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Jan 5, 2012 09:05 AM

Holidays in the Eagle River Valley

We spent a lot of time in the valley this holiday season. Following are thoughts about our experiences at the various restaurants we enjoyed.

Splendido at The Charter in Beaver Creek-- has become our favorite. Beautiful room, professional service and delicious food. We have eaten there four or five times over the past 6 weeks and it has been consistently excellent.

Grouse Mountain Grill at The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek -- the best food we have eaten this season. Chef has prepared a new menu, keeping some of the favorites (pretzel-crusted pork chops and lobster/mascarpone appetizer) and bringing in some delicious new items (Fried Chesapeake Bay Barcat Oysters app and Culver Duck "prepared many ways" entree). Like Splendido, this is a place that is hitting on all cylinders.

Foxnut Slopeside Sushi -- had both lunches and dinners at this relatively new spot at the bottom of the main lift at Beaver Creek. Excellent rolls and both small and regular-sized plates. Squid salad is delicious. This is a great affordable (for Beaver Creek) place for either lunch or dinner.

Golden Eagle Inn in Beaver Creek Village -- another relatively affordable lunch or dinner spot right in the middle of the village. Although never spectacular, it is always consistently very good. Service is friendly and the space is comfortable.

Dish in Edwards -- It had been awhile since we ate at this lovely little place. Dish specializes in unusual small plates (and a few full-size offerings. We shared Manila clams on pappardelle, black cod on spinach, lamb chops and risotto pillows were all delicious. Very lively (read "loud") on a Friday night.

Fiesta's New Mexican in Edwards -- Fiesta's is Fiesta's. Consistently excellent New Mexican food. It is our "on the way to the airport" stop. My wife loves the chorizo burrito. I love the chicken enchiladas (although I really can't tell the difference between the blue corn tortillas, which they push, and the white corn tortillas) and enjoy the Tom Apple special, which is a blue corn chicken enchilada, a cheese enchilada and a chile relleno. Fiesta's is a local's favorite.

Restaurant Ti Amo in EagleVail -- a family owned and operated northern Italian local favorite. Good, solid veal, chicken, sausage and pork dishes. An occasional special veal chop is out of this world. Try the pollo scarpariello, medaglioni di maiale and insalata all a griglia. It's all good.

Sweet Basil in Vail Village -- an old favorite which we love for lunch. Good service and an interesting menu. Favorites include the deep-fried calamari and rock shrimp app (that can be eaten as a main course), which includes tempura onions, red, green and yellow bell peppers along with the shrimp and calamari. Their Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake is spectacular.

Cuvee World Bistro in Basalt -- not in our valley, but in the Roaring Fork Valley in the little town of Basalt. Wonderfully friendly service, good food, nice space. Don't miss their spicy french fries. (Basalt is a little town with several pretty good restaurants. Others are Tempranillo and Cafe Bernard.

I have to go back home and to work now. After lunch at Sweet Basil today, dinner at Splendido tomorrow night and lunch at Fiesta's on the way to the airport Saturday, it's back to the day to day, but already planning the next trip to the mountains.

Bon app├ętit!

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  1. DD, thanks for the update, just very small correction, Splendido is in the Chateau, not the Charter as I'm sure you know. And one of the sisters that owns Fiesta's is opening Cafe d'Luna in the old Blue Plate space in the Chistie Lodge in Avon. Hopefully it will match the current Fiesta. The early reports on the new Blue Plate which moved across the street to the east end of the "boat" building have been good.

    We had dinner at Cima (replaced Avondale in the Westin) which is doing "new" Latin food. It was excellent and very reasonably priced. However, the biggest surprise in Avon is the Northside Cafe which is where the pizza hut was located. The owner "scraped" the PH and built a very nice facility from scratch, much more mountain like architecture. Its a higher end coffee house (Blue Bottle Coffee for you SFO folks). The food is very good and its a real hangout for locals now.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BlueOx

      Thanks for the correction, Phil. Don't know how I made that mistake! We're about a hundred yards from Splendido. Walking up there tonight.

      When I was doing that post I forgot about Cima. We had Sunday brunch there whenI was out at Thanksgiving and we had lunch and dinner there the past two weeks. Everything we had, with one exception, was excellent. At dinner the Scottish Salmon was very dry. All the rest was great. Kathy, one of the front end managers at Larkspur up until over a year ago, is now at Cima. We loved her at Lafkspur and she makes Cima rock as well.

      Thanks for the other updates. We will try Northside Cafe.