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Jan 7, 2008 06:48 AM

Vail, Beaver Creek, or Keystone Mountain Top

Good morning,
I was hoping someone could help me find a nice place for an upscale dining experience when I take my girlfriend to Summit County in March.
I know there are a lot of upscale places at both Vail and Beaver but I want something mountaintop. A lot of those resorts do something a few nights a week that may not be a physical restaurant, just catered under a tent or something like that.
Does anyone have any reviews on any of these places? looking for less than $200 for the two of us.

please let me know!

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  1. Beaver Creek and Vail are west of Vail Pass. Summit County is east of Vail Pass. Considering that the pass can be dicey/icy/snowy/closed, and that in any case, driving back to Summit County isn't the best idea after you've had some celebratory alcohol, your best bet is the Alpenglow Stube atop Keystone's North Peak. The restaurant is so good and so lovely that I'd recommend it even without the Vail Pass issue.

    To reach the Stube, you take two gondolas, one to the top of Dercum Mountain and a second across to North Peak. Riders get warm blankets to snuggle under, and if the night is clear, the ride itself can offer a fantastic sight of starry skies or moonlight on snow.

    The Stube serves excellent contemporary-ish Alpine cuisine -- a six-course dinner for $90 or a seven-course dinner for $98, which is right at the top of your budget, plus wine, service, taxes, etc. If you can stretch it, you'll find it worthwhile. I believe it is served nightly -- or almost-nightly. See

    Der Fondue Chessel is in the other half of the mountaintop building that the Stube occupies. It is cheaper, less romantic and more family-oriented than the Stube.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      i am thinking that since we probably won' t get all dressed up, the appeal of the top of the mountain may outweigh the chow appeal and we may go with der fondue chessel. my parents used to have a condo at keystone and all the inedible stuff in river run needs to be avoided.
      anyways, maybe you can help me on a bit of a non-chow issue then since you were talking about Vail pass. We will only be staying three nights (wed, thurs, fri). should we stay at keystone all three nights or split them up into a night at breck?

      1. re: daves_32

        Keystone and Breck are really close (you can see the top of the lifts/ski runs of one from the other). I'd pick one and stay there. No point moving when you are such a short stay anyway. You can ski Keystone and Breck on the same lift ticket (also A-Basin). If you don't care to drive, free Summit Stages link the resorts and the bedroom communities of Silverthorne and Frisco. The "shortcut" between Breck and Keystone over Swan Mountain Road, along the south shore of Lake Dillon, cuts several miles off the "regular" route past Frisco and along the north side of the lake. Take it if the roads are clear and you're OK w/ mt. driving.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          I would stay in Breck, Keystone does not have much to offer after skiing. Even if you are not going to party Breck is still nicer to be able to walk around after dinner etc. There are better restaurants in Breck as well. Blue River Bistro, Wine Cellar and for more casual Breck Brewery or Fatty's for pizza

    2. keystone: alpenglow stube, ski tip

      breck: cafe alpine, relish, the cellar.

      vail: larkspur, la tour

      sweeter and jeans are common in almost all of the resorts' restaurants

      11 Replies
      1. re: alpine chef

        But of those I think only Alpenglow is at the top of the mountain, correct?

        1. re: RobynS

          yes, but i didn't think OP wanted to dine up there every night of his stay. thought i'd offer some other options as well......

          also, while not "on the mountain," top of the world at the lodge and spa at breck is elevated and offers great views

          1. re: RobynS

            Correct. Alpenglow Stube and the adjacent Fondue Chessel are at 11,444 feet. Ski Tip is off Montezuma Road. Cafe Alpine, Relish and The Cellar are in downtown Breck -- and the Cellar is literally in a cellar. Larkspur is at the base of Golden Peak, and La Tour is in Vail Village.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              I looked into the Cellar. it looks nice.
              my plan, that needs to be filled in, is currently:
              staying at slopeside condos ski in ski out at Keystone Wednesday-Sat
              *Wednesday skiing all day, would like to stay near Keystone since we will be driving from Fort Collins Wednes. morning. perhaps Danbury Mint or Dam Brewery. Probably the latter unless someone has a better suggestion.
              Thursday-Der Fondue Chessel. any good chili for lunch.
              Friday-suggestion at Breck that can be relaxed and may allow time for nice walk through downtown Breck (or Vail village if the weather is right).

              help me out! less than der fondue chessel on Friday night, please.

              1. re: daves_32

                You're not going to get out of the Stube or the Ski Tip for under $200 if you have any wine at all. But if you can live with one night over budget, go to either. Don't worry about your attire.On your way to Keystone, you'll be driving by Summit County's newest addition to the restaurant list: Malbec. The food ranges from good to fantastic, the wine list is wonderful, and the service is great. The prices are very reasonable. It's in the Dillon Ridge Shopping Center. If you're heading to Breck via I-70, you'll be driving by the county's best lunch deal just after you get onto 9 from I-70: Food Hedz. Mike Walsh (formerly of the Keystone Resort) is the chef/owner. the food is great, prices good, portions huge.

                1. re: cookinuptop

                  Not to be a prissy pain, but FoodHedz' owner/chef is David Welch, not Mike Walsh. He's always manning the stoves and loves chatting with guests about special requests or simply acceptinng thanks for such good and well-priced food, so it might be less awkward to call him by his correct name. Full post w/ pix at

                  1. re: ClaireWalter

                    Yes, my bad. Mike Walsh owns a restaurant in SF, where my brother cooked for him. Little slip.

                    1. re: cookinuptop

                      that is not being a prissy pain, claire, all chefs I know work their whole lives for a little pay and a lot of, well, work and passion. Being called the correct name and recognized as such shows how much you understand this...

                      1. re: foodissexy

                        this is all giving me very good ideas...
                        here is another tip solicitation. I would like to do an apres ski for my girlfriend on the deck of our condo. I was hoping we could do some wine and cheese but i dont know where i could get it. does anyone know any good places to buy a few cheeses in dillon and frisco so i could do this? I would even tolerate going someplace and doing it right there if that is a better choice.

                        1. re: daves_32

                          In the Vail Valley, eat! drink! in Edwards has an excellent selection of wines, cheeses, breads, spreads, figs, almonds, etc. They still haven't completed their website at but there is a map, phone, and address there. The website for their upstairs restaurant dish is
                          Highly recommended.

                          1. re: daves_32

                            In Breckenridge, Ridge Street Wine/Breckenridge Cheese and Chocolate at 301 N. Main St.

                            In Frisco, Foodies, at 721 Granite St. Next door is the Frisco Wine Merchant.