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Vail Fine Dining

The Wildflower

The Wildflower
The Wildflower, Vail
Despite the extravagant floral arrangements that grace his restaurant, you wont find executive chef Justin Kalaluhi holding court at a garden party. Favorites include a cote de boeuf for two that’s carved right at the table and newly added gluten free items.

Don’t let the garden setting fool you. Despite the extravagant floral arrangements that grace his restaurant, you wont find executive chef Justin Kalaluhi holding court at a garden party. Favorites include a cote de boeuf for two that’s carved right at the table and paired with wild mushroom sauce, classic potatoes Anna and baby vegetables. Gluten free items are new on the menu. A five-course tasting menu is available nightly with pairings from the formidable wine list, which has received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence.

Terra Bistro

Terra Bistro
Long-time executive chef Kevin Nelson continually ups the reputation of this contemporary bistro, which is a culinary mainstay for locals and visitors alike. The space is uniquely inviting, with a trio of dining rooms along with a buzzing bar. First and foremost, the menu shines. Nelson is fanatical about sourcing local, natural and organic ingredients, as well as free-range meat and poultry, for his healthful dishes, which often take on the flavors of Asia, the Southwest and the Mediterranean. Favorites include sweet potato ravioli, seared ahi with spicy pickled onions and shiitake-spinach inside-out rolls, and organic beef tenderloin with Yukon Gold mashers. Gluten and dairy-free versions are available as well. The 400-selection list is a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner. In the morning, come back for Nelson’s breakfast, which features organic specialties such as artisan cheddar omelets, steel-cut oatmeal and whole-grain pancakes with pure maple syrup. In the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa in Vail Village; vailmountainlodge.com/terra-bistro; 970-476-6836
This restaurant combines the flavors of Asia, the Southwest, and the Mediterranean to create unique dishes.

This bistro is a culinary mainstay for locals and visitors alike. The space is uniquely inviting, with a trio of dining rooms along with a buzzing bar. Executive chef Kevin Nelson is fanatical about sourcing local, natural and organic ingredients, as well as free-range meat and poultry, for his healthful dishes, which often take on the flavors of Asia, the Southwest, and the Mediterranean. Favorites include sweet potato ravioli, seared ahi with spicy picked onions and shiitake-spinach inside-out rolls, and organic beef tenderloin with Yukon Gold mashers.

Larkspur, Vail

Larkspur, Vail
Vail’s third main base area doesn’t get a lot of love. It’s purpose-built and recently reworked, but GP’s main identity is as a wait-free access point to the slopes. Don’t be so hasty. Larkspur is an après and dining oasis that gets overlooked. It delivers spacious outdoor seating, an open-air kitchen and glass-enclosed wine room. For après, the scene is relaxed but sophisticated, complemented by a creative but not overly precious menu. And there’s usually no wait for a stool at the bar or even a table.
High intensity and highly gourmet.

Thomas Salamunovich runs Larkspur restaurant with a firm hand and unflappable confidence. "Owning a restaurant is a major responsibility," he says. "I might be in my chef's whites, but my attention is always on the big picture-the front of the house, the service-as much as the kitchen."

The "big picture" is a 10,000-square-foot space at the base of Vail Mountain, which, despite the restaurant's size, has an intimate feel. Perhaps it's due to the friendly staff, who will pour you a pepper-infused vodka, tuck you into a private banquette or describe with zeal the evening's offerings.

La Tour

One of the valley's best-kept culinary secrets

Four years ago, Paul Ferzacca and his wife, Lourdes (he cooks, she's "the boss"), took over La Tour. Inspired by restaurants they had visited in Provence, they painted the walls burgundy, blue and sunflower yellow, turned a brick patio with a river-rock fireplace into an enclosed bistro, printed menus and fired up the stoves. Today, the lovely little restaurant is one of the valley's best-kept culinary secrets.

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