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Vail / Beaver Creek

c
chip Jan 23, 2007 12:00 PM

Recently ate at three places: Mirabelle, Sweet Basil and Sato (in Edwards). Of the three, Sato was the least disappointing; our expectations were modest and, although the sushi wasn't superb, it was certainly acceptable for what I'd describe as a friendly, neighbourhood spot.

Mirabelle is a very pleasant restaurant. The only criticism I'd note is that the restaurant used the same garnishes on more than one dish, including a $40 app with truffles. I'd suggest that if one is paying top dollar and expecting first-rate food, 'overlap' isn't acceptable . I would return, however, as the food was well prepared and the service fine.

Sweet Basil remains a mystery to me. The place was packed, but the food was entirely average. I had something they call 'deconstructed onion soup', but one might also have called it 'cheese sauce with a few onions'. It's apparently wildly popular, but I wouldn't order it again. I then had lamb, which was raw (as opposed to medium rare). I should have asked them to re-do it, but the place was jammed and I didn't have the patience.

On balance, my modest exposure to the area's restaurants was a touch disappointing.

  1. m
    minto Mar 28, 2008 09:22 AM

    Alpenrose? Are they closed? Tried to call last night but recording saying the number has been disconnected. If they still happen to be open, any thoughts on the food there?
    Any new phone number?

    6 Replies
    1. re: minto
      c
      ClaireWalter Mar 28, 2008 01:29 PM

      For a time, and this goes back a couple of years, they had pulled away from the restaurant and concentrated only on baking. I ran into them at the Vail farmers' market -- summer of 2006, perhaps. Bottom line is that I wouldn't be surprised if they are gone. There has been A LOT of demolition and rebuilding along East Meadow Drive.

      1. re: ClaireWalter
        BlueOx Mar 28, 2008 02:35 PM

        Alpenrose is open again and here's the info on them from the Vail Daily:

        Alpenrose II. 476-8899. Serving Bavarian style food, including signature dishes pork shank, duck and weinerschnitzel. A great selection of pastries. Hours are seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

        1. re: BlueOx
          c
          ClaireWalter Mar 30, 2008 05:00 AM

          Thanks, Blue Ox. With so much construction in Vail Village in the past couple of years, it's hard to keep track (from a distance) on who's open, who's closed and who's relocated. I am esp fond of Alpenrose's strudel.

          1. re: ClaireWalter
            s
            skyguy Sep 4, 2008 11:13 PM

            Can anybody make a recommendation for fast birthday trip to Vail in mid Sept.? I am looking for a great dinner experience for the birthday night. I wasn't sure what would be open and super. (The birthday dinner is for foodie that travels the world so advice is greatly needed) Also any recommendations on brunch and bars would also be appreciated.

            Thanks in advance.

            1. re: skyguy
              c
              ClaireWalter Sep 5, 2008 11:48 AM

              Many restaurants are open in Sept, when the aspens are likely to have turned gold. A bonus: Some have locals'/off-season/fall specials -- good food and/or wine at reduced prices.

              1. re: skyguy
                ddavis Sep 5, 2008 03:52 PM

                I have still found nothing in the area that matches Larkspur. Food, service and the room are all excellent.

      2. t
        Tennessee Mar 5, 2008 12:42 PM

        Have been going to Beaver Creek for 6 years now on spring break with the family. We have had some very good food and some very bad food. Just the way it is. Spring break is crowded so many times you do not get the best effort. Here are some of our observations for the village.
        Splendido for a splurge, never a bad meal there.
        Golden Eagle Inn, great for late lunch, dinner can be good or just ok.
        Toscinini, good, nothing to write home about, you won't leave unhappy
        Coyote Cafe, avoid unless you are a college student looking for beer & nachos
        Beano's, been twice for dinner, more for the experiance than food, don't order anything to far fetched, steaks are good, kids enjoy it, go with a group, dress warm. Been there for lunch with member and it was very good.
        Blue Moose Pizza, slow, crowded and lots of grease
        Foxnut, family has always enjoyed take out sushi
        Beaver Creek Chop House, average
        Hyatt bar for after ski drinks always good
        Ritz Carlton patio grill for lunch in good weather is always good
        Pick up a A la Car dinning delivery guide, menus and delivery service from local places

        4 Replies
        1. re: Tennessee
          BlueOx Mar 5, 2008 05:14 PM

          BigT, good recap. If you like Toscinini, the manager and his crew left last fall and opened Vin 48 in Avon (old Vista spot). I haven't got a lot of feedback, but so far the only issue was price, not quality. Also, Blue Plate Bistro in the Christy Lodge is good, however, ask to sit away from the entrance to the lodge, the chlorine smell from the pool is strong.

          We had lunch today at Spruce Saddle, the food is not very good this year. What we've had on Vail Mountain has been much better than the Beav. And somehow the Beav has screwed up grooming this year (non-chowhound stuff).

          1. re: BlueOx
            t
            Tennessee Mar 8, 2008 11:52 AM

            Spruce Saddle is a necessary evil. They have you mid mountain and know they do not have to put much effor into it. At spring break it is very crowded and usually not a lot of fun.

            1. re: Tennessee
              ddavis Mar 8, 2008 02:17 PM

              Up until a few years ago there was Rafters, a sit-down, with-a-menu, table-service place on the upper level that was much better than what is there now. Food was generally OK, as I recall it, but what was really worth it to us was the relative quiet. Reservations were usually necessary, absolutely a must at spring break times and Presidents' Week, there were very few groups of loud children and you could really relax, have a beverage and order a pretty decent hot meal from a wait-person who would deliver it to your table.

            2. re: BlueOx
              f
              foodissexy Apr 3, 2008 09:59 AM

              Vin 48 is good, very pricy for what you get and iffy service, but the food is good and wine list huge (did I say expensive yet??)...
              as far as blue plate bistro, I have had only one horrible meal there... I was very excited about the concept, love the "americana" and local food, but the ribs I had were so salty, they were inedible, the cole slaw was mushy and runny, the mac and cheese (which I had high expectations for) reminded me of my college dormatory food. The hot rolls were great, but I had to ask for them. I didn't get much in the way of serice as a single diner at the bar.
              Add in about a zero in terms of ambiance, and I haven't been inclined to rush back! I'd skip this spot...

          2. k
            kpipper Mar 5, 2007 12:16 PM

            If you are looking for a good place for lunch or a bite after skiing check out Coyote Cafe. They are located at the bottom of Beaver Creek next to the ticket office. It's a small cozy little place with a variety of food to choose from. They've got great nachos, fish tacos, burgers just to name a few. It's a great local hang out at the end of the day and on the weekends host different DJ's and other fun events. You can check out the entire menu and their site at www.coyotecafe.net. I would definitely recommend their nachos!!

            1. j
              jwg Feb 22, 2007 05:20 PM

              O.K. here's our report. We chose the 4 Eagles Ranch in Wolcott, about a 1/2 hour west of Vail because we wanted a chuck wagon experience for the children.. The ranch was homesteaded in 1885, and has some of the original cabins.It was just what we wanted: a nice horsedrawn sleigh ride and simple dinner. They served quite good chili (chunks of beef with beans not ground beef), ordinary, but fresh salad with choice of two dressings, excellent baked potato with many choices of sour cream, etc; marinated chicken breast; baby back ribs, and steak, cooked medium rare or well. It was not aged porterhouse, but it was very tasty. The chocolate chip cookies were very good. The peach cobbler was only so-so. After the meal, the children roasted marshmellows by the fire, and then we took a wonderful sleigh ride through the pastures. The evening was perfectly clear and the stars went on forever. The service was very friendly. I would recommend this ranch for a family dinner and sleighride. It's something that our children will hopefully remember for a long time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jwg
                c
                ClaireWalter Feb 22, 2007 08:24 PM

                Depending on how old your children are, they will remember a lot or just what were highlights to them. But you will always remember their pleasure. I'm glad you had a good time.

              2. c
                ClaireWalter Feb 20, 2007 03:34 AM

                I'm not sure that asking for additional opinions once there is productive. Most locals don't/can't afford to take any of these dinner sleighrides and have little basis for comparison. Visitors may occasionally go on one and are generally delighted. I believe that Beano's was Colorado's first snowcat-pulled sleighride experience -- and also the first to deviate from the traditional chuckwagon-style steak/chicken/ribs menu. Some people prefer a horsedrawn sleigh; others a snowcat sleigh. Some people like the convenience of boarding the sleigh right at a resort; others prefer to get off-campus. I've always had good food at the Vail-owned places at Beaver Creek, though not great food. But the same can be said of any sleighride dinners. Chip wasn't seeking a chowhound's feast but a family evening that his kids would enjoy -- and I think each of these sleighride dinners can provide that.

                1. j
                  jwg Feb 19, 2007 09:33 AM

                  In Vail for the week. I want to take the children on the sleigh ride/dinner. I know that is expensive and touristy, but if we had to chose between the following, what would you suggest? Or is there a better choice?

                  Zach's Cabin, Beano's Cabin, Clubhouse, 4 Eagles Ranch.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jwg
                    j
                    Joplin07 Feb 19, 2007 01:35 PM

                    I'm a concierge in Beaver Creek. Beano's is incredible...and so is Zach's. Where you go depends on your taste. Zach's is modern, with a Pacific flare. Beano's is more European/Wild Game. You may be able to see their menus on www.beavercreek.snow.com Both have a sleigh ride pulled by a snowcat-kids love it!

                    1. re: Joplin07
                      j
                      jwg Feb 19, 2007 01:46 PM

                      Thanks!

                      1. re: Joplin07
                        BlueOx Feb 19, 2007 05:23 PM

                        Please ask around for additional opinions when you get to the Valley. I'd be careful about any of the Vail Resorts owned venues, Zack's (where even ski instructors beg off of eating), Saddle Ridge, Alies, Beano, Toscinnio (sp). They can be overpriced and never outstanding, its kind of VRI's way with food.

                        As for cutting Za Zacca some slack, if they are charging for food, they should deliver. I don't agree that a year is needed to make a place work, when Juniper opened it was good from the start, same for Dish and Balata.

                        Blue Ox

                    2. t
                      torta basilica Feb 13, 2007 04:25 PM

                      We were so disappointed in our first visit there, we never returned. So, Chip isn't the only one.

                      1. k
                        kbudenbender Feb 13, 2007 09:38 AM

                        This is in response to Chip's posting on January 23rd. I have eaten at Sweet Basil atleast 50 times and i could not disagree with you more. The food is usually creative and delicious. I have not eaten there this winter so I cannot comment on the onion/cheese soup but having eaten at the restaurant many times in the past 15 years, it is rare that I leave disappointed. My parents and brother were recently there for dinner and said it was outstanding. I would describe my brother as a food snob from NYC. Sweet Basil is probably one of my top 5 restaurants in the United States. I believe your assessment is completely off base. Apparently my opinion is shared by others, try calling for a reservation for this Saturday or next Saturday for that matter.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kbudenbender
                          Veggo Feb 15, 2007 04:22 PM

                          I agree with you 100% - food ,service, in an electric atmosphere. It's consistently a good time.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            alpine chef Feb 16, 2007 05:08 AM

                            i've also eaten there numerous times. never a bad experience.

                        2. r
                          RobynS Feb 11, 2007 03:32 PM

                          I have to agree with the recommendation for Ti Amo. The restaurant is about 2 miles from my family's vacation home so I've been a couple of times as has the rest of the family. Last year I had a friend in from out of town and I had neglected to make a reservation anywhere for Saturday evening. After trying a few places in Vail Village we headed to Ti Amo. We walked in and asked if they had any tables available. The answer was no so we decided to order take out and just go back to the house. While we stood at the bar perusing the menu a young gentleman who worked there and who was obviously italian asked us if we were waiting for a table. We said no, we didn't have a reservation, we are just ordering take out. He said to wait a minute. A couple of minutes later he came back to take us to a table. I had a delicious seafood risotto that I would love to get back and have again and though I don't remember what my friend got, she was also pleased. It is a diamond in the rough that is being discovered but still nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Vail.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RobynS
                            j
                            Joplin07 Feb 19, 2007 01:40 PM

                            I agree, Ti Amo, along with Campo De Fiori in Vail is probably the best traditional Italian restaurant of the Vail Valley. I have never been dissapointed, the price is great for the amount of food you get and the location itself is wonderfully intimate. Perfect for couples or try the back room for a night with friends.

                          2. t
                            torta basilica Feb 7, 2007 02:30 PM

                            Thank you all - will reserve Larkspur one night for the two of us... Ok, now, how about another suggestion for 4, with two 16 year old girls, who probably will be bored to tears & doing everything possible to ditch us? Any place that would be fun, decent food & at least hold their attention for an hour? ;-) They do like sushi, but I was hoping for something more 'alpiney...' or at least 'mountainy...'

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: torta basilica
                              r
                              River Rat Feb 7, 2007 03:47 PM

                              Ti Amo in Eagle-Vail, between Vail and Avon, is a great family style Italian place. Real people and real food. Don't know that it's "alpiney" or "mountainy" but it's sure good.

                              Another favorite of ours is Golden Eagle Inn in Beaver Creek. Several game dishes on the menu and a trout dish that will knock your socks off. It is right in the middle of Beaver Creek Village and is owned and run by folks who have their own elk ranch where they get their elk.

                            2. BlueOx Feb 7, 2007 07:33 AM

                              The only on mountain dining between both Vail and the Beav (Zach's, Allies, Saddle Ridge and Beanos) that constantly gets good reviews is Game Creek at Vail.

                              There is also Trappers Cabin at the Beav (top of Bachelor Gulch and you can't drive to) which you rent for the night. High end wines and food,staff cooks, serves and leaves for the evening, then back to fix breakfast. However, probably more $$$ than anyone here wants to pay, just another thing to do on a corporate expense account.

                              Blue Ox

                              1. b
                                blythe Feb 5, 2007 04:29 PM

                                And Beano's. Be prepared to lay down the $$ for that. :)

                                1. b
                                  blythe Feb 5, 2007 04:28 PM

                                  You have to go to La Tour. Never been disappointed there. It's very classy, but remember you are in Colorado and it is a casual state where jeans are accepted almost anywhere. Chaps in THe Cascade is very good, but more steak-type cuisine. There's also a small italian place in a strip mall past the Cascade (on the opposite side of the highway - i apologize for not knowing the name) but it's very good. Family style ordering. And there are only 4 or 5 tables - kids welcome. A good place for takeout if you are wiped out from the mountain. Go for Mudslides at Bully Ranch in the Sonnenalp. I've had very good dinners at Campo di Fiori. mmmm..

                                  1. t
                                    torta basilica Feb 2, 2007 12:20 PM

                                    Anyone having problems with dinner reservations? We're there right in the middle of ski week - Feb 18/22 - I'm wondering if I should startr reserving now...

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: torta basilica
                                      r
                                      River Rat Feb 2, 2007 12:46 PM

                                      I suggest you make reservations as soon as possible. Feb 16-19 is Presidents' Day weekend, one of the two or three busiest weekends of the year in the valley.

                                      1. re: River Rat
                                        t
                                        torta basilica Feb 2, 2007 01:54 PM

                                        Thanks - I'm considering Larkspur, but from the photos, looks very modern and not 'mountain lodge cosyish' - any thoughts? We walked into Ludwig's once, but then it seemed too formal for what we were in the mood for. Might try again, after that recent review. Used to love La Tour, but then felt it really went downhill. Haven't been back since more favorable reviews. Never a fan of Sweet Basil. Any updates on Wildflower or Cucina Rustica? I love the upstairs bar at the Lodge, so was hoping the restaurants were good.

                                        1. re: torta basilica
                                          r
                                          River Rat Feb 2, 2007 03:06 PM

                                          I highly recommend Larkspur. You are correct that is is more modern than mountain lodge cosyish. But the food and service have always been excellent every time we've been. If I could only have one dinner in the valley, I would choose Larkspur. My only experience with LaTour was a couple of years ago and it was not pleasant, but there are lots of folks who swear by it, so I wouldn't tell anyone not to go. Haven't been to Ludwig's, Wildflower or Cucina Rustica, so can't comment. I love Sweet Basil for lunch, but not crazy about it for dinner. I know there are rustic, mountain lodge cozyish places in Vail, but if you want to go over to Beaver Creek you might want to try Grouse Mountain Grill at the Pines Lodge. We have been there a couple of times in the last month or so and it has been excellent. Hope you have a great time. Also hope the temps moderate by then. The high out there today was supposed to have been about 10F, with wind.

                                          1. re: River Rat
                                            BlueOx Feb 2, 2007 03:30 PM

                                            RR, you're right again!

                                            For mountain atmosphere, you probably can't beat Mirabelle. The food is good (not great) and its a little overpriced. Torta B is right about the lounge at the Lodge at Vail at night, Mickey is the best entertainment in the Valley for us "older" folks. The food is good at the lodge, a little pretentious. The room overlooking the creek at Ludwig's is very pretty with an alpine theme. It can get expensive and its good food, not great.

                                            RR, I got this feedback from a friend about Zazza Za, "its like a Spaghetti Factory or Macaroni Grill sort of place…lots of food, long waits, but cheap". So, no way do I take one for the "team". However, we are going to Dish this week. I'll let you know.

                                            1. re: BlueOx
                                              r
                                              River Rat Feb 2, 2007 03:34 PM

                                              Don't you love the concept? Bad food but lots of it!

                                              I'm anxious to hear about Dish. Haven't heard of anyone who has been there.

                                          2. re: torta basilica
                                            alpine chef Feb 2, 2007 07:21 PM

                                            if atmosphere is a top priority..... game creek would work well. also surprized to hear that frazacca's is sub standard... i love la tour. i have never had a bad meal there. in addition to grouse, beano's cabin should provide the atmosphere you are are seeking.

                                            1. re: alpine chef
                                              Carmelizedbunions Feb 4, 2007 09:09 AM

                                              If you really are looking for the mountain thing skip Beanos cause its a huge rip-off, unless things have changed, its a hundred a head just for the food thats pretty weak. Instead check out Zach's Cabin, you get the sleigh ride up to the restaurant, and I've heard the food is a little better.

                                              1. re: Carmelizedbunions
                                                r
                                                River Rat Feb 4, 2007 11:15 AM

                                                Totally agree about Beano's Cabin. I have been several times, but it's really, in my opinion, a one-time type place to take the kids when you're up in the mountains for your annual ski trip and when you don't mind dropping a chunk of change (up around $100 base prix fixe for adults and
                                                $75 for kids, plus drinks, tips, etc. Easily well over $100 per.

                                                But, I question the Zach's Cabin rec. Zach's, like Beano's, is owned by Vail Associates, the owners of Beaver Creek, and has the same type set up, i.e., ride up the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat, etc. It was for many years a members-only perk for members of the Beaver Creek Club. Just in the last year or so has begun opening up for the Beano's-type trade during ski season only (this year 12/12/06-3/31/06. I haven't been there, but certainly wouldn't recommend it without trying it out.

                                      2. b
                                        Bugswife Feb 2, 2007 07:25 AM

                                        Zacca Za. Where do I begin. Ate there on Wed., Jan 31st. Was by far, in the top 3 worst meals I have ever had in my life. And my 3 friends agreed. Just vile.
                                        First we had the caesar salad. It had absolutely no flavor. While we were unhappily eating the bland salad, the waiter comes along and dumps our 3 entrees on the table. We asked him to hold at least one of them in the kitchen while we finished the appetizer, but HE COULD NOT DO THAT. So, the 3 dishes sat there, congealing, while we hastily gulped the salad. Then we waited for clean plates. The 3 dishes went from bad to worse:
                                        Gnocchi (sp?) with gorgonzola was a gooey, heavy mess.
                                        Linguini in White Clam sauce tasted like noodles in butter. Absolutely no clam flavor, not even from the rubbery canned clams.
                                        Veal Parm was too tough to cut through, the breading came off the cutlets, the cheese was the cheapest commercial mozzeralla money could buy.
                                        You'd think we would have learned, but we actually ordered two desserts. Since we merely picked at the other dishes, we were still ready to eat.
                                        Baba au Rum was dry and tasteless. The 'vanilla ice cream' on the dish was a melted mess that tasted nothing like ice cream.
                                        The 2 canoli in one order were anemic, sad looking things, filled only minimally with a putrid tasting cheese.
                                        Just horrendous. It was our last night in Vail. What a way to end the trip.
                                        In short, Zacca Za should be the Italian word for garbage.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Bugswife
                                          Carmelizedbunions Feb 2, 2007 07:36 AM

                                          Whoa, thats not good to hear. I recommended it earlier on this thread without trying it and maybe that was a bad idea. This is a new restaurant from the owner of La Tour, Paul Frazacca. He used to set up at the vail farmers market and sell chicago style pizza that was really good. Hopefully they can get it together, sorry if it was my recommendation that sent you there, I have frequented all the others I mentioned and can vouch for them.

                                          1. re: Carmelizedbunions
                                            b
                                            Bugswife Feb 2, 2007 08:25 AM

                                            No, it was not your recommendation that sent us there, it was my husband's overwhelming craving for veal parmesian. Just wanted to warn everyone. I can see why it would be packed, teens and 20's have a different agenda when they go to dinner.
                                            Sorry to say, I don't think it is an off-night kind of thing. Firstly, because someone else commented about the bringing of the dishes when THEY are ready, not when the table is. And second, if the ingredients you start out with are sub-par, the food will suffer.
                                            I also had high expectations based upon the reviews of La Tour. And, the place is cute and modern. Lots of windows, open kitchen, community table by the bar. I was very sad that the food did not even remotely live up to the decor. Our local pizza place does a better job.

                                            1. re: Bugswife
                                              Carmelizedbunions Feb 2, 2007 08:30 AM

                                              Thats sad cause La Tour is pretty good stuff. Hopefully they get it together because there is only so much time to make an impression even with the youngins. It might be a little down the road, but Pastatively in Eagle is worth the trip.

                                          2. re: Bugswife
                                            BlueOx Feb 2, 2007 07:46 AM

                                            Thanks for the heads up. I've heard similar things, but not in as much detail. And the place gets packed every night, but then again so does the outback (yuck).

                                            BlueOx

                                            1. re: Bugswife
                                              r
                                              River Rat Feb 2, 2007 08:15 AM

                                              That is bad. I had planned to try it my next trip out. Now will put that on hold until I hear from others. Blue Ox should step up to the plate and take one for the team and try it to see if you just caught it on a bad night.

                                              1. re: River Rat
                                                j
                                                Joplin07 Feb 19, 2007 01:29 PM

                                                I just want to remind everyone that Zacca Za is still a very new restaurant in terms of the food and beverage business, It takes a good full year to work out all the kinks, get feedback and hire a hopefully loyal staff in such a seasonal place as this. Anyone who has ever worked in a new restaurant should know where I'm coming from. Let's give them a chance to work it out eh?

                                            2. alpine chef Jan 27, 2007 09:05 AM

                                              1. larkspur
                                              2. la tour
                                              3. beano's cabin
                                              4. game creek
                                              5. sweet basil

                                              1. l
                                                LMWW Jan 27, 2007 07:48 AM

                                                In Vail, one restaurant that we have always loved is Campo di Fiori:

                                                http://www.campodefiori.net/

                                                It's rarely discussed on this board, and (at least when I lived in CO) was never included in the Vail marketing materials (e.g., the dining guide). I have never had a bad dish at Campo, and especially love what they do with seasonal ingredients.

                                                As for Sweet Basil, I think it "lost its lustre" a long time ago. I lived in CO from 1999-2004, and always found it average.

                                                I love Sato - but agree that it shouldn't be held up as something that it's not. It's certainly no Nobu, but a good neighborhood sushi spot with fresh fish and some interesting preparations.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LMWW
                                                  Carmelizedbunions Jan 27, 2007 08:37 AM

                                                  Very true, Campo does get overlooked and is up there with all the others. Problem with Sweet Basil is they do to much volume, its fine dining with a turn and burn mentality, definately only do lunch there. Sato is not Nobu, but great for being where it is, used to be a place by La Botega (another good lunch spot) called Osaki's I think, anyway do sato for lunch as well cause its overpriced at diner for what it is. I do love the sashimi of yellowtail when igo there.

                                                2. Carmelizedbunions Jan 26, 2007 10:51 AM

                                                  Oh, I forgot to mention Eat Drink for a nice cheese plate, olive board, chacuterie sample and wine by the glass, sit outside in the summer (very nice) havent been to Dish which is the same people but more of a sit down dinner place. And if you want the best foie gras and soufle ever, go to The Left Bank, funny little place but the food and wine will make any francopheliac cream there shorts.

                                                  1. Carmelizedbunions Jan 26, 2007 10:44 AM

                                                    The Vail area can be inconsistent because of the seasonal clientele and staff. Dont think you're gonna get a great meal out christmas week or spring break when 40 - 50 thousand other dusche bags are thinking the same thing. That being said, I've eaten at almost every restaurant in the valley, here are my favs. Fine dining: Terra Bistro, Splendido, Kelly Lichen, and Larkspurs not bad. Caual: Pastatively in Eagle, Zacca Za, Sato. Lunch: Sato again, Avon Deli, Moe's BBQ, and my personal all time favorite The Swiss Hot Dog. Enjoy.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Carmelizedbunions
                                                      a
                                                      AthensBoy Feb 27, 2008 11:09 AM

                                                      I will be one of the dusche, or as us with kids and jobs spell it, douche bags out there for Spring Break. Maybe when I grow up I can hit all the spots when the crowds are smaller. Thanks for your keen insight. FYI--vinegar gives a deeper cleaning.

                                                      1. re: AthensBoy
                                                        BlueOx Feb 27, 2008 03:22 PM

                                                        AB, I tried not to respond to your post all day, but, alas, I have to. Through compulsory customer service training (required to get our merchant ski passes) we in the Valley have learned not to refer to douche bags as douche bags. :>)

                                                        We sometimes tailor our responses to the particular area code the "flatlander" is apparently from, such as a 212er. Usually this recognition is earned, such as walking into a full restaurant and making a scene about why they should have to wait like everyone else. There are a lot's of good places that are a little off the beaten path that offer good value and are glad to have your business. However, Friday and Saturday nights suck as far as getting great service during March. Do what most Valley folks do, order take out or cook in those nights.

                                                        1. re: BlueOx
                                                          c
                                                          ClaireWalter Feb 27, 2008 07:08 PM

                                                          Blue Ox - Thank you for letting us in on the phrase, 212er, and I write this as an almost-20-year 303er. But I am a former 201er and 212er. I don't think I was ever a super-extreme 212er, having grown up as a 203er. Now, when I see the kind aggressive, demanding, me-first behavior that used to seem natural, I really do cringe. When I go back to 212-land for a week once or twice a year, it scares me how quickly I walk faster, talk faster, shove onto a crowded subway car and wiggle my way through a crowd.

                                                        2. re: AthensBoy
                                                          Carmelizedbunions Jul 17, 2008 12:42 AM

                                                          Thank you very much. Spring break is a great time to go to vail, lots of like minded people. Did you try Beano's? THanks for asking yes I have kids and jobs, mine like Moe's BBQ. See you next spring.

                                                      2. c
                                                        chip Jan 26, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                        If any of you guys find yourself visiting Toronto, I'd be happy to help you figure out where to eat. We have marvellous food in a pretty nice city.

                                                        1. BlueOx Jan 24, 2007 05:50 PM

                                                          RR (AKA Dick), I'm waiting for your review of Dish (plate?) before I try it. Larkburger has gotten really good reviews and some HoHum comments. I'd lean towards the good reviews, based upon the folks I heard the comments from. Za Zacca (next to WalMart) has been an instant hit with the younger folks in the Valley. Its at least a 1 hour wait, every night. The deal is they bring out your order when its ready, not when you are ready. That's caused some confusion. I heard some good things about Terra Bistro the other day. We like to sit at the bar, have a bottle of wine and lot's of apps when we go there. Also, I wasn't that happy with La Scala in Eagle and some folks who live down there said the same thing.

                                                          I'm with you on an earlier comment about, you can get good "fixin's" at CostCo, really nice wines and have a good meal with a great view, just by staying at home.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: BlueOx
                                                            r
                                                            River Rat Jan 24, 2007 06:14 PM

                                                            Haven't been to Dish and won't be back out till late March. Maybe I'll try it then.

                                                            What's meant by "they bring out your order when its ready, not when you are ready"?

                                                            Don't remember if I posted this earlier, but we had a really good meal at Juniper just after Christmas. The holidays out there were something else -- I'll email you the story.

                                                          2. BlueOx Jan 24, 2007 06:50 AM

                                                            Chip, thanks for your reviews. We've found that Sweet Basil is better for a late lunch then dinner, because of the "trendy" crowd at night. Local places seem to us to be more fun then the overpriced and crowded "name" places. An exception is sitting in the bar area of Larkspur, the food is very good and service friendly.

                                                            Next time you may want to try Balata (Singletree Club House), good food, but kind of laid-back service. Also, be careful about having the concierge pick a spot. They go for the names, not the local places.

                                                            BlueOx

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: BlueOx
                                                              r
                                                              River Rat Jan 24, 2007 04:57 PM

                                                              Completely agree on Sweet Basil for lunch rather than dinner.

                                                              Phil, have you been to Dish, Larkburger and any of the new places in the building close to Wal-Mart?

                                                            2. b
                                                              Booger Jan 24, 2007 06:02 AM

                                                              Thanks a bunch for the reviews. Very helpful (I will be there in a few weeks).

                                                              We loved Sweet Basil a few years ago, but maybe it has lost its lustre (I have seen other reviews that echo your sentiment).

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Booger
                                                                SanseiDesigns Jan 24, 2007 06:19 PM

                                                                May I suggest a couple of restaurants to try (if you haven't already!)? Kelly Liken Restaurant (chef-owned). Kelly focuses on seasonal cuisine and a BTG program that makes it enjoyable to try different wines. Not overly expensive, and a nice ambiance. For a bit more upscale and a beautiful environment - Spendido (Beaver Creek). On my search for chocolate souffles, Splendido's was in the top three (assuming it's the same pastry chef). The gold leaf garnish and beautiful sauce poured tableside made for nice presentation to accompany the wonderful flavour. For a fun wintry dinner, Beano's Cabin, is different. The cuisine is mountain fare, and the ranch-raised game is quite good. It's not inexpensive, but it is a different touch to an evening of dining.

                                                                1. re: Booger
                                                                  s
                                                                  salad man Feb 15, 2007 04:03 PM

                                                                  try blue tiger in cascade(small plates-asian fusion,free parking) and had a terrific meal at
                                                                  zacca za in avon(italian,modestly priced,quirky service--good place for sharing.

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