Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southwest >
Jan 23, 2007 12:00 PM

Vail / Beaver Creek

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

      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

        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.

      2. 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.


        1 Reply
        1. re: BlueOx

          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. 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

            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. 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. 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

                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

                  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

                    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

                    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.