There's more than one restaurant hot off the grill this winter season. A bevy of new places to eat have popped up around town, adding even more spice and flavor to the Vail Valley's variety of dining out options. If you're in the mood for seafood, wanting wine and tapas instead of apres, or craving some Cajun or fried chicken, there's now a local restaurant that can satisfy you. Here's a peek at what the fresh establishments now open (or opening soon) have to offer:
Mountain Standard is run by the owners and chefs of Sweet Basil. Compared to Sweet Basil, the new restaurant will aim for a more casual atmosphere while still keeping its fine-dining quality. Mountain Standard's main feature will be its open kitchen with a wood-burning grill and rotisserie.
"You get pure flavor when cooking over fire," said Chef de Cuisine Brian Brouillard in a press release released last month. "We plan to offer menu selections that are simply prepared - sometimes with only three or four ingredients. We plan to keep the menu simple and straight forward, which is really the way I love to cook."
Mountain Standard is tentatively scheduled to open Dec. 17 and is located below Sweet Basil, where Blu's used to be. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 970-476- 0123 for more information.-
It's out with the old and in with the new at Leonora, which replaces Block 16 at the Sebastian in Vail.
Leonora is a wine and tapas bar emphasizing an Alpine-inspired bistro cuisine. Signature dishes include serrano ham and cheese coquetas; Lava Lake lamb loin with sweet peppers and rosemary jus; wood-roasted mussels; and lobster pot pie with heirloom vegetables.
Located in the Sebastian hotel along Vail Road. Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for breakfast, lunch, tapas and dinner. Call 970-477-8000 for more information.
Meaning "the flavor" in Spanish, El Sabor is a Latin-inspired establishment with dishes from Mexico, South America, Central America and Spain. General Manager Jeffrey Skill said the restaurant's breakfast, lunch and dinner menus each have a different theme with an international influence.
"(The menu) is similar to those tasty dishes that we have all savored on our travels or seen on our favorite Food Network and travel shows," Skill said.
El Sabor is located at the Lion Square Lodge in Lionshead Village, in the space most recently occupied by Mezzaluna. Breakfast served from 7:30 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Call 970-477-4410 for more information.
If you don't know what a "yellowbelly" is, you can certainly taste some at the new restaurant it's named after. Co-owner Barry Davis said "yellowbelly" is a synonym for chicken, which this new quick-service eatery specializes in. At Yellowbelly you can get fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, chicken pieces, or a whole bird to feed your family. Davis said the chicken is all-natural, gluten-free and they offer fresh sides to go along with it.
"We're not trying to be Southern," Davis said. "We've tasted fried chicken all over the world and tried to take some of that influence when we created our recipe. (Yellowbelly's) food is real food made by real cooks."
Yellowbelly is located in the West Vail Mall. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 970-343-4340 for more information, or visit www.yellowbellychicken.com.
Vail Ale House
A new bar and restaurant called the Vail Ale House is scheduled to open mid to late December in the space formerly occupied by the Sandbar in the West Vail Mall. Call 970-476-4314 for more information.
Formerly located in Vail Village, Blu's has moved to the Vail Racquet Club. Blu's menu is still the same but its hours have changed. Blu's bar will open at 4 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5 p.m. Blu's will also serve breakfast Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to Noon. Tentatively scheduled to open Dec. 16th. Call 476-3113 for more information.
Red Mountain Grill
Already a popular restaurant and bar in Dillon, Red Mountain Grill opened a second location in Avon last week. Owner Steve Kaufman said Red Mountain Grill is designed to be family-friendly and cater to a diverse crowd.
"We have one of the biggest menus in the county," Kaufman said. "People keep coming back because of the service, quality of the food, and the atmosphere."
Red Mountain Grill has 28 beers on tap and happy hour specials including wings and pizza from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Located off of Chapel Place in Avon in the location previously occupied by Outback Steakhouse. For more information, call 970-748-1010.
C Bar is the casual counterpart to its neighbor, the Beaver Creek Chophouse.
"(With C Bar we're) fusing the modern and sleek look of a Chophouse oyster bar with the comfortable and casual feel of a tavern or sports bar," said Communications Manager Sarah Franke.
C Bar will offer menu items from the Chophouse along with a few signatures of its own, such as sliders and a heaping plate called the "Seafood Stack." With its HD TV's and game day specials, those at C Bar are hoping the new venue will be a hot spot for the sports crowd. C Bar is now open for the winter season from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 970-845-0700 or visit www.beavercreekchophouse.com/cbar.
Hooked is a new seafood joint taking over the old Flying Pig location in Beaver Creek. Owner Riley Romanin said he plans for Hooked to be more than a sushi restaurant and will feature a daily "hook-up" special of seasonal fish.
"It's going to be a hip, sushi seafood bar with lots of steamed clams and mussels," Romanin said.
Hooked's menu will have an array of options including New England style clam chowder, fish and chips, lobster pot pie, ceviche and Cioppino. Hooked is scheduled to open Dec. 18. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Southerners, or those who just love Southern food, can get their fill at Lost Cajun, which opened in October. General Manager Mike Boake said he knew of locals who would drive all the way to Friso and Breckenridge to eat at the Lost Cajun locations there, so it made sense to open a third location in Edwards. Lost Cajun's cuisine features its signature sausage gumbo, which is made from a family recipe passed down from 200 years ago.--
"All of our food is made from scratch, we don't have anything pre-made," Boake said. "Our motto is: it's food you can taste."
Lost Cajun is located at 56 Edwards Village Boulevard in Edwards. Open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 970-926-2258 for more information.