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Vail restaurant recommendations

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
It's been 12 long years since we last visited Vail. Anyone have restaurant recommendations for dinner?


Thanks in Advance
post #2 of 27
Tons of good options.

I like the Blue Tiger in Cascade Village for casual sushi.

Basil's is always a favorite ...but spendy.

I'm sure others will chime in with their favs. You can also use the search functions since this has been discussed a few times in the past.
post #3 of 27
I have been a very big fan of Sweet Basil, in the main village, for many, many years. Food has stayed consistently good (not always top-top-top drawer, but usually very reliable), great wine list, nice atmosphere--festive, not stuffy. Two-top tables at the very back of the restaurant overlook the creek.

I have also had good experiences with Larkspur, in the main building at Golden Peak.

I have heard that Kelly Liken is a good, new, gourmet choice, but I haven't been there. . . and it's in the middle of construction city. (What isn't, in Vail these days, though?) It is located in The Gateway building, which is surrounded by holes in the ground, girders, and several cranes building the new Four Seasons and another new hotel.

I find that the food at Pepi's is always surprisingly good, as well.

I have never been very impressed with the fine dining at The Lodge at Vail. I find it overpriced, and the service is not terribly professional, considering the cost.

If you're inclined to head to Edwards there are some good choices there--I really like The French Press and Juniper.

I used to be a big fan of dining in BC (Grouse Mountain Grill, Spendido at the Chateau), but I had some rather unimpressive and overpriced meals the last couple of times I was there. Could just have been off nights, but I didn't think it was worth the money at the time.

Good, inexpensive sandwiches and breakfasts can be had at the Deli in the basement on Bridge Street. Is it Joe's Famous Deli? I can never remember. Always just duck in and grab. Also really like the gourmet deli/coffee/snack stop in the Golden Peak building.

As for lunch on the mountain, Chicken Posole at Two Elk, hands down! (Or thumbs up! ) Unless you can get an invite to Game Creek Club, of course, which I am sure is of an entirely different caliber! No wet cafeteria trays there. . .

When will you be out? It's started snowing again. . .
Mollmeister
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks!


It sounds as though there is a lot of construction going on in Vail these days? I suppose it is a good thing we are staying @ Vail Village. It's going to be nuts out there the week we're going, Spring Breakers and a big meeting being held at the Marriot. It will be interesting.
post #5 of 27
Larkspur. Excellent food and perfect service. $$$. The veal scallopine was memorable and the dessert of petite fresh cinnamon donughts and a frosty vanilla milkshake was brilliant...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCA
It's been 12 long years since we last visited Vail. Anyone have restaurant recommendations for dinner?


Thanks in Advance
post #6 of 27
There was this Italian place that we ate at last year, and it was excellent. I don't remember the name, but it is between Vail Village and Lionshead, next to the road at one of the little shopping plazas. You walk upstairs, and there is a really small bar on your left, with a view of the open kitchen on the right.

I can't remember the name of the place, but it was excellent Italian food, coming from someone who is Italian and who has insanely high standards for what constitutes real italian food.
post #7 of 27
La Cantina in the Transportation Building is good, and inexpensive.

Terra Bistro is incredible but very expensive (haven't been able to afford it the last few years.)

Nozawa Sushi and Asian Kitchen on the other side of I70 in the Holiday Inn has great Sushi, and from 4-6 Happy Hour 1/2 price Sushi and 30% off Main dishes.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
There was this Italian place that we ate at last year, and it was excellent. I don't remember the name, but it is between Vail Village and Lionshead, next to the road at one of the little shopping plazas. You walk upstairs, and there is a really small bar on your left, with a view of the open kitchen on the right.

I can't remember the name of the place, but it was excellent Italian food, coming from someone who is Italian and who has insanely high standards for what constitutes real italian food.
Campo de Fiori. Mmmmm.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
Campo de Fiori. Mmmmm.
THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was going to find it based on sight next week, as it is right on the bus route, but I'm glad I have the name.

Here's the menu: http://www.vailvalleydiningguide.com...asp?restID=261



Google : http://campodefiori.net/
post #10 of 27

3rd Campo de Fiori

Had an excellent meal there; extensive wine list too.
post #11 of 27
I would also endorse Sweet Basil. We had a great meal there earlier this month. Extensive wine list and a good if not terribly innovative menu. Does get quite crowded though and you need to make reservations well ahead.
post #12 of 27
In Vail-

Campo di Fiori for sure...

Terra Bistro
La Bodega
Blu's (casual)
Pazzo's (Pizza)
Sweet Basil is a bit overrated
Larkspur (nice for lunch)
Les Delices De France (French Deli) Lunch as well
Pepi's Antler Room (A Vail tradition)
Up The Creek- if the wait for Blu's is too long

Edwards.

Satos- best for sushi
Frites
Gore Range Brewery- great casual and good food and beer

Avon-

Fiesta Jalisco- Best Mexican in the Valley

Minturn-

Saloon- Another Vail tradition

Eagle-Vail-

Ti Amo- great locals Italian
post #13 of 27

Chille Willies!

Forgot to include Chillie Willies at Minturn. Great Mexican food in a (very!) relaxed environment and the Kiwi Margaritas are excellent!
post #14 of 27
Nice list Vail99 & I agree.

Saloon doesn't hold a candle to Chilli Willie's and you missed Juniper in Edwards.

Sapphire in Vail Village above Up The Creek is also worth a look.

And no mention of Le Tour?
post #15 of 27
yea Chili Willis has better food and the frozen kiwi margs are legendary- but the Saloon is decent and has a better atmosphere.

Juniper is OK
Le Tour is as well but cant list them all!
post #16 of 27
I'm suprised that nobody mentioned the Wildflower in the Lodge(other than mollmeister who said she wasn't impressed with the Lodge's fine dining).

Also, if you are a burger fan, the Bully Ranch in the Sonnenalp is a favorite of mine.

Vendetta's always get's it done for me as well, although I will stop short of calling it great Italian.

Don't forget, spring break is a great time to grab a chair on the patio(if you can) at Los Amigo's and watch people, especially spring breakers.
post #17 of 27
I always felt the Wildflower is way overated- and overpriced. Strictly average.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail99
I always felt the Wildflower is way overated- and overpriced. Strictly average.
That's been my feeling, too. We spent a fortune there one night two seasons ago (the last time we were willing to pay for it), and food was decent, but not great, and dessert was terrible. Good pastry chefs are usually at hotel restaurants (because of the all the functions and weddings) but not in this case. Could have improved since a couple of winters ago, though. The food at my friend's Cucina Rustica wedding reception last summer was certainly much better than the usual *reception rubber chicken.*

For my money, though, Juniper in Edwards and Larkspur at Golden Peak are better. And I've heard Kelly Liken is as well. I'm *attached* to Sweet Basil, although menu can be a bit limited and it may have *slid* a little in recent years. I am a huge soup fan, though, and they really do make some lovely ones.

Some of the less-than-fine-dining suggestions aren't too bad. Burgers at Bully Ranch are great, and I do like Chilli Willy's now and again.

But where's The Minturn Country Club? : Doesn't everyone like paying to cook their own meat over indoor communal grills? (Although I have had some good times--and tasty Texas toast-- there.)

And speaking of down market & down valley. . . I LOVE the Turntable Diner in Minturn. We always go there in the summer when we're hiking in Holy Cross. All of the Mexican accented breakfasts are tasty!
post #19 of 27
Agree with Wildflower. Overpriced...even for Vail. And food quality is variable. Went there XMas for the first time in several years. Some dishes were excellent. Some were downright bad.

Sweet Basil....always good but I don't care for having to make reservations 12 weeks in advance.

Minturn Country Club...continues to amaze me. Been there since I lived there year-round in the early 90s & still going strong. I didn't like it then & don't like it now but they sure do seem to have their business model nailed as they are always crowded. If I want to cook my own steak then I'll fire up the BBQ on the back deck of my place in Eagle-Vail.

Down Market....try Blizzards in the Village next to the Club. Best spot for a quick lunch. I recommend the Cleaver's Turkey (yes, I remember Cleavers and knew Tom C.)
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Run down of were we ate last week.

Sunday - Bully Ranch @ Sonnenalp Resort. I had the filet and it was actually the best steak I had all week. Got to enjoy some draft Fat Tire (yum). Great Service!

Monday - Terra Bistro. The food was ok, nothing great. The desert though was awesome! Service was great!

Tuesday - La Tour. We dinned here 12 years ago and since it has changed chefs (1998). It was not as good this time. Service was average

Wednesday - La Bottega. The food was good, but the service was lacking. Everyone appeared to have their head up their @ss.

Thursday - Left Bank. We also dinned here 12 years ago. The food was good, but not as good as I had remembered it to be. Service was ok. The chef/owner is extremely nice.

We wanted to dine @ Sweet Basil, but as previously mentioned it is difficult to get in on short notice. Plan ahead!

We wanted a cheap dinner one night so we went to Pazzo's Pizzeria around 7pm and it was slammed. We did not eat there that night, but we did have it for lunch one day. Pretty good pizza!


BTW, every restaurant we had dinner at had the heat so damn high that we nearly passed out during every meal.


As for the nightlife in Vail, it is not what I remembered it to be when I was 22 (now 34). I did realize quickly why I rarely go out anymore.
post #21 of 27
Next time you are up you should check out the Minturn Saloon:

http://www.minturnsaloon.com/

They also have a location in Denver.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCA
As for the nightlife in Vail, it is not what I remembered it to be when I was 22 (now 34). I did realize quickly why I rarely go out anymore.
Try the Red Lion for happy hour, immediately post ski.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Next time you are up you should check out the Minturn Saloon:

http://www.minturnsaloon.com/

They also have a location in Denver.
+1

This is the real deal for true local flav. Ski the minturn mile while you're at it.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven
+1

This is the real deal for true local flav. Ski the minturn mile while you're at it.
Not only that, but you can actually see THE Lionshead. How many people who go to Vail each year actually know where it's located? Not many, I'll bet.

Speaking of local flavor, I met the executive chef of the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek last year at the Saloon. He was bombed out of his mind and kept trying to give me his recipe for lamb shanks while pointedly sking if I was an "omnisexual". Needless to say I politely declined either offer.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Not only that, but you can actually see THE Lionshead. How many people who go to Vail each year actually know where it's located? Not many, I'll bet.

Speaking of local flavor, I met the executive chef of the Ritz Carlton in Beaver Creek last year at the Saloon. He was bombed out of his mind and kept trying to give me his recipe for lamb shanks while pointedly sking if I was an "omnisexual". Needless to say I politely declined either offer.
Too funny...a girl we know from home works at the Ritz in Beaver Creek.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Try the Red Lion for happy hour, immediately post ski.

We did...and sadly those that were there older than myself. :
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCA
We did...and sadly those that were there older than myself. :
I was there on Saturday and due to Uncle Louie's late arrival I was found by six young lovelies from Chicago who moved in on the table I was trying to save for our group. (I think they liked my Sox cap, see the fotos on LCG2 posting). Those bears who went on to dinner at Pepi's after drinks at the Lion can confirm, the Lion was definitely happening.

I found that nothing there has gotten older there over the years except for me.
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