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Honeymoon in Vail/Denver

I will be in going to Denver for one night and Vail for four nights for my honeymoon during February. I am looking for a mix of restaurants to visit. We would like one nice dinner in Denver and one to two nice dinners in Vail-romantic but still interesting food. I would like suggestions for more casual places to eat for lunch. We like hole-in-the-wall places as well as upscale casual. Also, suggestions good places to drink (i.e., great craft beer, interesting cocktails) would be great too!

Price is not important on the nicer meals since we will only be going to two or three of those. I apologize if there are similar threads to this already out there! I appreciate any help!

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  1. Congratulations, Jenn, on your upcoming nuptials. Here's wishing you the best.

    I can't help you with Denver, but I am pretty familiar with Vail and the surrounding communities. My favorite high-end place in the area is Larkspur, hands down. Other high-end favorites are Grouse Mountain Grill in the Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek and Splendido at the Chateau, also in Beaver Creek. Dish in Edwards is another favorite -- not high-end but excellent. Also take a look at Ti Amo in Eagle Vail.

    Casual lunch places in Vail include Sweet Basil (casual but not inexpensive), Larkspur Bar and La Bottega. Blu's is also good for a casual lunch in Vail. If you happen to be in Beaver Creek for lunch, try Golden Eagle Inn. It's excellent.

    Others can probably give you info about craft beer and interesting cocktails. All I can tell you is that Kelly Liken in Vail touts their cocktails as being innovative and good.

    I hope some others will chime in. Let us know if you have any specific questions. Also, if you haven't already done so, use the search feature on this board to find some more places.

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    Grouse Mountain Grill
    141 Scotthill Road, Avon, CO 81620

    Sweet Basil
    193 E Gore Creek Dr Ste 201, Vail, CO 81657

    Kelly Liken
    12 Frontage Rd E, Vail, CO 81657

    Golden Eagle Inn
    118 Beaver Creek Plz, Avon, CO 81620

    La Bottega
    100 E Meadow Dr Ste 37, Vail, CO 81657

    14 Replies
    1. re: ddavis

      ddavis, is Picasso at Cordillera accessible to non-residents/members? It's impressive.

      1. re: Veggo

        Is it Picasso now? It has gone by several names over the years. The answer to your question is "Yes." Just call and make a reservation.

        It's been years since we have been there for dinner, but we love it for lunch during the winter. The views are the best in Eagle County that you can get to without taking a ski lift.

        1. re: ddavis

          I have been getting good reviews on Mirador, the current name. The setting is beautiful, food and service very good. 100 yards down the hill is the Tavern for casual. Both are owned by a non Cordillera group. Also, many times folks book the hotel for a wedding, just ask when you make a resv to keep from celebrating some one else marriage. The cross-county ski tracks up there are the best in the valley.

          The other places in Cordillera are in chaos because of a fight between the homeowners and the buyers of the golf courses and other restaurants. The food has never been better than average at these places.

          1. re: BlueOx

            We have some friends who bought a house up there last year. They are not happy with the goings-on!

      2. re: ddavis

        There are all sorts of recommendations for Denver dining on other threads.

        Re Vail Valley, Mirabelle in Avon just at the entrance to Beaver Creek is lovely and has very good food prepared by the Belgian owner/chef. Also in Avon. Thomas Salumunovich's Restaurant Avondale in the Westin Riverfront Hotel is cheerfully contemporary, with very good food. Dish in Edwards, just west of Avon and also accessible by Vail Valley bus, is divine. Downstairs is a gourmet deli, but it's not convenient for skiing. The 8100 Mountainside Grill in the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has good food and a really nice atmosphere. Much is made of sleighride dinners at Beaver Creek and Vail. Beano's Cabin at Beaver Creek was the first; the Game Creek Club at Vail is more formal. The sleighs are snowcat-drawn, not horse-drawn, if that matters. Other options for fine cuisine, lovely ambiance a passable resemblances to European dining in Vail Village, consider the Alpenrose Restaurant , The Left Bank and La Tour. For fondue, there's the Swiss Chalet in the Sonnenalp. The Wildflower in the Lodge at Vail (also heart of Vail Village) has been nothing short of excellent. The talented Paul Wade is the new exec chef there.

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        La Tour Restaurant
        122 E Meadow Dr, Vail, CO

        Left Bank Restaurant
        183 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657

        Game Creek Restaurant
        PO Box 7, Vail, CO 81658

        Alpenrose
        100 E Meadow Dr Ste 25, Vail, CO 81657

        Restaurant Avondale
        126 Riverfront Lane, Avon, CO 81620

        Beano's Cabin
        PO Box 294, Avon, CO 81620

        Swiss Chalet Restaurant
        20 Vail Road, Vail, CO 81657

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          my first thoughts were beano's and game creek for romantic. for a drink i also like alpenrose, pepi's, tap room, chop house (lion'shead/arrabelle). enjoy the swiss feel at swiss chalet. i generally don't like going out for fondue due to the extreme markup, but they do a nice job and have a number of other good options... also fun for apres. while larkspur is my favorite, i don't find them as romantic as they were when they first opened. in general, come winter (first snow today), very little is inexpensive: garfinkel's, bully ranch, mo's bbq, red lion, la bottega, blu's, pazzo's or vendetta's are going to be better "values"

          1. re: alpine chef

            IMHO, Pepi's Bar might be more romantic during some parts of the evening than others. No romance, no quiet, no solitude right after the lifts close and Rod Powell winds up the assembled crowd.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              no... i don't find pepi's romantic. i like going for apres (had it in a category of where to go for a drink). a more cozy drink could be had at vail cascade or the king's club (at sonnenalp).

            2. re: alpine chef

              Just a dissenting opinion re: Beano's. Romantic is one of the last words I would use to describe Beano's. More accurate to me would be over-hyped, over-priced, mediocre and tired. In my opinion, everyone should take their kids there once so they can ride the sleigh behind the snowcat.

              1. re: ddavis

                While I agree that it is a little pricey (though most restaurants up here are), it still provides a solid interesting menu, beautiful views, and charming rustic atmosphere. I certainly am not alone in that appraisal.

                1. re: ddavis

                  DDavis - Did I miss something? Did anyone write or imply that the snowcat-pulled sleighs are "romantic" or that Beano's food is memorable?

                  1. re: ClaireWalter

                    Well, Claire, I guess you did. One poster above said, "my first thoughts were beano's and game creek for romantic." And the poster just above that one, immediately after discussing Beano's Cabin and Game Creek Club, continued with "Other options for fine cuisine . . . ." Perhaps I missed something.

                    -----
                    Game Creek Restaurant
                    PO Box 7, Vail, CO 81658

                    Beano's Cabin
                    PO Box 294, Avon, CO 81620

                    1. re: ddavis

                      February in vail/bc, one will find little intimacy. So imo surroundings, atmosphere, and experience play a larger role in setting a mood. A gondola and sleigh ride (obviously a horse is preferable to a snowcat) overlooking a lit village and starry night is a nice prelude to such an evening. There is better food to be had in both vail and beaver creek, but romance is in the eye of the beholder. Please browse reviews at yelp, open table, and trip advisor for client opinions on romance, atmosphere, and food. Negative reviews can be found but are scarce. Poor claire must be misguided as well, as she is the other poster you quoted.

                      1. re: alpine chef

                        Alpine Chef & DD, you guys hit on an issue when sorting through restaurants up here, the on mountain places, I think, are entrainment dinning, not fine dining. The atmosphere is great and the food good, but they don't make the top 10 for food in the Valley (and Mountain). Claire, kind of like Flagstaff in Boulder, I'd send folks there only if they understood it was not among the top 3 food places in the "Republic".

                        Jenn, we never asked, are you going to have a car. If you don't, stay in Vail and walk and use local transportation. Walking home after a fine diner in Vail is pretty special at night. If you use the bus to go "down Valley", use ECO (Eagle County Transit), the Vail buses don't leave Vail.

          2. Congrat's jenn!
            Love love love Grouse Mountain Grill and the owners (Nancy and Dave) used to own the beloved Cyrano's at the base of the mountain in Vail that was everyone's fave from US Presidents to ski bums like myself.
            They're at Beaver Creek that is upscale casual and excellent food.

            www.grousemountaingrill.com

            1 Reply
            1. Edwards, CO is 14 miles W of Vail, CO but Gore Range is an outstanding brew pub with great food. In Denver one of my favorites is Colt and Gray's for fine dining at dinner only serving Saturday/Sunday brunch. Rioja is another favorite centered around Mediterranean inspired cuisine with fine dining for lunch and dinner serving Saturday and Sunday brunch. There is a small outdoor patio for dining also.

              Gore Range Brewery @ 105 Edwards Village Boulevard, Edwards, CO 970 - 926 - 2739.
              http://www.gorerangebrewery.com/
              Colt and Gray @ 1553 Platte Street #120, Denver, CO 303 - 477 - 1447.
              http://www.coltandgray.com/
              Rioja @ 1431 Larimer St., Denver, CO 303 - 820 - 2282.
              http://www.riojadenver.com/

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              Rioja
              1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

              Gore Range Brewery
              105 Edwards Village Blvd, Edwards, CO 81632

              3 Replies
              1. re: Littleman

                I didn't think I would get suggestions on this board from a New Orleans poster. Do you have any ideas that are similar in style (not necessarily food type) to Stella or August?

                1. re: jenn2083

                  Littleman sure does get around. A quick check of the most recent 20% of his activity shows he has posted about restos in 26 states and 2 Canadian provinces.

                  1. re: jenn2083

                    Do you have any ideas that are similar in style (not necessarily food type) to Stella or August?

                    August Yes! Go to Larkspur for outstanding fine dining comparable to August.

                    Larkspur Restaurant @ Suite A, 458 Vail Valley Drive, Vail, CO 970 - 754 - 8050.
                    http://www.larkspurvail.com/

                    Restaurant August @ 301 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA. 504 - 299 - 9777.
                    http://www.restaurantaugust.com/

                2. I was just in Vail and we went to Russell's Steak House - right on the main street in Vail Village by the bridge...It has a romantic atmosphere and the food was deeeliccioouuusss!!! Pay the extra for the scallopped potatoes!!! Yum!!! Have fun - love Vail!!!

                  1. For your lunches in Vail, they are so much more pleasant out in the sun. Alpenrose and Left Bank are your best bets on a sunny day, even though Left Bank faces Gore Creek it gets plenty of sun.

                    -----
                    Left Bank Restaurant
                    183 Gore Creek Dr., Vail, CO 81657

                    Alpenrose
                    100 E Meadow Dr Ste 25, Vail, CO 81657