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Beaver Creek, Edwards and Vail -- Christmas 2013

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My wife and I were in the valley from December 23 - January 2. Here are some random thoughts about our dining experiences.

Some of the high-dollar places (Splendido, Grouse Mountain, Sweet Basil) were slammed. Difficult, but not impossible, to get a table unless you had reserved well in advance. Sweet Basil was packed at both dinner and lunch.

The less-glitzy places (Mountain Standard, Dish, Cafe 163, Fiesta's, Hooked, Mirador) were busy but not packed.

A La Car was running about an hour on Monday, December 23.

We did a fair amount of cooking at home: beef chili, a couple of soups, steaks, burgers. Also had a home-smoked ham and a Greenberg Smoked Turkey for sandwiches and soups.

Highlights:

Splendido -- Zinfandel Braised Angus Short Rib with sunflower seed risotto, turnips and caramelized salsify.

Cafe 163 -- Gyro.

Sweet Basil -- Wild Mushroom Risotto with short rib marmalade, toasted hazelnuts and blue cheese espuma.

Mirador -- Mac and Cheese with green chilies, house made chorizo and pepper jack cheese.

Ti Amo (via A La Car) -- Pollo Scarpariello and Medagliioni di Maiale.

All of these places were on their game this trip. Most highly recommended:

Upscale: Splendido

Not-so-Upscale: Mountain Standard (forgot to mention the smoked olives, pine nuts and raisins at this place.

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