under the moniker Chef’s Choice, croon Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and add a party vibe to the deck with their ‘80s and ‘90s cover tunes. Happy hour happens every

PRICE

$10-$32 •••

AMBIANCE

A cozy alpine space with expansive views of Gore Creek •••

KID FRIENDLY?

15% from the kids' menu goes to YouthPower 365's Magic Bus Program •••

LIVE MUSIC

Monday, Wednesday & Friday 3-6 p.m.

day with food, drinks, jams and views. Between a sunny deck, bubbling river, good tunes, tasty vittles — White Bison is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. • Crispy Walleye tacos with Great Lakes Walleye, cilantro-lime slaw, fire-roasted pico de gallo and chipotle aioli. left Eating on the White Bison deck is pure summertime pleasure, with a prime view of Gore Creek. above

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PRICE

Starters: $10-$22 Mains: $25-$50 •••

AMBIANCE

Vintage French •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Steak frites •••

HOURS

8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. for brunch daily 2-5 p.m. - après-midi Wednesday through Sunday 5-9 p.m. dinner Wednesday through Sunday

VINTAGE by HEATHER HOWER photos by JUSTIN Q. McCARTY

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'aime Paris … dipping bread into the garlic-butter sauce of the mussel frites, sipping a rosé, I could very well be in The Marais. The bistro brings bold French flavors into a cozy space. But the terrace may be the pièce de résistance with the French-style tables and chairs nestled up against the building, baskets of flowers, lanterns and twinkle lights — it feels just like a French brasserie. It seems like sacrilege not to start with a wine — and the wine list is extensive with a price for every budget. But, the Ring around the Rosé was just too much to resist, as was the Sage’d and Confused — cocktails that welcome the long, lazy days of summer. At a young age owner Laurance “Brodie” Broderick fell in love with the restaurant business through an Italian family friend. Through twists and turns of life, it took a while, but he fulfilled his dream of running his own restaurant. The combination of vintage nostalgia and French fare came together serendipitously. “Vintage has a double entendre — it refers to a year of wine growth and the same word in French, is a year of growth. Vintage — it’s classic, it never goes out of style. It evokes a

12 VAIL ROAD #100 | VAIL 970.479.0175 | VINTAGE-VAIL.COM

sense of nostalgia,” Brodie says. “The idea for a French restaurant had more to do with the space speaking to us and what the town was in need of." He worked his way around Paris, dining and finding what should be on his menu, which is carefully curated to offer a French experience, and one that promises utter contentment. There are several sauces for the mussels: marinière, red pepper, d’espelette or the daily offering. The internal debate raged, but I had to go with the classically delicious marinière — mussels that swim in the white wine and shallot sauce. The generous dish was exactly the right way to start the meal. The main selections caused much discussion but we meandered along with poisson en papillote — the fish of the night was a meaty, tender mahi mahi that positively sang with the garlic, white wine, olive oil, lemon, capers and thyme and cherry tomatoes. The ratatouille de l’aubergine provided a crunchy, interesting twist on this typical stew, with a beet and eggplant puree swirled under the pan-fried cashew-encrusted eggplant with crunchy chickpeas. Oh, the steaks. Tender, juicy and cooked to perfection with the added bonus of having one of the house’s signature sauces to enliven the dish. End the meal with the lemon mousse. The flavors tumble in your mouth with

a touch of sweetness, a hint of tart and an all-around loveliness. Then again, the petite crème brulee is the right size, a kiss of dessert that leaves you with a smile of satisfaction. BEYOND DINNER Vintage’s daily champagne brunch is just as decadent and an easy way to spend a morning in Vail with slight twists on American favorites such as Uncle Paul’s pancakes or house-made granola, as well as new fangled favorites: avocado toast on a toasted baguette, fresh avocado, chopped bacon, cherry tomatoes, honey-mustard cream cheese, balsamic reduction or eggs Benedictine: Two poached eggs, grilled ham, hollandaise sauce on toasted brioche. Check out the drink menu for playful cocktails that will brighten your morning.

Better yet, just as the French choose to spend time picnicking and relaxing, Vintage offers a picnic basket for those who want to set out and explore on their own, but do so in a refined manner. The picnic baskets, which can be reserved in advance and carried to a concert or the ballet, up the mountain or along the creek, come with everything two or four could need relaxing throughout Vail. Chapeaus not included. In a town known for its alpine experience, it’s one of the finer things in life to enjoy a patio and the true French ambiance of Vintage. • top Octopus salad with sliced Spanish octopus, baby arugula, bruléed orange, cherry tomato, hearts of palm and saffron-pepper aioli. above Ratatouille de L'Aubergine with pankoand-cashew-encrusted eggplant, pois-chiches and market-fresh ratatouille.


v a i l d a i l y

VIN48

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48 E. BEAVER CREEK BLVD. AVON 970.748.WINE | VIN48.COM

t’s a perfect summer evening, the patio is full and Chef Charles Hays is tending to the whole hog on the outdoor smoker. He blends in with the dining experience while somewhat unintentionally — and almost theatrically — becoming one of the highlights of it. The outside smoker is one of the more evident ways diners at Vin48 can see the pride that goes into the cooking here, but it’s happening behind-thescenes, as well. The philosophy is relatively straightforward — serve the highest quality ingredients cooked with passion and creativity and guests will leave pleased. And they do. Time and time again. Vin48 will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in December, and much of their success can be attributed to the local, cult-like following the restaurant has created. Hays is self-taught, which could explain the incredible restraint he shows with his dishes. He lets the ingredients

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by LAUREN GLENDENNING photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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do the talking, while elevating them with simple, clean flavors. “I’m really proud of the quality of the ingredients we’re using,” he says. “They don’t need a lot of manipulation.” He draws inspiration from those ingredients, as well as from what he has on-hand that he needs to use. He created a new chickpea ravioli dish, made with beet pasta and served with pine nuts, sunflower shoots and chili oil, thanks to some leftover garbanzo beans. Another sous chef added some green curry and next thing they knew they were adding it to the summer menu. “It’s a very collaborative menu,” Hays said, referring to the sous chefs who contribute ideas. MENU HIGHLIGHTS One of the highlights on the menu this summer is the whole grilled sea bass, swimming off the shores of Long Island as recently as the day before you’re eating it. Hays calls it one of his sea-to-table specials. You can try to eat it elegantly with a fork, but it’s advised to just dive right in with your hands because a

fork could tragically miss some of the meat. This fish is slightly smoky from the grill and so fresh it has an almost silky texture. It’s outstanding. The whole pig that Hays tends to on the smoker can be found throughout the menu in dishes like freshly-ground pork meatballs with parmesan cream or a nightly “du jour” entrée preparation. If you ask Hays about the pigs, he’ll enthusiastically tell you about the ranch in Meeker that raises them. Vin48 makes an effort to tell its diners the back stories of its dishes — that the greens came from The Farm at Knapp Ranch down the road in Edwards, or the mushrooms were recently foraged in nearby Vail. The joy they find in telling these stories elevates the dining experience, but they do it such a subtle way that it doesn’t overpower it. Anyone who has skied Beaver Creek has likely heard of Vin48’s legendary happy hour deals, often enjoyed as après-ski. The good news for summer guests is that happy hour is year-round. The bad news is that if you don’t arrive promptly at 5 p.m. when the doors open, you might miss your chance on a seat in the lounge where these killer $8 share plates are served alongside high-quality $5 glasses of wine. The wine program here is the brainchild of Wine Director and partner Greg Eynon. There are more than 40 by-the-glass offerings, made possible by Vin48’s wine tap system that keeps wine fresh. A third partner, Collin Baugh, is usually found manning the front of the house.

PRICE

Small plates: $9-$16; Large plates: $28-$32 •••

AMBIANCE

Elegant yet approachable, great for everything from a casual happy hour with friends to a romantic dinner for two •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Nightly preparations of the whole smoked hog •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

Between the three of them — all long-time locals with a passion for the business — Vin48 has every aspect of an excellent dining experience covered. • Mt. View pork chop with beet mashed potatoes, grilled king trumpet mushrooms and rosemary chimichurri. left Deep Crab Vichyssoise with chives, chive flowers, and deep-sea red crab. cover Chickpea ravioli with beet pasta, green curry, pine nuts, sunflower shoots and chili oil, and Regalo Ranch goat tacos with mango salsa, Cotija cheese and avocado. above

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MAYA MODERN MEXICAN KITCHEN & TEQUILARÍA 126 RIVERFRONT LANE, WESTIN RIVERFRONT RESORT & SPA | AVON | 970.790.5500 | RICHARDSANDOVAL.COM/MAYABC

PRICE

Starters: $10-$18 Entrées: $14-$30 •••

AMBIANCE

Hip, modern Mexican kitchen •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Pork Shoulder Pibil with achiote, black beans, roasted corn, watercress and sour orange •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, with a fun coloring menu available

by HEATHER HOWER photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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he generous outside deck and expansive, airy windows — with all of the natural sunlight pouring through — pales in comparison to the fresh, bright Mexican food from Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequilaria at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at the base of Beaver Creek. Maya is the brainchild of Chef Richard Sandoval. Each of the menu offerings is lovingly crafted with interesting twists on classic Mexican offerings. The result is a meal that surprises the palate, yet seems immediately intuitive. The perfect start to summer, and to the meal, is one of the daily gazpacho specials; we got to try a variation with watermelon and grilled shrimp. Cool and slightly sweet with spice-infused grilled shrimp — one bite in and you know you are in for a culinary homerun of an evening. Head into the handcrafted guacamole — it’s created tableside for you. Like it extra spicy? Done. Chunky or smooth? Be the master of your guacamole destiny but remember to tread lightly — the menu is long and there’s nothing sadder than filling up on chips and guac (even if it is handmade). With four full pages of tequila offerings, it’s really a crime not to at least

give one sipper or cocktail a try. The Pepino keeps you dazzled with its citrustajin-salted rim and cool cucumber mix to offset the spicy serrano-infused tequila. Sharing is hard but it’s the best way to manage to sample all of Chef Sandoval’s magical Mexican creations: the slowroasted pork carnitas melt in your mouth but perk up your taste buds with the pickled vegetable citrus salsa. Maya’s Sous Chef Veronica Morales has been a chef in the valley for a decade and is intent on marrying the new with the old. And it shows: Each plate seems more colorful than the previous and the colors explode into a symphony of flavors. “I have been searching recipes, using old creations and I have been putting my taste and favorite flavors into dishes over the years,” Morales says. “One time, a chef told me, ‘We just need to build flavor,’ and that stuck with me.” Combining the expected with the unexpected also seems to be a passion of Chef Morales. The shredded chicken enchiladas are divine: Smothered in a heavenly tomatillo salsa that bursts with freshness (and cilantro), Chihuahua cheese, drizzled crema fresca with cherry tomatoes and micro greens. It looks like a gift — and maybe it is, straight from the chef to you. For the seafood lover, the crab and shrimp enchiladas are a must. Full of flavor with lump crab, shrimp, corn,

spinach and red bell pepper, roasted with tomatillo sauce, poblano chile rajas, Chihuahua and mascarpone cheeses. Warning: these are succulent and light, making them difficult to relinquish. End the meal with the Mexican fried ice cream. Hot, cold, crunchy, smooth — it’s enough to make your mouth explode. The pistachio ice cream is deep fried, then set beside a banana, drizzled chocolate sauce and vanilla whipped cream. The perfect ending to a decadent meal. Not ready to belly up for a full

meal? Start off with happy hour from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily; the patio is the place to be, to see and to be seen all summer; or get up early enough for the rolicking Sunday brunch. • Tuna Tartare Ceviche on a crispy tostada with jicama, serrano and chipotle ponzu. top right The Pepino with serrano-infused tequila, cucumber, citrus and a tajin rim. below Shredded chicken enchilada with tomatillo sauce, crema, tomatoes and micro greens. top left


v a i l d a i l y

•••

AMBIANCE

Chef-driven mountain gastropub •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Pork chop with coriander carrot and zucchini •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

BOXCAR RESTAURANT & BAR by KIM FULLER photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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here’s an oasis in Avon that serves up summer leisure and chef-driven flavor. Boxcar’s spacious patio is tucked away between the bustle of the day and the energy of an evening out — where happy hour is truly a breath of fresh mountain air. “The patio is a little more unique than most anything else you will see in the Vail Valley,” explains Hunter Chamness, co-owner and chef. “It’s set back and filled with greenery, and with full service out here it creates its own special scene.” Think of your own dream outdoor dining area, but with artisanal food and drink delivered right to you. Chamness and Boxcar’s other co-owner, chef Cara Luff, have recently updated the patio furniture to make the dining experience even more comfortable, and live music welcomes the weekend early every Thursday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Happy hour, every day from 4 to 6 p.m., includes food and drink specials. It’s a great time to have the Boxcar

Cheeseburger with an ice-cold brew. A summer sipper like the Field Blend is refreshing and also a light sidekick to fun bar bites like the popcorn with sweet jalapeño, and sides such as the curried spiced baby carrots with lime and mint. As Boxcar rolls through its fourth summer, Luff and Chamness stay on track to delight their guests daily. “New inspirations just come with the seasons,” explains Chamness. “What we see, how the wheels turn; just the ways you evolve as a chef with what inspires you on a day-today basis. I think as you move forward in life, so does your style of food.” Summer is dished up brightly with the grilled asparagus salad. It’s zesty and fresh on a bed of beets, then topped with the green crunch of asparagus and spring peas, and complete with large rye croutons and a cilantro vinaigrette. Boxcar has an impressive selection of house-made charcuterie, including a smoked salmon rillette, boudin blanc pork sausage and chicken liver pate. Boxcar works closely with Colorado Meat Company, the Vail Valley’s only whole animal butcher shop, to source local product from nearby ranches.

Try the 12-ounce pork chop with a glass of Oregon pinot noir from Salem Wine Company. The chop is succulent and savory, and served on a corridor carrot puree and with thinly sliced strips of zucchini. “We create those comfort foods that are delicious yet unique,” says Chamness, “and we like them to be both challenging and fun to the palate.” • 12-ounce pork chop with coriander carrots, zucchini and the Field Blend: quinquina, vinho verde, pear brandy, cucumber and sparkling wine. right Grilled asparagus salad with spring peas, roasted golden beets and rye croutons, with a Ruby Slipper: strawberry, cognac, rose liqueur, Pernod, lemon, bitters and sparkling wine. above

182 AVON RD. | 970.470.4121 BOXCARRESTAURANT.COM

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PRICE

Small and shared plates: $4-$17; Large plates: $24-$36

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FIESTA JALISCO 240 CHAPEL PL #129, AVON 970.845.8088 | FIESTAJALISCO.NET

by ROSS LEONHART photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON PRICE

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he walls of Fiesta Jalisco in Avon are filled with movie posters of famous Mexican actors from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s — and they’re just one sign of the star power to come when the food starts rolling out of the kitchen. Jose Rodriguez, owner of the highenergy restaurant located in Chapel Square, has family from Cuautla, Jalisco, a small town in the hills of western Mexico, and he brought a taste of home to the Vail Valley. “There’s a lot of history in those pictures, and he’s always collecting,” says manager Carlos Dominguez. Rodriguez also has a passion for large bullheads, horns and all, which hang on the walls and add to the lively Tex-Mex feel. Celebrating 15 years of business, the restaurant is busy during the summer months, and locals love to stop by. One of the reasons Fiesta Jalisco is so popular is the consistency of the food and service. Dominguez has been the manager for 13 years, and much of the kitchen staff has passed the 10-year mark — something almost unheard of in many local restaurants. And whether you’re stopping by for a quick bite with your family, or settling in for a leisurely meal with friends, the familiar faces of Fiesta Jalisco are excited to see you.

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MEXICAN FAVORITES The menu features two sides of Mexican culture, with a Tex-Mex focus in addition to the original classics from Cuautla, Jalisco. Everything from tacos to burritos to enchiladas is available with chicken, beef and/ or shrimp — as hot and spicy as you want, or as mild as you please. The menu is filled with delicious options. Especially good are the flamebroiled beef dishes. Try the Carne Asada y Camarones — grilled skirt steak and shrimp that’s served with beans, rice and “the works.” Pile it all into the fresh, warm tortillas — the bacon-wrapped shrimp goes great with the garlicky steak. As shrimp is rather a specialty, you could opt for one of the all-shrimp options, such as the house favorite Viva Fiesta Plate.

Appetizers: $7-$16 Lunch/Dinner: $9-$30 Premium margaritas: $7-$18 (jumbo) •••

AMBIANCE

Family-friendly, authentic Mexican dining •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Carne asada and shrimp, served in healthy portions with refried beans, rice, peppers, guacamole, salsa and soft tortillas; The Natural margarita, 12-ounce, 20-ounce or 32-ounce •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

¡Sí!

They describe it as the three amigos: camarones al mojo de ajo, camarones con tocino and camarones diabla. At Fiesta Jalisco, high-end ingredients are used in everything from the food to the drinks. If you’re a margarita lover, you really ought to try The Natural. Made in the authentic tradition with fresh lime juice and high-end tequila, the smooth taste is perfect for washing down a few bites of the carne asada and shrimp. Served in 12-ounce, 20-ounce and 32-ounce glasses made for kings and queens, there are over 30 varieties of margaritas at Fiesta Jalisco. Even with a small bar inside, the restaurant is family-friendly with large tables for groups. So look out for those bullhorns hanging on the walls, and marvel at the posters that help bring a little taste of the Mexican fiesta to Avon at Fiesta Jalisco. • Carne asada y camarones, ceviche tostada, guacamole, strawberry margarita and a Natural Margarita. right Grilled chicken taco salad, taquitos ranchero and Corona beer. above


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GREEN ELEPHANT JUICERY DRIVE THRU 2111 NORTH FRONTAGE ROAD | WEST VAIL | 970.688.5247 * 150 EAST BEAVER CREEK BOULEVARD | AVON | 970.470.4042 616 W. LIONSHEAD CIRCLE, UNIT 206, CONCERT HALL PLAZA | VAIL | 970.470.4206 | GREENELEPHANTJUICERY.COM

by JENNIFER GEISMAN photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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imple, healthy eating is the order of the day at Green Elephant. It is evident when you see the look on Partner and Chief Operating Officer Osha Groetz’s face as she describes the philosophy behind the green eatery’s one-hundred-percent organic and plant-based dining. “No one else in the valley offers organic, plant-based foods. At Green Elephant, we all love to eat good food

and are passionate about creating amazing meals that are satisfying and healthy,” Groetz says. “We make food that we love, hoping that you will, too!” Green Elephant’s menu states their mission right on the cover: Make it easy for people to eat healthy foods. Every season head chef Hugo Ramirez, Groetz, and the rest of the expert crew come up with new items to keep it interesting and fresh. This summer they introduced three new smoothies: Ever-Green, featuring a nourishing combo of almond milk, pineapple, mango, banana, kale and Sante Matcha; Sunshine Daydream with cold-pressed orange juice, rice milk, strawberries and banana; and the Rocky Mountain Mudslide, containing an eyeopening blend of cold-brew coffee, almond milk, banana, kale, dates, cacao and maca. In addition, Green Elephant offers a new almond milk, the Matcha Mint Milk. This drink features almonds, dates, fresh mint, Sante Matcha and reverse osmosis H2O, a water purification technology that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, larger molecules and minerals from drinking water. BEYOND SIPPING Green Elephant’s acai bowls have brought a superfood trend all the way from Brazil to the Vail Valley. These breakfast-smoothie-

inspired culinary dreams combine healing, immune-system-stimulating, energyboosting acai, along with refreshing fruits, granola, nuts and spices. GEJ offers a trio of bowl options: the Original and the Cherry Bomb, and the new Matcha Fix, a colorful combo of blueberries, kale, Sante Matcha, green apples, flax seeds and coconut milk. The acai bowls, along with their made-to-order smoothies, are only available at the Avon location. Other new menu choices include the Basil and Barley Spinach Salad, incorporating barley, spinach, lentils, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews and coconut water for a wholesome and fulfilling dish. The Hearts of Palm Ceviche, a favorite of Green Elephant manager Ashley Perry, brings a citrusy-fresh flavoring of lime, cilantro and a kick of jalapeño for a fresh twist on the summer coastal staple. For breakfast, try the Mountain Muesli, which serves a hearty portion of house-made Rawmond Milk, oats, apples, dates and coconut. Listening to its customers is a big part of what makes Green Elephant successful. Back by popular demand are the Kale Caesar Salad, Blueberry Cheesecake and Avocado Gazpacho. While you can, grab one of their availablein-summer-only juices like the sweet, tart grapefruit watermelon GLOW-E, or Rosewater Lemonade, with cold-pressed lemon juice and fragrant rose oil. Green Elephant has three locations: the main shop and cafe in Avon, a drive-thru in West Vail and the Lionshead grab n’go.

PRICE

Juices and smoothies start at $10; grab-and-go and snacks start at $4 •••

AMBIANCE

So fresh and so clean, and always convenient •••

SIGNATURE DISH

GLOW-E juice and Acai Bowls •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

When you are out and about this summer, don’t forget to look for Green Elephant’s mouth-watering treats and salads at Yeti’s Grind, Edwards Village Market, Edwards Shell Station, COLOR Coffee, or one of the weekend farmers’ markets in Edwards, Minturn or Vail. Or call the Avon shop to have nourishing goodies delivered right to your front door. • Quinoa Pesto Salad. Acai Bowls, clockwise from left: Cherry Bomb, Matcha Fix and the Original. left Rosewater Lemonade with Mountain Rose juice shots in the background. top left

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PRICE

Sides, Snacks & apps: $6-$23 Entrées: $17-$40 •••

AMBIANCE

Mountainside bistro meets neighborhood grill •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Brandt Beef prime NY steak with Brussels sprouts with pancetta and honey, and roasted baby carrots with lemon yogurt and Dukkah •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes •••

TIP

Free summer parking

8100 MOUNTAINSIDE BAR & GRILL by BRENDA HIMELFARB photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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ithin the walls of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, is the 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, where you will have a truly epicurean experience — just when you least expect it. The restaurant’s name is unassuming, yet the menu, which might be called “mountain chic,” is incredibly creative, be it just a snack or an entrée. The room has a contemporary, open feel that, at once, makes you feel relaxed. While the grill is the showpiece of the open exhibition kitchen, the gorgeous bar buzzes with excited energy. What’s more, the place has a fantastic view of Beaver Creek Mountain that never quits. Executive Chef Wade Eybel has been working in hotels for 15 years and hails from Lake Tahoe, where he worked with the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. He’s a combination layback kind of guy who enjoys the mountain lifestyle, yet earned an economics degree from Washington and Lee University. He began working in restaurants while attending college — to pay the rent, he says — and learned to cook and manage just by “doing.” And as 8100’s new executive chef, Eybel will be doing things somewhat differently.

Rather than a more traditional, fine dining experience, where each person might order his own appetizer, salad and entrée, explains, Eybel, “we want to create a feel of having a communal dining experience. We want the apps, sides and entrées shared and passed around that table to create a ‘mountain family and friends’ kind of feel. We’re going for upscale, mountain, shareable cuisine.” In fact, from a list of snacks to sides, the menu has a boggling number of sharable plates. For starters, the prime beef tenderloin tartare, created by Restaurant Chef Jason Stewart, might even have vegetarians trying to sneak a taste. Presented cubed on grilled focaccia with olive oil, lemon, garden chives and arugula, the tartare is both delicious and unique. The crab bisque, made with dry sherry, fish fumet, lump crab and garlic crostini, is not to be missed. And the little gem Caesar, with bagna cauda (garlic, anchovies and olive oil), prosciutto and honey gem lettuce topped with crispy parmesan is a summer treat. On the list of entrées from the wood-fire grill, one item stands out: the Brandt Beef prime New York. It is cooked to perfection, then sliced and served with your choice of sauces including classic béarnaise, blackberry au poivre, chimichurri, verjus beurre blanc or marsala mushroom. All of

50 WEST THOMAS PLACE | PARK HYATT BEAVER CREEK 970.827.6600 | HYATT.COM/GALLERY/BEAVE8100

them the perfect choice. When paired with Brussels sprouts with pancetta and honey, and roasted baby carrots with lemon yogurt and Dukkah (a spice blend made of pounded hazelnuts and coriander), you might have just eaten the perfect dish. Of course, there’s also the house-made ravioli made with lemon herb ricotta, smoked tomato gravy, English peas, pine nuts and basil. It’s outstanding, with textures you didn’t know were there. For dessert, a selection prepared by Amy Andrews, the talented pastry chef,

is a “must!” Perhaps the madeleines with roasted strawberry ice cream topped with lemon curd, marcona almonds and macerated strawberries strikes your fancy. Or the warm flourless chocolate torte with crème fraiche whipped cream and chocolate crunchies. Consider whatever you choose from 8100’s outstanding menu as a gift from the kitchen. It’s that good. • top Brandt Beef prime New York with Brussels sprouts and roasted baby carrots. above Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella.


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REVOLUTION by LAUREN GLENDENNING photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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evolution Chef Riley Romanin has become a student of the cow, studying where it sleeps, what it eats, its living conditions and especially its bloodline. He’s so enthusiastic about the process that he’s often traveling around the state to farms and ranches to ensure he’s sourcing the highest quality ingredients — from the microgreens to the beef and everything in between — on his menus. It’s that procurement that shines on Revolution’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, where pigs from Meeker, wagyu beef from Yarmony Ranch in Walden and cuts from 7X Cattle Company steal the spotlight.

26 AVONDALE LANE | INSIDE THE BEAVER CREEK LODGE | BEAVER CREEK 970.845.1730 | REVOLUTIONDINING.COM

“This is the world-class steakhouse that Beaver Creek has been waiting for,” Romanin said. “It’s top-notch.” He describes the restaurant as “rotisserie by technique, steakhouse by cuisine.” Romanin is so focused on the procurement process that he’s taking things to an entirely new level by organizing a beef program in which Revolution will be breeding two top-of-theline cows: full-blood Japanese cows from Walden and pure-blood blank angus cows from Meeker. The beef won’t be ready until the 2018-19 winter season, but Romanin thinks it could revolutionize Colorado’s beef industry and the local dining scene. But that’s not how Revolution got its name — the name refers to the rotisserie techniques from around the globe that are used to cook all of the

proteins on the menu. The rotating meats over the char rotisserie ensure even temperatures throughout, Romanin said. The lunch and dinner menus feature the “butcher block,” where diners choose their cuts and add-on sauces like traditional au poivre or internationally-inspired creations like the garlic, ginger and soy Asian marinade. The family-style experiences are one-of-a-kind, too. Diners can choose a butcher’s selection of the day’s best cuts, 7 to 10 courses of the chef’s choosing, or the whole suckling pig (24 hours notice required). REIMAGINED INGREDIENTS With such a wide variety and large quantity of menu items, it’s easy to spot Romanin’s passion for showcasing his talent by reimagining ingredients in so many interesting ways. He roasts a whole hog from Mountain View Farms in Meeker, for example, and you’ll see it turned into porchetta, pulled pork, carnitas, pork chops and more. The porchetta makes appearances throughout the menu, from steak and eggs and porchetta Benedict at breakfast to porchetta bits and pork poutine appetizers, to a porchetta Cuban sandwich at lunch. Though the rotisserie technique is the focus at Revolution, Romanin’s vast creativity and imagination means vegetarians can find happiness here, too. There are salads, flatbreads, veggie appetizers and entrees like the root vegetable coconut green curry served with white rice. The sides menu could stand on its own, with options like cheesy spaetzle, rotisserie Japanese

PRICE

Breakfast: $5-$27; Lunch and Dinner: Appetizers, $5-$28; sandwiches (lunch) $11-$19; butcher block, $25-$85; entrée specialties, $18-$28 •••

AMBIANCE

Lively yet chic, great for families, dates or friends •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Meats cooked over the rotisserie, especially beef •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

eggplant or portobellos, bean ragout and rice, or the spicy green beans. You could spend a week in Beaver Creek and dine here for every meal and still not come close to making your way through the menu. If so many options feel too overwhelming, opt for The Pignic on the first and third Wednesday of every month, where you can see a whole hog over the outdoor rotisserie, listen to live music and enjoy roast pork plates starting at $8. • 40oz Colorado Wagyu Ribeye. Peruvian Crunchy Chicken Salad. left Rancher Wake'n'Bake breakfast potato. top left

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HOOKED

122 THE PLAZA | BEAVER CREEK | 970.949.4321 | HOOKEDBC.COM

by JENNIFER GEISMAN photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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ishmonger — Noun, someone who sells raw fish and seafood and has knowledge of its origins. Well get ready to meet your friendly fishmonger at Hooked in Beaver Creek. When he stops by your table with an assortment of fresh catches of the day, you are whisked into a world of history, species and no-frills definitions about the culinary adventure you are about to embark upon. The restaurant’s chef and owner, Riley Romanin, has created a “seafood experience like no other,” as he brings his own travels and distinctive

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seafood preparations to his customers in the Vail Valley. Known for his creativity, Chef Romanin incorporates the flavors and aromas of the season’s fruits and vegetables, giving each meal an innovative and taste-bud-provoking event unlike the one before. Begin your evening with one of Hooked’s many cocktails, beers, wine or sake selections. A locals’ pick is the Hooked Mai Tai Barrel-Aged House Blend, which features house-made almond puree that is aged in oak barrels for six months, and topped with housemade pineapple whipped foam. This Mai Tai tastes like summer over crushed ice. Hooked’s selection of fresh fish arrives daily and only remains in the restaurant

for two days to ensure the highest quality and freshest ingredients for each customer. Hooked sees between 120-150 species of fish each year, and during the busy winter and summer seasons, customers may not taste the same species twice. The signature whole fish is served in two parts: a raw preparation and a cooked one. The whole fish experience is designed for communal, family-style eating, and can range between one-half pound to eight pounds, depending on how large your party is. RAW & COOKED: YIN & YANG For the raw portion of the fish, the sushi chefs create intriguing combinations for sushi, sashimi and rolls incorporating seasonal produce. If you haven’t tried authentic wasabi root with your sushi or sashimi, then you haven’t experienced “the real way to do wasabi” in Japanese culture. When ordering, make sure to ask your server about it. The flavoring of the wasabi root is slightly sweeter, but still gives you that extra kick of spice. For the cooked portion of your meal, you can choose a range of preparations including Pan Seared Classic (beurre blanc, lemon zest, salt and pepper), Steamed Szechwan (scallion, serranos, garlic, red onion, sesame oil, soy), La Parrilla Blackened (Big Easy

PRICE

Dinner appetizers: $8-$30; Large plates: $22-$55; Whole fish preparation: Market Price •••

AMBIANCE

Fresh fish house •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Half raw and half cooked whole fish preparation •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

seasoning and Granny Smith slaw), Pan Fried Mac-Crust (macadamia nuts and vanilla beurre blanc) and Poached Au Latte (milk, basil and tomato). Whichever preparation you decide on, there’s no doubt you will be using your chopsticks to get every last delicious morsel. If there is room for dessert, your server will gladly tell you about the day’s selections. There is no formal dessert menu: Items are created in small batches and sell out, to be replaced by something different. • Salmon Lemon Rollup and Crazy Mountain Lemon Ginger Wheat beer. top right Daily fresh whole fish selection, served cooked, raw — or both — to order. left The Hooked Roll with seasonal vegetables, tempura lobster, beef tataki and black truffle. top left


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by KIMBERLY NICOLETTI photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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et amid the soft buzz of the Beaver Creek Village, Toscanini Ristorante offers a sophisticated, relaxed feel inside, as well as a more casual outdoor dining experience under large umbrellas, for guests who want to remain center-action in the village. Toscanini’s chic atmosphere, with its tasteful blend of colorful artwork, soft amber lighting, rich wood tables, walls of wine bottles and huge windows facing the ice rink, only hints at the innovative Italian cuisine Chef John Zavoral presents in the restaurant. Growing up on a farm in Minnesota has inspired him to select highquality, local products and make as much in-house as possible. “I keep it simple and let the ingredients shine for themselves,” he says. And though in his mind he “keeps it simple,” his cuisine isn’t the usual Italian, or flatbread pizza, fare. He creates unique and savory appetizers and entrees, while maintaining that oftenelusive fine balance, which allows each flavor to meld with, and complement, each other. Take, for instance, his Figura Flatbread. Poached figs add a delightful sweetness, while local goat cheese and a balsamic reduction add a zingy tang. Parma ham and braised red onion round out the popular “pizza.” His gazpacho and cioppino make fabulous starters; the yellow-tomato-based gazpacho blends cucumber for a light and cool summer taste, while avocado adds a rich creaminess, accented with basil oil. The classic cioppino combines mussels, shrimp, calamari and scallops

in a robust lobster-tomato broth. And he employs a deft hand with his pasta, like the corn-and-mascarponefilled ravioli with lump crab, which is light, both in flavor and in texture. A gluten-sensitive menu features flatbread pizzas, antipasti, glutenfree pasta (with such flairs as handshucked lobster, shrimp, mussels and pomodoro sauce, or ground lamb, beef and pork Bolognese), and, just like the regular menu, a wide variety of proteins, from seared scallops and

Colorado bass, to smoked pork chops, heritage chicken and grilled New York strip steak with wild boar sausage. A LIVELY BAR Toscanini’s recently expanded bar and lounge features another special dimension of the Ristorante — its wine. For the past 18 years, Toscanini has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for being one of the few, if any, restaurants in the area to offer a wine list consisting entirely of Italian wines. The list includes rich and round, lush and lavish, crisp and clean and sweet dessert varieties. In addition, the lounge makes a wonderful stop for a handcrafted cocktail, say, a martini, before enjoying a show downstairs at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Both Toscanini’s drinks and its contemporary, yet authentic, Italian dishes will delight your taste buds, and make you rethink your idea of Italian food. •

PRICE

Apps $10-$24; Mains: $24-$39 •••

AMBIANCE

Informal, sophisticated, innovative Italian •••

SIGNATURE DISHES

Apps: Calamari, Burrata, Pomodoro Flatbread and Figura Flatbread Mains: Tagliatelle (lamb, beef, pork), Vitello (veal scaloppini) and Pettine (scallops) •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

Tagliatelle with lamb, beef and pork Bolognese. left Pettine with pan seared scallops, pea and corn risotto and truffle butter sauce. above

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TOSCANINI RISTORANTE

60 AVONDALE LANE | BEAVER CREEK PLAZA BEAVER CREEK | 970.754.5590 TOSCANINIBEAVERCREEK.COM

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PRICE

Starters: $11-$18 •••

AMBIANCE

Indoor-outdoor adult lounge •••

SIGNATURE DRINKS

Vaportinis •••

SIGNATURE CIGAR

Solomon’s Private Stash Dual Wrap

BACHELORS LOUNGE AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACHELOR GULCH 0130 DAYBREAK RIDGE | 970.343.1087 | RITZCARLTON.COM/BACHELORGULCH

by KIM FULLER photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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hampagne and cigars aren’t just for celebrations, but they do always make an evening seem all the more special. Bachelors Lounge is the place to raise a glass for an occasion, or simply “cheers” because you’re enjoying a slice of paradise at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. The contemporary scene of the lounge feels urban and lively with a touch of Western flare. It’s the ideal spot on this property to unwind with a signature cocktail, learn more about a selection of sommelier-curated wines, or choose a taste from a list of fine spirits. This adults-only indoor bar flows seamlessly into an outdoor terrace, and it’s a guest go-to for pre-dinner drinks or late-night entertainment. Thumb through the cocktail menu and spirits list to choose your libation for the evening — perhaps a pour from the extensive Scottish singlemalt and local bourbon options, or a choice from a variety of cognacs or the list of high-end tequilas. Domestic and imported beers include local selections and international favorites. The resort’s sommelier

has created an impressive list of red, white and sparkling wine from the best growing regions in the world. Light bites are available and ideal for snacking and sharing. Enjoy artisan meat and cheese plates, spicy olives and beef sliders among other options. MOUNTAIN SETTING Out on the stone-lined terrace, guests can really enjoy the crisp mountain air and take in a summer sunset. After relishing in one of Colorado’s famous alpenglow evenings, head inside to play pool, watch your team in action, or relax in a plush leather chair under the glow of soft lighting. Once it’s dark, head back outside for nightcap and a glimpse of the stars. As a full cigar bar, Bachelors Lounge has every kind you can imagine, with a price scale that ranges from $17 to $2,000. Outdoors, guests can smoke the cigars, as well as a variety of flavored hookah. A unique — and exclusive —offering is the vaportini, offering a zero-calorie “dessert” with flavors like French cheesecake, apple crumb and chocolate cake. • Unwind with signature cocktails and fine cigars in Vail Valley's only cigar lounge. right A zero- calorie dessert, the vaportini is an elevated experience in a cozy setting. above


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WYLD

0130 DAYBREAK RIDGE | 970.343.1555 RITZCARLTON.COM/BACHELORGULCH

by KIM FULLER photos courtesy THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACHELOR GULCH

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ike the great outdoors, WYLD ignites all of your senses. Executive sous-chef Aaron Baxendale is new to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch restaurant and he’s made some changes to both lighten up and enrich the menu. “There’s so much bounty out here,” says Baxendale, who moved to Colorado from Georgia. “And with the healthy lifestyle here, we are trying to go lighter, more local, and to keep everything as seasonal as possible.” To deepen its relationship to the surrounding land, WYLD has developed a cocktail menu inspired by flowers and herbs. Try the Hibiscus Syricus, made with añejo tequila, hibiscus tea, St. Germaine, lime juice, agave syrup and orange bitters. For dinner, begin with the saltroasted Colorado beets and a glass of Pernand-Vergelesses white Burgundy. The pickled strawberry and Haystack chèvre balance one another for a bright smooth flavor that brings the beets to life alongside rye croutons and a strawberry balsamic reduction. Don’t miss out on the tuna tartare, also a phenomenal pairing with the white Burgundy. Silky textures of the tuna and an avocado mousse are smooth like the wine, set off nicely with the preserved lemon, shallot and spicy greens. Baxendale’s classic French training comes through beautifully in the chicken liver pate. It’s the star of the starters, and a glass of Chianti drinks vibrantly with the dish’s

macerated cherry complement. For the full WYLD experience, allow sommelier Ben Marshall to continue pairing wine with your meal. A Fuse cabernet sauvignon from Napa plays well with many of the entrees, including the Colorado striped bass served with summer succotash and bacon. “There’s a lot of flavors going on there,” Baxendale says of the veggie medley, "along with the fish and the coulis at the bottom. There’s so much flavor, but it’s really light and fresh, and we really let the ingredients do the talking.” And the elk chops, deep in color and flavor, melt in your mouth with each succulent bite. This elegant dish comes with whipped sweet potato, roasted kale and cauliflower. Dessert is a must here, as pastry chef Emily Martin-Peksun keeps it classic. Bold and savory flavors

of the roasted banana cake with Nutella ice cream align beautifully with a glass of ice wine. New this summer, Sunday brunch is accompanied by jazz. It’s held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $40 per person and $15 for bottomless mimosas. And here’s a treat for Eagle County residents (with an I.D.): two for one on food only. • Chef Aaron Baxendale's new menu has a strong emphasis on seasonal ingredients. top right Brined Duroc pork chop with squash, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. bottom left Summer Succotash with corn, peppers, onion and tomatoes. bottom right Hibiscus Syricus with añejo tequila, hibiscus tea and St. Germaine. top left

PRICE

Starters, shared dishes and sides: $12 - $22; Mains: $28 - $54 •••

AMBIANCE

Refined modern alpine •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Elk Chops with sweet potato, roasted kale and cauliflower


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ANDERSON'S CABIN

0130 DAYBREAK RIDGE | 970.748.6200 RITZCARLTON.COM/BACHELORGULCH

AMBIANCE

Intimate mountain cabin, private for your party •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Bottomless family-style barbecue, salad and wine, followed by gourmet dessert •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Absolutely

by KIM FULLER photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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f the walls in Anderson’s Cabin could talk, everyone inside would hear whispers of an area steeped in history. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch hosts some of the most intimate and exclusive experiences in this historic venue — a coveted retreat in the woods that was originally the home of John Anderson, one of the seven bachelors that first settled in the area. The special space shows how The

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Ritz-Carlton does rustic, as guests are able to reserve Anderson’s for private summer afternoons and evening dinners, featuring the classic mountain cuisine of barbecue. The cabin is located up the road from the Ritz and it holds up to 14 guests inside, and many more in the surrounding outdoor space. Guests can come in after a full day of mountain activities to sip a cocktail and enjoy delicious fixings of Colorado cheese and charcuterie with assorted breads and crackers. Summer evenings are inspired by mountain alpenglow as groups

arrive for dinner and mingle in and around the cabin. For the meal, sit around the large wood table while candlelight and original relics seem to recall the old days of the area. A bottomless family-style barbecue menu means delightful items such as Colorado meats, sausages and other delicious fare presented alongside a summer greens salad and other sides. Each experience includes a lovely spread of miniature desserts that sweeten the evening even more. Just save a little room for the outdoor fire pit party.

“Most families end the evenings bundling up and roasting marshmallows by the fire and under the stars,” says Amy Moser, director of sales and marketing, “so it’s pretty magical.” • above Family-style

barbecue at Anderson's Cabin is a summer favorite! bottom left From fourteen guests indoors to a larger party in the outdoors and a variety of meals to choose from, this quaint setting can fit your group's needs and tailor their experience. bottom right For a unique private dining experience, Anderson’s Cabin offers guests an authentic Colorado setting.


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PRICE

•••

AMBIANCE

Upscale bar and grill with a nod to the Colorado mountains •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Danny’s Famous Ribs — every Thursday in the summer. Paired with homestyle sides like beans, potato salad and corn •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

BUFFALOS AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACHELOR GULCH 0130 DAYBREAK RIDGE | 970.748.6200 | RITZCARLTON.COM/BACHELORGULCH by KIM FULLER photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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ite into a burger after a day of mountain activities and you’ll melt into the moment, then wash it down with a swallow of craft beer and you may sink a little bit more deeply into your chair. Any visit to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a vacation, especially when you feel right at home. Buffalos head chef Daniel Morrison and his team have created a summer menu that plays to both healthy and hearty appetites. Start light with an order of Three Pea Hummus, made from a green pea trio and a spark of lemon juice, served with crudite vegetables and toasted naan bread. Share an order — or more — of the deviled eggs, served in three distinct flavors of buffalo, pickled jalapeño bacon and smoked tomato. Kids are happy upon arrival, too. Before their food is ready, the little ones can enjoy a Ritz-Carlton specialty called “nibbles.” It’s a little something to snack on, perhaps a fruit skewer, to help appease any billowing appetite.

WHAT CRAFT BREW CAN DO Buffalos is known for an extensive craft brew list, with a dozen rotating varieties on tap, as well as an impressive selection of whisky. Try a flight of beer or bourbon, but if there’s one drink to order in full make

it the Buck Buck Moose. This beer from Tivoli Brewing Company out of Denver was made specifically for The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch property. It’s a Vienna lager that's got a bit of body and richness, paired with a lot of flavor and a satisfying finish. Lighter summer cocktails are also available and truly refreshing. Head bartender Ian Mackler has created wine and beer-based drinks that are perfect for Buffalos patio sessions when you don’t want something super heavy. Try the Mango IPA Martini — it has the hop and citrus you get from beer, with a fruity twist and elegant weight. TOP-NOTCH IDEAS Passing family-style shared plates like flatbreads can work well, but there are also some upscale comfort food specialties on the menu at Buffalos that you might want all to yourself. Mahi mahi tacos have a burst of flavor and a touch of spice, served with pico de gallo, pickled radish and a salsa trio. Healthy and hearty meet for the Blackened Shrimp and Ancient Grains dish, and to taste the kitchen’s showcase, order a beef or bison burger and a side like shoestring fries. Chef Danny’s Famous Ribs are served every Thursday evening in the summer with delicious sides and finger-licking satisfaction. • above right

Flight of craft beers. The tri-tip plate with seasonal vegetables.

BEAVER CREEK

Starters, shared dishes and sides: $6 - $20; Large plates: $16 - $28

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PRICE

Bar menu: $10 - $20 •••

AMBIANCE

Open-air slopeside grill •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Mahi Mahi fish tacos with pico, avocado and chipotle aioli •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes

DANIEL’S BAR & GRILL

AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, BACHELOR GULCH by KIM FULLER photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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olorado summers mean getting outside, and Daniel’s Bar & Grill has all the luxury of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch while in an open-air mountain setting. This outdoor dining venue is located on a mountainside terrace and offers a delicious lunch menu and innovative cocktails to enjoy while you take in the views.

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Kids can pay in the pool while you chill out with a frozen drink, and afternoon games are always in session while it’s sunny out. Giant Jenga blocks, corn hole, bocce ball and a horseshoe pit keep the fun going all day. Enjoy lunch here at a picnic table or in an Adirondack chair, complete with a meal that’s easy to order and pick up. Dive into the innovative “bar food” menu of specialty salads like baby kale with granola, pepitas and poached cranberries, and dishes like veggies with cauliflower hummus,

0130 DAYBREAK RIDGE | 970.748.6200 RITZCARLTON.COM/BACHELORGULCH

nachos with pork carnitas and guacamole, mahi mahi fish tacos and the meat-topped Bachelor Pizza. The family-friendly menu at Daniel’s offers kids’ items like burgers, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, pizza and more, so everyone can really settle in and soak in each mountainside moment. For dessert, go light with a fruit salad, or more decadent with a brownie sundae. Daniel’s also offers its full menu to go, but you may opt to stay outside and enjoy each summer moment to the fullest. Once you have food and drink in

hand, relax and enjoy as the day starts to drop into evening. The mountains are a great place to make memories, and Daniel’s delivers so many smiles that stem from delicious drinks, good food and fun for everyone. • Fish tacos with seasoned mahi mahi, pico, avocado and chipotle aioli. bottom left Beef burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, arugula and tomatoes. bottom right Nachos topped with pork carnitas, guacamole and mascarpone sour cream. above


v a i l d a i l y

17 CHATEAU LANE | BEAVER CREEK | 970.845.8808 | SPLENDIDORESTAURANT.COM by KATIE COAKLEY photos by DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

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t can be difficult to have a reputation. Pulling into the porte-cochère at Splendido at the Chateau after winding my way up the hills of Beaver Creek, I felt as if I was arriving. The dazzling smile of the valet/artist that greeted me did nothing to assuage that feeling. Splendido at the Chateau is one of the preeminent dining experiences in the Vail Valley. For more than 20 years, the restaurant has been presenting guests with an almost eponymous experience, showcasing elevated fare with exceptional service and an open kitchen to boot. I’m not going to lie — I had expectations. My expectations, though great, were exceeded. Chef Brian Ackerman, who took the reins last summer, and his staff have built upon a heightened experience that already had a great reputation, creating an evening that is refined but not stuffy, interesting yet still comfortable and, best of all, one that leaves you wanting to return in an indecently short amount of time. The cuisine reflects this simple yet complex atmosphere. Take the Arctic Char crudo: Kept simple, the flavor of this fish is showcased in the sashimistyle preparation, brightened by a burst of citrus, the crunch of blanched sea beans and the peppery bite of thinly sliced radishes. Edible flowers add a pop of color on this dish that could be photographed and presented as modern art.

Chef Ackerman says he’s maintaining his focus on seasonal, high-quality ingredients, including sourcing elements from the restaurant’s gardens. This is beautifully evident in the two asparagus dishes, a true harbinger of the season. The asparagus soup was delicately balanced so that the flavor shone through the creaminess with homemade croutons for texture. However, the star was the deconstructed salad,

featuring chunks of fresh crab, bright green asparagus, Marcona almonds for crunch and a vin jaune with nasturtium leaves. Again: It was almost too pretty to eat, but we prevailed. Part of the showmanship of Splendido is its open kitchen, a window to where the magic happens. Glance through the glass and you’ll see the long, green marble counter where food is expertly plated and expedited: “The Green Mile,” one waiter quipped. But the atmosphere matches the dishes: The kitchen is energetic yet quiet: everyone knows what they’re doing and what needs to happen. It, too, is an art exhibition. While the cuisine is definitely gallery worthy, there is one difference between Splendido and a piece of art: this portfolio is really tasty. Order to your heart’s content — the main courses are just as beautifully composed, like the salmon fillet brightened with pea shoots, snap peas and dollops of roe — but save room for dessert. Pastry chef Sebastien Schmitt’s lemon custard with fennel crumble, fennel granita and lemon sorbet remain an oh-my-goodness-Ican’t-stop-eating-it experience that should be preserved for posterity.

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SPLENDIDO AT THE CHATEAU

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PRICE

$16 - $59 •••

AMBIANCE

Refined yet approachable, classy but not stuffy •••

SIGNATURE DISH

The Dover sole is a favorite, but don’t ignore other seafood options •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Yes, but wouldn’t you like a date night?

So wind your way up to the Chateau and prepare to immerse yourself in the five-senses exhibit that is a meal here. You’re sure to leave satiated, on so many levels. • Norwegian Salmon with peas, wasabi, Japanese eggplant and smoked roe. left Beet and watermelon, with raspberry, hazelnut, fennel, and midnight blue cheese. above

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BLACK DIAMOND BISTRO by BRENDA HIMELFARB photos by KRISTIN ANDERSON

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t is said that if you get to know the chef, you will enjoy a restaurant even more. Those words could certainly be applied to Chef Dan Kent of Black Diamond Bistro. However, even if you didn’t know Kent you would still be in store for a terrific, casual dining experience, for his easy demeanor and warm personality extends not only to his staff who, at once, make you feel welcome but to the food as well. "Happy people make good food and cook good food," says Kent, laughing. And Black Diamond Bistro’s food is a combination of contemporary, comforting and downright delicious. “My background is traditional, solid French techniques,” says Kent. “However, I like to use as much local products as possible. I like clean flavors.”

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AMERICAN COMFORT FOOD Kent likes to describe his menu as “American comfort food.” He might begin cooking a dish with the basics, but then often takes liberties and with just a bit of a twist creates a new “classic,” as he has done with his delicious tomato burrata appetizer. “Lots of restaurants have a burrata on their menu and they’re great,” explains Kent. “But, we’re doing it a little bit differently by taking a tomato, hollowing it out, then filling it with ricotta and topping it with mozzarella on top. It’s very unique.” It’s the starters and pizzas, Kent says, where his cooks are able to play around and be a lot more creative. For instance, his current list of artisan pizzas includes a combination potato and corn pizza, with a garlic oil base, red peppers, pepper jack cheese, bacon and chives, that Kent describes as a “taste of the South.” Then there are the rich Maryland crab cakes, with grape tomatoes, Applewood-smoked bacon, arugula and

THE CHARTER AT BEAVER CREEK | 120 OFFERSON RD 970.845.3198 | BDBISTRO.COM

Old Bay aioli which will have you thinking East Coast. And the Mediterranean antipasti with its artisan capicola, salami, prosciutto, artichoke salad, house made mozzarella and flatbread might take you to Turkey or Italy. The slate of dishes continues with an outstanding blackened Verlasso salmon with corn salsa, arancini (small balls of rice stuffed with a savory filling, coated in breadcrumbs and fried) and shrimp broth. For those who want meat, the ancho chile-braised lamb shank with poblano polenta, queso fresco and black beans or the slow-roasted St. Louis Ribs served with polenta fries, house-made Texas-style barbecue sauce, and Napa cabbage slaw with apple cider dressing might please the palate. The vegetarians can dine on Chimayo corn gnudi with fresh corn, grape tomatoes, spinach and sweet corn broth, one of Kent’s newest creations. “I feel that vegetarians often get slighted — like an afterthought. I want to take care of everyone that comes in. And this is a surprising dish for everyone. My goal with this dish was to make it rich and flavorful,” he says. THE BAR & BEYOND The bar menu has a bounty of choices of Colorado craft beer and an exciting, yet approachable wine list. Pair your brew up with the restaurant’s famous braised Angus brisket sandwich served on a housemade baguette with pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions and shoestring fries and your taste buds will love you

PRICE

Starters: $8-$15 Entrées: $22-$33 •••

AMBIANCE

Contemporary with stunning views •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Pan-roasted Colorado half chicken; artisan pizzas •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Absolutely

even more. Literally mouth-watering! When it comes to desserts — don’t think diet, or you’ll be missing out. Those who went to camp can enjoy s’mores in a jar — graham crackers at the bottom, topped with chocolate and marshmallows. Otherwise, the seasonal fruit tart is scrumptious. Contemporary. Comforting. Downright delicious. It’s all that at the bistro for your enjoyment. • Tomato Burrata with tomato jam, pesto and olive tapanade. top right S'mores Jar with mocha ice cream, housemade graham crackers and marshmallow. below Potato and corn artisan pizza. top left


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MIRABELLE 55 VILLAGE ROAD | BEAVER CREEK 970.949.7728 | MIRABELLE1.COM

by KIM FULLER photos by CHARLES TOWNSEND BESSENT

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ne of the valley’s most coveted culinary destinations can be found in the farmhouse that’s tucked into one corner of Avon, hidden just behind the entrance to Beaver Creek. Once the site of a working farm, Mirabelle has since maintained its reputation as an exquisite restaurant, guided by the talents and charm of chef-owner Daniel Joly. Joly and his wife, Nathalie, have been operating the four-star business since 1992, and last summer they fully acquired the historic property from Vail Resorts. Joly is committed to the roots of the land and has recently built a greenhouse next to the entrance of the kitchen. “After buying the land last year, I have been able to do what I have wanted to do for the past 15 years,” he says. “This was a farm for the area, and now we have started to bring the farm back to the restaurant. As a chef, it’s really a dream come true, just to be able to navigate your vessel like that.” Upgrades to the farmhouse and property will continue, but Joly plans to keep the unique charm of Mirabelle intact. The private parking lot, front porch and living room-style entrance make the experience of visiting Mirabelle reminiscent of a trip to the

PRICE

Four-course tasting menu: $80; First and second courses: $10 - $22; Entrees: $32 - $44 •••

AMBIANCE

Cozy farmhouse with exquisite European cuisine •••

SIGNATURE DISH

Dover Sole Meuniere with crispy potato tuile, baby spinach, lemon beurre noisette •••

KID-FRIENDLY?

Well behaved, yes

French countryside. Joly is originally from Belgium, and his cooking style combines flares of his homeland, as well as flavors and techniques that include French, German and Dutch. A MASTER CHEF Order the “Le Menu Gourmand,” or the four-course tasting menu, to enjoy what the kitchen is offering for the evening, or order your own courses as you please, and choose from an approachable and worldly wine list. Simple yet so refined, a first course like the arugula salad with red beets and honey-glazed goat cheese sets an exciting tone to the meal, followed by an equally inspired petite entree of lobster— sautéed lobster and yellow fin tuna surrounded by a nectarine and avocado salsa. Joly’s portion sizes are perfect to reserve your appetite for an entree and, of course, dessert. The summer

rendition of Dover Sole has all the decadence this gourmet fish elicits, alongside fresh flavors of the season. The evening feels complete after a visit from the traditional dessert cart and each creamy spoonful of tiramisu. Mirabelle is also serving lunch now, Thursday through Saturday. Enjoy an afternoon on the creekside patio, where rose wine flows freely and summer memories are made. •

top Sauteed lobster and yellow fin tuna with nectarine and avocado salsa. above Arugula salad with honeyglazed boat cheese and red beets. left Chef-owner Daniel Joly recently built a greenhouse next to his kitchen.


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Vista at Arrowhead, Edwards Dessert sampler with miniature versions of vanilla maltshake and cinnamon doughnut, key lime tart, milk chocolate creme brulee, and mascarpone cheesecake with strawberry-rhubarb preserves. PHOTO BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

The

Sweet Spot

For many, the meal isn’t over until a little sugar makes an appearance. Dessert is a sweet tradition.


Bistro Fourteen, Vail Mountain Warm plum and blueberry crisp with hazelnut crunch and vanilla cardamom ice cream. PHOTO BY JUSTIN Q. MCCARTY

opposite page, clockwise:

8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill, Beaver Creek Madeleines and roasted strawberry ice cream. PHOTO BY KRISTIN ANDERSON

Splendido at the Chateau, Beaver Creek Chocolate Cherry Pistachio and Milk with dark chocolate mousse, aerated chocolate, freezedried and fresh cherries, caramelized pistachios and milk ice cream. PHOTO BY DOMINIQUE TAYLOR

Tavern on the Square, Lionshead Coconut cheesecake with mango salad, lime gelee and coconut macaroon. PHOTO BY JONATHAN HUFFMAN



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From Piemonte,

The lush vineyards of Ca' del Baio in Valle Grande of the Barbaresco denomination. photo by elisabetta vacchetto


v a i l d a i l y

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Con Amore Suzanne Hoffman’s “Labor of Love” delivers a love letter to one of Italy’s historic wine regions and its people

˜ BY KATIE COAKLEY ˜

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5

4

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clockwise from top left: 1. Old, quaint signs still can be found throughout Piemonte. 2.The Villa Giulia of Marchesi di Gresy in the Barbaresco denomination with the snowcovered Cottian Alps in the distance. 3. Author Suzanne Hoffman, right, at a market in Piemonte. 4. Once the grapes are harvested at Ca' del Baio, the Grasso family turns their Roccaverano goats loose to enjoy a feast of grape leaves. 5. Chiara Boschis of E. Pira e Figli is a much-loved champion of the organic farming movement in Barolo.

is all about timing: when to plant, when to pick, when to release. It’s a delicate balance that depends on knowing the season and the time to which everything has its purpose. Suzanne Hoffman knows about timing. After 15 years of visiting the region of Piemonte, Italy, slowly learning about the culture, the personalities and the soul of this area, the time to share the stories arrived. “There wasn’t any one single point of inspiration,” Hoffman says. “It was an amalgamation of experiences over 15 years. Timing is everything. This was the right time in my life, in my career

and I wanted to write this book.” “Labor of Love” is a more than a book: It’s film, captured on the page through stories and photos, showcasing the families behind the vineyards. The book, which has a heft conveying the strength of the women who are profiled within, has a cover that features a pair of hands — strong, capable and undeniably feminine — tending the grapes. It’s the women that Hoffman focuses on, women that have stepped into positions of power in the industry. “Women have always been powerful, but they were finally able to own the wineries and run the wineries themselves," Hoffman explains. “It became more acceptable.” While she and her husband were living in Switzerland, Hoffman took her first trip

to the Piemonte region of Italy (known as Piedmont in English.) It wasn’t love at first sight. The tumultuous weather made the area difficult to truly know; the people were polite, but reserved. It wasn’t until her third trip when she and her husband connected with a winemaker that the tendrils of the vines started to work their way into her heart. The Hoffmans repatriated back to the United States and to the Vail Valley in 2007. In 2012, Hoffman started writing. She discovered that she wanted to tell the stories of her adventures and encounters, especially in Piemonte. Through a series of newspaper articles, she discovered she had a bigger story to tell. “I realized that I had witnessed a seismic

change in the patriarchal system that had dominated the region for generations,” Hoffman writes in the introduction to her book. “Through the years, many Piemontese women and men who revered their female ancestors and the roles they played in their wineries’ successes became not just my friends, but my role models. Their stories of their ancestors captivated me.” Hoffman says that it was like the “Steel Magnolia” syndrome: Women have always been strong, but through the years they weren’t recognized as being important to the family business. Hoffman explains, “women in Piemonte would often have Moscato grapes they would tend to.” These grapes were considered “women’s wines,” but women were not


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For those who’d enjoy the chance to hear the women of “Labor of Love” in person, you’re in luck. Winemaker Chiara Boschis, the focus of Chapter Two, will be speaking for a special Vail Symposium program called “Beyond the Bottle” on July 11 at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. In a conversation with Hoffman, Boschis will talk about the history of her family and her winery, which she took over the operation of in 1990. This is a unique opportunity to hear this award-winning winemaker speak in our backyard. Visit vailsymposium.org to purchase tickets.

— Labor of Love Tours

Prefer to see Piemonte in person? Hoffman is planning a trip this fall to introduce people to the area. Called “Truffles & Turkey: Thanksgiving in Piemonte,” this trip is a wonderful way to explore the region with someone who has intimate knowledge of both the country and its people. And there are two tours planned for May, 2018. The first is women only, May 13-20. The second, May 27-June 3, includes an optional four-day extension to Valais, Switzerland. For more information, visit winefamilies.com or email suzanne@winefamilies.com.

8 clockwise from top left:

6-7. Artisanal salumi and cheeses, and fresh artichokes at the Alba mercato. 8. Dried fruits and nuts are just some of the delights found in Piemonte's bountiful farmers' markets. photos 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 by suzanne hoffman; photos 2, 5 by elisabetta vacchetto; photo 3 by amy marcelle belotti; photo 4 by pierangelo vacchetto

allowed to own or run vineyards. However, the early 1990s brought a shift and Hoffman witnessed the transformation. But it wasn’t until she started working on the book that she dug into the next level, poring over the history and stories of the families with whom she became close. “It was a big step in the relationship, to get invited into the kitchen (of these homes),” she explains. “We didn’t go into the houses, we were always in the wineries. You have to earn that trust. I started with the (newspaper) column and they saw that they could trust me.” Along with the trust came the incredible narratives from these winemaking families, of grandmothers standing up to German soldiers, of women hiding

partisan resistance fighters from the Nazis. She tells of women who triumph through great adversity, holding together their families — and their vineyards. “I’m not a wine writer, not a wine expert,” Hoffman says. “I’m a wine family expert. I understand them, I understand the dynamic within them.” Hoffman says that she started with eight families, which then grew organically, after two years, to more than 20 families. “Labor of Love” is comprised of 22 chapters chronicling 24 families. Each chapter focuses on a different family, sharing vintage photos, genealogies and never-before-shared stories to illustrate the multigenerational Piemonte wine families. Printed in Verona (How could I print a

book about Italian wine families in China? Hoffman asks), the book is lush and vibrant, like a complex Barolo that has been lovingly cultivated. Through these accounts, the rich character of the women and families of this famed wine region can be savored. “Through the years I’ve seen these young women grow up and take their positions in the family businesses,” Hoffman says. “This is my love letter to them, and what they do and every wine family in the world.” “Labor of Love” won a silver medal for best regional non-fiction for West (Mountain) from the Independent Book Publishers Association in 2017. It also won a silver medal in women's studies from the 2016 Foreword INDIES book awards. •

Signed copies of “Labor of Love” are available locally at The Bookworm of Edwards and from Suzanne Hoffman’s website, winefamilies.com.

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Slang jargon and shorthand from the drugstores, luncheonettes and soda fountains of yore…

A.C. BANG ONE Order to mix a malted milk

American cheese sandwich ARKANSAS CHICKEN Salt pork – VERMONT Maple syrup – BLIND ‘EM Eggs fried on both sides

Houseboat

Bellywash

Sinkers

Axle Grease

Banana split – Doughnuts

Soup –

Butter

on a raft { On toast }

ALL BLACK Chocolate soda with chocolate ice cream

GUINEA FOOTBALLS { Jelly doughnuts }

one on a pillow

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A customer who leaves without paying

{ Hamburger on a bun } BABY

Glass of milk –

GREASER A cook –

THIN MAN

SCANDAL SOUP { Tea }

Dime tipper –

BRUNETTE Black coffee

TURN ON THE RADIO Light the gas stove

two in the dark Two slices of rye toast

SOURCE: “THE FOOD OF A YOUNGER LAND,” BY MARK KURLANSKY


IF LUXURY & CONVENIENCE MATTER...

PLAY WELL

Experience Beaver Creek’s award-winning Westin Riverfront. Book your summer getaway and enjoy: • Dine at Maya, a modern Mexican kitchen by Chef Richard Sandoval, pouring 100+ agave-based spirits • Relax at Spa Anjali, offering an extensive menu of mountain inspired treatments • Award-winning fitness destination now offering AIReal Yoga & Triathlon Training packages

126 Riverfront Lane, PO Box 9690,

westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com | 970.790.6000

Avon Colorado 81620

©2017–2018 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms & conditions visit westin.com


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Completely remodeled, this home features five spacious bedrooms and seven baths. Open floor plan provides several spaces to retreat including a library/study, second family room and extensive wine cellar.

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