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Sep 5, 2008 01:07 PM

Anniversary dinner in Vail

We'll be in Vail in late November celebrating our anniversary, and I need recommendations for a suitable place to eat. My wife is not very adventurous when it comes to food, so I'm shying away from places like Larkspur and Left Bank. She's not into seafood either.

Can anyone recommend suitable places for our special meal? I plan to surprise her with a sleigh ride in Breckenridge either before or after dinner, so I'd like to keep that atmosphere going with a good restaurant.

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  1. Think of the Timber Hearth in Cordillera. Nice rustic but sophisticated room and setting, just OK food, but sleigh rides before dinner, if we have snow by then.

    In Vail, The Lodge is very good and not to "out there", plus you can then go upstairs and enjoy a beverage while listening to Micky play Broadway tunes on the piano. Terra Bistro is a very nice setting with good food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BlueOx


      We're staying at the Lodge, so that will be nice. Terra Bistro was on my short list after surfing the 'net for a few hours. Up the Creek was another, but I'm waiting to hear from others about it (or somewhere else) before I decide.

    2. Not sure when in "late November" you will be in Vail -- but sleighrides are snow-dependent (some, but not all, operations subtitute wagon rides for sleighrides). No one knows when the snow will really hit the high country, but there was little/no natural snow until Christmas-New Year in 2006 and '07. For a list of Breckenridge sleighrides, go to Another point is that many sleighrides operate as dinner sleighrides -- usually casual prime rib/chicken/baked potato/Western music dinner and entertainment format.

      Forgive me, but it's not clear where you live and how comfortable you are will mountain driving, especially after dark and/or if it does snow. Breckenridge and Vail are almost 35 road miles apart, including topping over Vail Pass each way.

      For sleighrides in or closer to Vail, see

      Have a great evening, whatever you select.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        Yeah, I was going to say the same thing, logistically a sleigh ride in Breck following a meal in Vail to then return to Vail for lodging doesn't make sense.

      2. The sleigh ride to Beano's Cabin in Beaver Creek (5 miles west of Vail ) will certainly be accessible by end of Nov., and a real experience. If you get lazy and decide to hang around Vail Village, Sweet Basil has a very cool bar, nice menu...with..foie gras.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          Okay, Phil, Claire or Robyn -- which one of you is going to reveal the truth about Beano's Cabin?

          1. re: ddavis

            It takes a tough man to make a tender Grouse Mountain; what's the deal? I'm waiting on tenterhooks to learn what you know, that I don't...

            1. re: ddavis

              Only when you reveal the truth from the Oil Palace in Tyler, after a Henley weekend...:)

              1. re: Veggo

                Oh, man . . . you are really meddling now! What a pit! Compared to the Oil Palace, Beano's is French Laundry. I don't remember Henley being there. Remind me. And explain "it takes a tough man to make a tender Grouse Mountain."

                1. re: ddavis

                  My lips are sealed. Take it up with B. C....:) or e-mail me.

              2. re: ddavis

                OK DDavis I'll try, if you are going to do on mountain dining, most folks think Game Creek at Vail is the best option. Remember, on mountain dining is run by Vail Resorts, a publicly traded corporation. You ride the gondola up and take a snow cat about a 1000 yards. But no matter which on mountain you select, they are expensive and good, not great.

                If you want very good to great, its Larkspur, Sweet Basil (a fair amount of attitude), Dish and Juniper (both in Edwards). An outside the box suggestion may be Mirabelle at the entrance to Beaver Creek.

                1. re: BlueOx

                  You are, in my opinion, very kind to VR. I just think Beano's is awful. Haven't been to Game Creek. Completely agree with the second paragraph. I haven't been in a couple of years, but have heard two very good reports about Mirabelle's $35 three-course special within the last week. When is Avondale supposed to open?

                  1. re: ddavis

                    DD, I guess I wasn't successful damning VRI food operations with faint praise. How's this, for the price, Beanos is a ripoff!, to ride a snowcat or horse up doesn't make it worth a minimum of $200 a person. Friends who have tried it in the last couple of years complained about unruly children running about the place and generally being a problem.

                    OK, Avondale at the Avon Westin starts guest dinners on the 18th of September and formally opens on the 25th of September. The staff is management from Larkspur and locally hired folks. The kitchen is as well laid out as I have ever seen. The prices are suppose to be more friendly then Larkspur. Unfortunately Annie is staying at Larkspur.

                    Here's something to ponder, every prospective couple that has viewed the Avondale setting (a wedding lawn) has signed up to hold their event there. No one has decided to go elsewhere.

                    1. re: BlueOx

                      I'm really looking forward to Avondale. You know how I love Larkspur, and if the new place is also price-friendly it should be good. Sorry to hear Annie isn't coming over. Do you know what happened to Jelena, one of the dining room managers at Larkspur? I see she is no longer listed on their website. She was always very attentive and accomodating and I'll miss her.

                2. re: ddavis

                  Why the heck would I bother with a Vail Resorts run restaurant when there wonderful places all over the Vail Valley (some I've tried some I've not) that are way up the list for me. :D I've never been to Beano's but my sources say don't bother.

                  1. re: RobynS

                    In my opinion everyone should have to do Beano's one time so they can properly pan it. See Blue Ox's last post. He is dead on.

                    1. re: ddavis

                      Well, since I don't have that kind of cash to waste it won't be me unless someone else is buying. Sorry.

                  2. re: ddavis

                    One part of "the truth" is that transport is indeed by sleigh, but not by horsedrawn sleigh but via snowcat-drawn sleigh. A very large snowcat-drawn sleigh at that. The food has gotten mixed reviews over the years -- once highly praised, but less so in recent years. Given the logistics of getting severals sleighs full of diners up and down the mountain for several seatings each evening and geared to process many guests through each evening, there is, predicably, an institutional quality to the dinners. Having written that, Beano's is a very attractive place -- and I believe it has been remodeled, updated or something. Since you say that your wife is not an adventurous eater, Beano's might be possibility, since the food has never been exotic, unusual or cutting-edge. The menu is at . The chef is or was Steve Topple, formerly with the Lodge at Vail.