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This Carbondale distillery won the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado award

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce announced that Marble Vodka 80 was named the Coolest Thing Made in Colorado for 2022 in the Best Food and Beverage category — an honor Head Distiller and Founder Connie Baker couldn’t be more thrilled about.

“Even though we have won over 40 awards in our first few years, this award is so exciting and fun to be recognized in Colorado. It’s just a fun one,” she said.

Baker came to distilling as a hobbyist when she decided to attend distilling school in 2010 and fell in love with the process. It took her five years to find the perfect spot before she landed at what would be Marble Distilling Co.’s location on Main Street in Carbondale. From there, she and her team have built a model they hope other producers of spirits will replicate.

“We are proof that you can make a high-quality product in a sustainable fashion. When people drink with us, they are contributing to saving energy resources and water,” she said.

Their motto is “Drink Sustainably,” and it’s a core part of their business. By most measurable accounts, a typical bottle of vodka made in the United States uses about 100 bottles of water to produce. For the western part of the country, which is looking down the barrel of a water crisis, that model cannot be maintained indefinitely. To combat this, Marble Distillery recaptures 100% of its process water and re-uses the energy harvested from the distillation process to heat the facility. Because of this, it only takes one bottle of water to make an equal size bottle of their spirits. And, she says it’s completely scalable.

“Through this process, we save more than 4 million gallons of water annually and capture enough energy to heat 20 homes,” Baker said.

100% of the products used at Marble Distilling Co. are grown or made in Colorado.
Courtesy photo

Not only that, but 100% of the products they use are grown or made in Colorado, fueling the local economy as well.

“Smaller craft distilleries are coming up with unique flavor profiles and spirits and changing the spirits movement in the U.S. It’s fun to try new and creative things that come from where we live,” she said.

The tasting room at Marble Distilling Co.
Courtesy photo

To that end, Marble is launching their fall/winter menu and will highlight a variety of hot drinks like the Campfire Martini garnished with marshmallows, as well as honey-forward liquors and cocktails with honey harvested from three of their four beehives, including a 94 proof rye with honeycomb. If espresso martinis are your thing, their inaugural spirit, Moonlight EXpresso, is comprised of vodka and coffee based on a recipe from Baker’s childhood that her mother made around the holidays. They are also releasing the only barrel of peach brandy made from Paonia peaches and aged in a third-generation cask.

First the barrel-aged bourbon, then Gingercello, and, finally, the brandy, which will be available right before Thanksgiving.

Moonlight EXpresso
Courtesy photo

“I want people to know that, by supporting us, they are not only supporting a local small business and the environment, they are also contributing to local ranchers who grow our grain, Colorado beet farmers who supply us with beet sugar, and local coffee roasters who roast our beans — they can imbibe, enjoy, and feel good about it,” she said.

Meet Your Chef: Adam Weinberger of Double Diamond Chefs

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: My name is Adam Weinberger and I am the head chef and owner at Double Diamond Chefs, a private chef service in the Vail Valley. In the summer you can find me cooking for guests on the Vail to Aspen Horseback Ride with Bearcat Stables. 

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I have lived in Vail since 2009 and the allure of living my dreams of skiing and cooking in one of the most beautiful places in the world brought me here along with my (now) wife. 

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

 A: I probably first realized I wanted to cook professionally when I was living in Brooklyn, New York hosting dinner parties four to five times a week. There was a bit of an “ah ha” moment that maybe my passion could carry me toward a new career path. 

Weinberger loves to cook with seasonal ingredients.
Adam Weinberger/Courtesy photo

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: My earliest and most significant inspiration for cooking has come from my family. My mother and father were always very passionate in the kitchen constantly hosting events and trying to learn new things. There was never a “Wednesdays are grilled cheese night” or anything like that in my house. Constantly striving to learn new flavors and skills stuck with me forever. My uncle also owned a classic French restaurant in Manhattan and would spur creativity and constant competition among the entire family. 

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Favorite spice is a tough one, but the one thing you will see me put in literally everything I make is fresh cracked black pepper. Beyond the obvious, I love heat of all kinds, always looking for ways to incorporate a little extra kick into whatever I am making. 

In the summer you can find Weinberger cooking for guests on the Vail to Aspen Horseback Ride with Bearcat Stables.
Adam Weinberger/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: This wasn’t always on the list but now it’s clear. Elk, particularly elk loin or backstrap is hands down my favorite protein. Maybe it’s because it is a local ingredient and feels so much like Colorado, but if there is a celebration going on, you better believe elk will be on the table, extra points if I can get a hunter friend to gift some to me. 

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

 A: My favorite fruits and veggies are whatever is in season. Palisade peaches may be the best ingredient ever to cook with. Over the Colorado summers, virtually every single meal will have this amazing stone fruit incorporated, sometimes every dish. Over the winter, I am fennel obsessed. Raw, crispy, melty, roasted, so many ways to incorporate this incredibly versatile veggie into almost any dish and have it scream winter comfort. 

Weinberger first realized he wanted to cook professionally while living in New York and hosting dinner parties.
Adam Weinberger/Courtesy photo

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: No question about it, I am all about pasta. Such an incredibly broad and malleable canvas that spans all the cultures of the world. Making fresh noodles is one of the great joys of life, it’s probably my favorite thing to do in the kitchen and can elevate any meal. I make a ton of Italian and Asian-based meals and incorporating fresh rolled/pulled/shaped noodles is always a highlight. 

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A:  My favorite comfort food is going to have to be smoked brisket. Perfectly smoked and juicy brisket with an incredible barky crust just cannot be beat.

When Weinberger isn’t cooking professionally, you may find him grilling up something at Blue Sky Basin on Vail Mountain.
Adam Weinberger/Courtesy photo

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I am obsessed with the outdoors and use every possible opportunity to cook outside both professionally and in my personal life. Grilling at blue sky basin or cooking multiple-course meals outside the 10th Mountain Division huts is my absolute happy place and I have been incredibly fortunate to do it professionally for many years.

Burger madness: Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week features at least five burgers

Vail’s Restaurant Week is serving up a whole lot of bang for your burger. In no particular order (because that’s for you to rank after you try them all), here’s a roundup of where the beef is.

The Tavern on the Square

The Tavern on the Square is offering half off all its food between noon and 8:30 p.m., including its burgers, which is a pretty killer deal, considering other specials cost $20.22 (some come with a beer and fries, some don’t).

The Tavern’s burger stands out with its thick and juicy patty topped with a thick slice of cheddar and two big pieces of bacon. Pickled onions, tomatoes, arugula and a pickle are served neatly on one side of the split bun, making its presentation as good as its taste. A mustard-based sauce adds a bit of a hearty flavor — perfect for this cold weather and the start of ski season — and the basket of fries are hot, crisp and light.

The Tavern on the Square serves a juicy burger topped with a thick slice of cheddar and two big pieces of bacon.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Courtesy photo

“The pepper from the arugula and the pickled onions is just a great combination. That’s kinda the way we’ve had it for a few years now. It’s one of our more ordered items, especially for lunch,” said chef Nick Steger.

Deca + Bol

Fat and flavorful fries accompany an even more fat and flavorful burger cooked to perfection and topped with arugula, a few pickle slices, tomato and a sweet and tangy bacon jam.

“I eat a lot of burgers around town, and this is the best burger in town — it’s the burger quality and the ingredients. They cook it medium rare better than anybody else, and it’s a nice, big, fat, meaty, cheesy burger on a potato bun — light and crispy; it has a nice crisp outside, and inside, it’s soft (and juicy),” said Tyler Cherney, a Vail resident.

The Deca + Bol burger is topped with arugula, a few pickle slices, tomato and a sweet and tangy bacon jam.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Courtesy photo

Bully Ranch Sonnenalp

Chef Jesse’s Burger is unforgettable. Get ready to open your mouth as wide as it goes to fit this one in (or use the steak knife they give you). Nearly a full pound of meat comprises this double patty burger with white cheddar, a healthy dose of tomatoes, bacon onion jam (which is ever-so-slightly sweet), crispy onions and homemade peppercorn aioli. The fried batter on the two onion rings is super light and crispy, as are the parmesan truffle tots (with sprinkles of chili flakes for a tiny bit of heat), a signature side you can get instead of fries. This big daddy is served with a draft beer to wash it all down.

Frost at the Sebastian

Just as Leonora places an exquisite and expert focus on flavors, so, too, does Frost at the Sebastian. Its restaurant week special features a 4-ounce Colorado Best Burger, beer and fries for $20.22.

The 7X wagyu beef is a very high quality of beef in the United States (though most people associate wagyu with Japan, America also produces premium wagyu beef, which includes the Japanese tradition of raising cattle eating high-grade wheat, rice plants and hay in low-stress environments in clean and open areas).

The burger is served on a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, grilled onion and Chef Kevin’s special burger sauce, a savory bacon aioli.

“I’m a bit of a burger aficionado, and in my opinion, it’s just the best burger in the valley,” said Leonora restaurant manager Jeff Kline. “It just explodes with a lot of different flavors — a little sweet in there, a little tangy. I’m a New Yorker, so I know my burgers, bagels and pizza.”

Frost at the Sebastian’s restaurant week special features a 4-ounce Colorado Best Burger, beer and fries for $20.22.
Kimberly Nicoletti/Courtesy photo

Elway’s

Named after one of our favorite Broncos legends, this steakhouse definitely brings the beef. Cooked to order, the burger special features cheese and all the fixins’.

“It’s perfectly cooked with a tasty garnish of lettuce, tomato and onion with thick-sliced pickles and several draft picks of your choice,” said Tripp Kerr, a second homeowner in Vail and Denver. “Of course, we added fries that were excellent. Fast and polite service at our favorite table rounded out a delicious dinner. Highly recommend! Thanks, John!”

Now it’s your turn: Find and rate your favorite burger during Restaurant Week, before it ends; the last day to grab the deals is Wednesday, but chefs will be grilling the burgers all winter long.

Be wine wise at Thanksgiving

You may have gotten out of making the turkey, but now you’ve been tasked with an unlikely difficult job: picking the wines for the Thanksgiving table.

Don’t take this task lightly. It’s not as easy as just picking up your usual choices of white and red wines. You need to think about the Thanksgiving meal and the complex flavors that go with it. No matter how you cook it — deep fried, smoked, traditional methods in the oven — the turkey is a dry bird that doesn’t have much fat. You also need to consider all of the side dishes like stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. Your best bet is to go with lighter, crisper wines, so leave the chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon at home for this meal.

No matter how you cook your Thanksgiving Day turkey, it is a dry bird and should be paired with a lighter, crisper wine.
Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

“A chenin blanc or a gewurztraminer go really well as far as white wine goes and syrah and pinot noir are great choices for red wines on Thanksgiving Day,” said Kevin Lawrence, proprietor of Vail Fine Wines in Vail Village.

Riesling may also be a good white wine choice to pair with this flavorful meal, but make sure you choose a dry wine so it is not too sweet. Rosé wine can also work well with the meal because it has the crispness of a white but the complexity of a red.

Another good red to think about is a gamay from the Beaujolais region in France. The Beaujolais nouveau wines were just released and are supposed to be consumed within a few months. This wine goes well with charcuterie boards in case you know that will be one of the appetizers.

“I also like lighter, rustic reds like a Spanish tempranillo,” Lawrence said.

In addition to pinot noir and Beaujolais nouveau, Kieran Kelley of Alpine Wines and Spirits suggests a barbera, sangiovese or zinfandel.

“For white wine, if you do really want a chardonnay, go for something with less oak, more of a Burgundian style,” Kelley said.

If you have some beer lovers at the table, Lawrence suggests that you go with a dunkel or a barrel-aged ale. Bring a nice stout, European pilsner or Kolsch-style beer.

“I would suggest an IPA because it is heavier and pairs well with turkey, or get a Vail Brewing Company Hot Mess Blonde Ale,” Kelley said.

When in doubt, bring bubbles to the Thanksgiving Day feast.
Aleisha Kalina/Unsplash

Another tip from the pros, when in doubt, bring bubbles.

“I like prosecco, sparkling wine or Champagne and I would go for more of a brut style for Thanksgiving,” Kelley said.

The Thanksgiving meal usually has several desserts, so pair a tawny port or Madeira with the pumpkin or apple pie.

“I like Graham’s or a Taylor Fladgate tawny port,” Kelley said. “You could also serve a single malt whiskey with dessert or a Fernet Branca, which is a digestive.”

There is usually quite the array of desserts at the Thanksgiving meal. Pair the sweets with a tawny port or a single malt whiskey.
Elements5/Unsplash

Take this opportunity to learn a little bit more about how wine pairs with food and educate other guests about your selection process and you will be a hit at any Thanksgiving Day feast. Pay attention to your favorite liquor store’s hours on Thanksgiving and shop early for the best selection.  

Meet Your Chef: Pascal Coudouy at Grand Hyatt Vail

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: Pascal Coudouy, and I am the executive chef at Grand Hyatt Vail.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I have lived in the valley for 22 Years. I came here in 2000 with my family to be the executive chef at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.

Dine on trout at the Gessner at Grand Hyatt Vail.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: In France, my family owned a very well-known butcher shop. I would go with my father to deliver products to local restaurants. When we did deliveries, I was able to see the back of the house and kitchens and thought ‘wow, this looks like fun and something I would like’… and now here we are!

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: A couple of chefs in France who worked in famous places like Chez Maxim and La Tour d’Argent inspired me.

Coudouy has been in the Valley for 22 years and is no stranger to the kitchen.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Le piment d’espelette – a spice from the south of France.

Q: Favorite protein?

A: Hard to say, they are all good. But I’ll say duck, because you cannot go wrong with a good duck confit.

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: I love anything seasonal.

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Pasta carbonara, roesti potato, truffle risotto

Gessner restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Vail serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I am very happy to be back in the kitchen and hope to make Grand Hyatt Vail a place for locals as well as tourists to enjoy.

More terrain on Vail Mountain, Restaurant Week, pet photos with Santa, author meet-and-greets and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 11/18/22

Watch Tricia’s Weekend Picks to find out what is going on this weekend.

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

No fasting or dieting prior to Thanksgiving this year, there are too many good deals out there you won’t want to miss during Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant week. This meal deal, foodie-friendly promotion was typically held in the fall and organizers are trying it during the early part of the ski season instead this year. The event has not only changed dates, but it is also longer than a week. It started on Vail’s Opening Day, Nov. 11 and goes until Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.

To see a list of the deals, go to DiningAtAltitude.com. It gets sort of overwhelming to keep track of all the deals, so maybe choose by category, for example, find a place to go for breakfast, like Leonora in The Sebastian in Vail Village and order any item off the breakfast menu and a Bloody Mary for $20.22. Lunch could be at Big Bear Bistro where you can order two sandwiches and chips and a drink for $20.22. Los Amigos has select tacos for $2.22 or step into Sweet Basil for their deal, which is during lunch only and is for two people. Take your pick of one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert all for $60, in honor of Vail’s 60th anniversary.

Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week offers up dining specials through Nov. 23. Gessner at the Grand Hyatt Vail is doing a two-course meal for $20.22.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Dinner offerings range from burgers and beers for $20.22, to sushi and oyster deals, two-course meals and wine pairings. In addition to the $20.22 pricing, restaurants may have other deals so inquire about it with your server when you are seated. For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, go do DiningAtAltitude.com. Reservations are a good idea since many schools are out for the Thanksgiving holiday week and its best to the let the restaurant prepare for the dinners coming in each night.

Vail Mountain adds terrain

Skiers and riders make turns on Vail’s Opening Day on Nov. 11. The resort has already added more terrain and lift access during its first week of the 2022-2023 season.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

With the help of Mother Nature and sophisticated snow-making equipment, Vail Mountain has been able to open up more terrain and lifts during its first week of operations for the 2022-2023 season. Vail Mountain opened on Nov. 11 with about 100 acres and now has more lifts and more runs as the holiday visitors come to Vail for the Thanksgiving break.

A winter snowstorm that dropped nine inches of snow in the high country last Monday night into Tuesday offered those with flexible schedules an early-season powder day. Vail’s Mountain Operations department is working hard to get more terrain open as conditions allow.

Please remember to follow signs and stay out of closed areas otherwise you’re in jeopardy of getting your pass pulled. Also, ski and ride on terrain that is appropriate for your ability level. The only true beginner area is at the top of Eagle’s Nest, serviced by the Little Eagle Lift (No. 15). Even though runs like Swingsville may be marked with a green circle on the map, signifying that it is a beginner run, true beginners should work on their skills around the top of Eagle’s Nest before attempting something more advanced.

On-mountain dining options include Express Lift Cafe at the base of Gondola One (No. 1) Mid Vail, Buffalo’s at the top of Mountain Top Express (No. 4) and Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19).

If you don’t have your Epic Pass yet, do keep in mind that pass prices do go up on Nov. 20. Go to EpicPass.com to see which pass is right for how you plan to visit Vail Mountain and other resorts on the Epic Pass.

Authors in Autumn

Author Laura Thompson will be just one of many local authors featured at the Authors in Autumn event at the Eagle Public Library on Saturday.
Eagle Valley Library District/Courtesy photo

Looking for some good reads for yourself or a gift for a book lover on your holiday shopping list? Shop local and meet local authors at the Eagle Public Library’s Authors in Autumn event. This free expo will be held at the Eagle Public Library at 600 Broadway Street in downtown Eagle from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You may not realize that the valley is home to several authors who write everything from fiction to historical accounts of our valley. The local author lineup includes:

  • Jennifer Alsever – several young adult novels, most recent is “Burying Eva Flores”
  • John Dunn – “Learning to be a Lawyer in Leadville, Colorado”
  • Kathy Heicher – several books on Eagle County history, newest is “Gypsum Days: Pioneers, the Poor Farm & Progress”
  • Helen Hiebert – several paper crafting books, newest is “The Art of Paper Craft”
  • Judi Kirby – “The Book of Lena: A Time Before” and “Eartha’s Name”
  • Dan Matney – “Final Wishes”
  • Laura Thompson – “Beaver Creek, a pictorial history from 1883-2015”

Refreshments will be provided during this open house-style event, so make a plan to stop by the Eagle Library this weekend and meet the faces and minds behind the book covers. For more information, go to EVLD.org and go to the events page.

Santa Paws

Bring your pet and camera to Castle Peak Veterinary Services and take your picture with Santa.
Castle Peak Veterinary Service/Courtesy photo

The holidays are just around the corner and if you want to get your holiday greeting cards mailed out sooner than later, bring your pet to Santa Paws on Saturday. Castle Peak Veterinary Service in Eagle is hosting Santa Paws on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Dress your dog, cat or other well-behaved pet up in holiday sparkle and cheer and get a photo with the man in red.

No appointment is necessary and although it is a free event for the community, donations are welcome and all proceeds go to Eagle County Animal Shelter. The Eagle County Animal Shelter and Animal Services does good things in our community. They provide care and shelter to stray animals in need while maintaining a safe community where they promote responsible pet ownership through outreach, education and enforcement. Animal Services Officers respond to calls of animals at large, aggressive animals or animal bites, excessive barking, or other animal control issues.

Bring your own camera, they’ll provide Santa. Castle Peak Veterinary Services is happy to bring back this tradition after a few seasons off due to COVID-19. Castle Peak Veterinary Services is located at 734 Chambers Ave. in Eagle. For more information, dial 970-328-5444.

Cocktails and Clay

Cocktails and Clay will be the featured art class this Saturday at Alpine Arts Center.
Alpine Arts Center/Courtesy photo

Looking for gift ideas for that certain someone who is hard to shop for? Create a wonderful and hand-crafted present from Alpine Arts Center’s Cocktails and Clay this Saturday in Edwards. This week’s art project is clay aspen vases, which you can personalize, adding that extra touch if this does become a gift for someone. Or, if you end up keeping it, each time you use the vase, you’ll remember the fun that went into making it.

Alpine Arts Center draws out the artistic abilities in everyone and no prior experience is needed. The instructor will walk you through the process and all the materials and supplies will be provided. The class is $49 per person and advanced registration is required.

The class is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., so make a night of it. Wine and beer are just $6 per glass. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased through the Alpine Arts Center’s bar and there are some non-alcoholic options and snacks available, too. Advanced registration is required. Go to AlpineArtsCenter.org to get signed up. Cocktails and Clay alternates with Cocktails and Canvas and they also offer Wax and Wine, Painting and Pints and more.

Tricia’s Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week picks

I told my husband we didn’t need to buy groceries because the prices were just too good at Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week to eat at home. With meal deals for $20.22, why not take advantage of the savings, and guess what, someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning up after making the meal, so there are bonus points for that.

Restaurants have a long-standing history of doing specials throughout the shoulder season. Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week formalizes that effort to get the word out to the masses and compiles participating restaurants’ deals into one website for quick reference. DiningAtAltitude.com provides a list of which restaurants are doing what deals.

I studied the list and planned a strategy around which restaurants had the most bang for the buck. I also looked at places I hadn’t been to in a while and this gave me an excuse to go there.

First stop, El Segundo. After a few runs on the slopes our group decided to grab a late lunch or early après ski, depending how you look at it, but all points led to the two tacos and margarita deal at El Segundo in Vail Village. They don’t take reservations, but we were able to get a table after a short wait, but that gave us time to start craving just which tacos we wanted to order off of the menu. I went for the grilled mahi mahi with avocado and chipotle shrimp with the house margarita. Others in our group went a little more off the beaten path and ordered creative tacos like the Bahn Mi taco and the fried chicken club taco.

It was all so delicious, we decided to do the meal deal again. Two more tacos and a marg each. Bam – lunch and après ski were taken care of in one stop. 

There are a few restaurants participating in Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week that are doing multi-course meals for $20.22. Gessner at the Grand Hyatt Vail is giving you a choice of a starter and an entrée or an entrée and a dessert. You can even add a course for $8 to make it a three-course meal.

Choose from onion soup or a roasted vegetable salad as your first course and then select either the chicken fried chicken or the Boulder trout. If your second course is dessert, pick the limoncello ice cream flute or the white chocolate croissant bread pudding. I had the onion soup with sourdough bread, gruyere cheese and parmesan thyme foam as my starter and the Boulder trout with Marcona almonds, piquillo peppers, spinach and potato cakes. I got a few bites of the chicken fried chicken and the salad, which was equally as good. Pro Tip: go with people that don’t mind sharing their food so you can try it all.

8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is serving up roasted chicken breast and creamy quinoa and broccolini during Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

Over at Beaver Creek, 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill is also doing a two-course deal for $20.22. This is a set menu with a watermelon and feta salad as the starter and a grilled chicken breast with creamy quinoa spinach and broccolini as the main course. If you want the main course and dessert, the chocolate sphere was offered.

I did the starter course and the main course and enjoyed the watermelon salad, which also had strawberries in it. It was so fresh and light. The grilled chicken was very moist and I realized that I could not have had this great of a meal at home for this price, but I also knew there was no way I could make chicken taste as good as these pro chefs.  

One member of our group ordered the entrée and the chocolate sphere but asked for extra spoons so we could all try it. The chocolate sphere contains caramel yogurt mousse and fudge cake. It’s served tableside with the server pouring hot chocolate sauce over it and that Instagram-worthy moment garners plenty of oohs and ahhs from the table. The chocolate sphere is $18 on the regular menu, so consider yourself a winner by getting dessert and a juicy entrée all for $20.22.

The chocolate sphere is the dessert offering at 8100 at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

For the wine lovers out there, enjoy a glass of wine and a small plate for $20.22 at Stoke & Rye, the new Richard Sandoval restaurant that replaced Maya at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa earlier this summer. For wines your choices are a Peju Napa Valley Legacy 2021 Sauvignon Blanc or a Peju Napa Valley Legacy 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon or Sabate i Coca Mossett 2014. As for the small plates, you have pan seared bacon wrapped scallops, beef tartar, mushroom ravioli or smoked oysters. This is a great way to sample some of the starters on the menu and experience the remodel and the stoke of Stoke & Rye.

Stoke & Rye at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is doing a glass of wine and a small plate for $20.22.
Tricia Swenson/Vail Daily

My cupboards are bare, but my tummy is full. There are more places to go to enjoy Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, so the grocery store will have to wait. Check out the fabulous offerings on DiningAtAltitude.com and find which deals speak to you and visit one of your favorite dining establishments or try someplace new. Don’t delay, Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week only lasts until Nov. 23. Bon Appetit!

Meet Your Chef: Tiffany Crews at the Sebastian-Vail

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (tswenson@vaildaily.com) and Sean Naylor (snaylor@vaildaily.com).

Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?

A: Tiffany Crews, I am the pastry chef at The Sebastian–Vail, a Timbers Resort in Vail Village.

Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?

A: I have lived in the Vail Valley for three months now. I moved from Dallas, Texas for the position at The Sebastian–Vail. I absolutely love living in the Vail Valley, it is so different from Texas.

The Sebastian-Vail is home to Leonora Restaurant, which will be open again on Nov. 17 for dinner service Wednesday through Sunday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?

A: I have always loved baking and knew I wanted to be a pastry chef at 18. This is probably older than some who know what they want to do as a child, but I had many loves. It took me awhile to decide. 

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: I know this will be different than most people’s answers about famous chefs they love and learn from; however, I have taken inspiration from family, friends and my personal tastes. I challenge myself with tasks given to me and take inspiration from things out of books I read. I see if I can create the recipe and make it better. 

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: My favorite spice, especially in pastries, is vanilla. It is wonderfully complex and subtle.  Depending on what region it comes from the flavor and fragrances can change so much. I love making my own vanilla extract and making so many different varieties.

Life is short, eat dessert first. Skip the entree and stop by Frost Bar and get a cocktail and one of Crew’s creative desserts. Frost is open daily at 4 p.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: Favorite protein?

A: My favorite protein in cooking is beef. I am a steak girl for sure. In pastries I usually steer clear of protein unless it’s a ham and cheese croissant (my husband’s favorite).

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: My favorite fruit…it is a tie between bananas and blueberries. They both work well in pastries and are delicious. I am also a big fan of carrots. 

Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?

A: Carbs – I love anything potato.

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: My comfort food has always been sweets. It goes back to spending a lot of time with my grandmother.  She always makes the best sweets. My favorite comfort food is an old fashion blackberry peach cobbler like my grandmother would make.

Start your day with a fresh baked pastry on the breakfast menu at The Sebastian-Vail, serving from 7 to 11 a.m.
The Sebastian Vail/courtesy photo

Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?

A: I have a love for all things pastry. I really enjoy working with classics and giving them a new twist. I love experimenting with new ideas and continuing to challenge myself. I am currently in the running for the Greatest Baker Competition. Looking forward to see how far I can go.

Vail’s Opening Day, Veterans Day, Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, Nordic ski gear swap and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 11/11/22

Vail Mountain opens

Get ready to enjoy the first day of skiing and snowboarding in Eagle County on Friday as Vail Mountain opens for the 2022-2023 season. The first day of the season is always exciting with plenty of costume-clad enthusiasts on the snow. There will also be people camped out at the base to claim first chair bragging rights and it’s a reason to go to work a little bit later just to make a few turns.

On Wednesday, Vail Resorts sent out a press release stating that Vail Mountain would open with at least 75 acres of terrain. Vail Mountain plans to open Gondola One (No. 1) out of Vail Village and the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19) in Lionshead. The gondolas and lifts will operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Mountain Top Express (No. 4) will give skiers and riders access to Swingsville and Ramshorn runs in the Mid Vail area. The Little Eagle Lift (No. 15) will access beginner terrain at Eagle’s Nest. All skiers and snowboarders must download at the end of the day, there is no top-to-bottom skiing or riding at this time.

If you get hungry, on-mountain dining will be available at the following locations:

  • Express Lift Après Bar in Vail Village Mountain Plaza 
  • Mid Vail at the top of Gondola One (No. 1)
  • Buffalo’s at the top of Mountaintop Express (No. 4)   
  • Eagle’s Nest Market Place at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19)

This year, Vail Mountain celebrates its 60th anniversary and will kick off the season with a ceremony celebrating key partners in sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, youth access and adaptive sports. Come early for the Opening Day ceremony starting at 8:15 a.m. with representatives from Vail’s key sustainability and environmental partner, The United States Forest Service, as well as the National Brotherhood of Skiers, SOS Outreach, Small Champions and Vail Veterans.

Vail Mountain opens for the season on Nov. 11.
Vail Resorts/Courtesy photo

In 1962, Vail Mountain opened on Dec. 15. It was the realization of a dream of Pete Seibert, a 10th Mountain Division veteran who came back after WW II to find a place to start a ski resort. With the help of Earl Eaton, he found that place, and they had grand visions for building a ski area here. With its ties to the Army’s winter warfare unit, the 10th Mountain Division, it’s fitting that Vail’s Opening Day falls on Veterans Day. Stop by the Express Lift Après Café at the base of Gondola One (No. 1) for free tastings of 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits Company products and toast the season ahead and those who served our country.

There are many things to celebrate this season, including two new chairlifts set to open later this season, a new six-passenger lift, Game Creek Express (No. 7) in Game Creek Bowl that replaced the four-person lift and a brand new lift in Sun Down Bowl, called the Sun Down Express (No. 17). There will also be ice bars on the slopes and snow bungalows, giving you a place to retreat to during the ski day at the top of Eagle’s Nest.

So, get the boards ready, take inventory and make sure you have all your gear and get out there and enjoy Vail Mountain’s Opening Day this Friday. For more information, go to Vail.com and if you still need your Epic Pass, visit EpicPass.com. Prices go up on Nov. 20.

Veterans Day

A crowd gathers at Flag Pole Plaza at Freedom Park in Edwards to honor veterans. There will be a ceremony at 4 p.m. on Friday for Veterans Day.
Vail Daily Archives

This Friday is also Veterans Day, which is recognized on Nov. 11 each year. To jog your memory from high school history class, Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I when at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the fighting ended with the signing of an armistice.

This holiday is often confused with Memorial Day, held on the last Monday of May each year. According to Military.com, Memorial Day honors military personnel who died in service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day honors everyone who has served in the military, whether or not they served in wartime or died in battle.

To honor veterans locally, head to the Flag Pole Plaza in Freedom Park in Edwards, next to Battle Mountain High School and Colorado Mountain College.

The 17th annual Eagle County Veterans Day ceremony honoring veterans of the United States Armed Forces and those currently serving on active duty is presented by the Freedom Park Memorial Committee, VFW Post 10721 and Eagle County. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Army Captain Peter Thompson, a Vietnam veteran. The National Anthem will be sung by Michelle Cohn Levy, the cantor at B’nai Vail. The event starts at 4 p.m.

Thanks to the talented students at Eagle Valley High School, you can learn more about our local veterans by watching the videos they have put together. Dr. Joy Hamilton and her award-winning media team at Eagle Valley High School have been interviewing veterans so teachers can bring vets from the local VFW Post into the classroom virtually. These videos will all be sent to the Library of Congress to be saved for posterity. They are also now available to the public, so check out your friends and neighbors and learn about their time while they served our country. The videos from this year and past years can be found on YouTube.

Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

From date nights to family dining, take advantage of the savings during Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, which runs from Nov. 11 to 23.
Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

Hit the slopes and then grab lunch, après ski or dinner at a discount at restaurants that are participating in Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week. The annual event, which began in 2013, usually happens in the fall but this year it coincides with the early part of the season. And although it says it lasts a week, this year it is extending beyond one week and is actually going on from Nov. 11 to Nov. 23, so you have plenty of time to check out the deals at your favorite restaurant or try someplace new.

The pricing usually follows a theme of the current year, so this year prices will be $20.22 for dinner deals, or even $2.22 for a fresh drip coffee and cookie at Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in Beaver Creek or $2.22 for a draft beer or house wine at Blue Moose Pizza between 3 and 5 p.m. at the Lionshead and Beaver Creek locations. Some restaurants are paying homage to Vail’s 60th anniversary and doing deals for $60. For example, Sweet Basil is doing a $60 lunch special for two people that includes one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert. Here are a few other deals that may grab your attention.

  • Moe’s Original BBQ – Double Wide Family Pack (Pork): One pound pulled pork, two sides, corn bread or buns
  • Stoke & Rye – Small plate and glass of wine for $20.22. Your choice of select fine wines and for the small plates you can choose from bacon-wrapped scallops, beef tartar, mushroom ravioli or smoked oysters.
  • Gessner at Grand Hyatt Vail – Choice of first and main course or main course and desserts. First course choices include onion soup or roasted vegetable salad and main course choices are chicken fried chicken or Colorado trout. For the dessert lovers, they will serve a limoncello ice cream flute or white chocolate croissant bread pudding.

Taco deals, sushi deals, burger deals, steak deals…is anyone hungry yet? Don’t buy groceries for the next 13 days because breakfast, lunch and dinner await you at Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week. Find a full list of participating restaurants and offerings at DiningAtAltitude.com.

Vail Nordic Swap

The Vail Nordic Swap takes place this Saturday and benefits the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Nordic Ski Team.
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail/Courtesy photo

If you’re looking to get into some Nordic sports this winter, take advantage of the savings you’ll find at the annual Vail Nordic Swap on Saturday at the Vail Nordic Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event is a benefit for the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Nordic Team, with 10% of the sales commissions going to the team.

There will be a selection of skate skis, touring and classic skis, telemark skis, alpine touring skis, snowshoes and related gear and clothing in good condition. There will also be deals on new gear.

If you have gear you’d like to sell, you can drop it off at the swap on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 to 9:30 a.m. before the swap at the Vail Nordic Center starts at 10 a.m. Unsold gear pick up is from 3 until 4:30 p.m. only on Saturday at the Vail Nordic Center. No alpine or snowboard gear allowed.

Admission is $5 per person and free after 12 noon. Children under 12 years of age are free. For more information, go to SkiClubVail.org.  

Eagle Art Walk

Emmy Stained Glass will be one of the artists exhibiting at ARTwalk on November 11.
EagleARTS/Courtesy photo

Get ahead of the holiday shopping rush and support local artisans and businesses at the same time by heading to the EagleARTS monthly Second Friday ARTwalk this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Stroll along Broadway visiting local shops, galleries and restaurants. Local artists will be exhibiting handmade works of art inside participating businesses, including ARTSPaCE workshop+gallery, Antlers & Rosé, Everyday Outfitters, Food Smith/Mountain Flour, Nurture Skin & Body, Mountain Lifestyle Properties, QuietKat, ROAM restaurant and Yoga Off Broadway.

EagleARTS has really turned the ARTwalk into the place to be on Friday nights. In addition to the artists and businesses, they will have food trucks, live entertainment from Joe Hanley and Jen Mack, plus a performance by the Battle Mountain High School Drumline making for a festive night out.

EagleARTS wants to show off some of its community art projects, so be sure to check out the community mural at 2nd Street and Broadway and take a seat on EagleARTS’ latest public art project which are two benches painted by local artists located at 120 Broadway and 225 Broadway.

The Vail Valley Art Guild is a part of the evening as well. This month’s exhibit is called Small Gems and features the artwork of Elaine Kuntz. Stop by their gallery at 108 West 2nd Street in Eagle.

For more information, visit the EagleART’s website at EagleArts.org or search for the EagleARTS Holiday 2nd Friday ARTwalks event on Facebook.

Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week runs through Nov. 23

Vail-Beaver Creek Restaurant Week is the perfect time to take advantage of the valley’s exceptional food and drink, without paying premium prices, as participating restaurants offer specials on everything from soft shell crab or oysters to filet mignon.

Originally launched to increase business during the slow shoulder seasons in May and September, Restaurant Week has moved later and later into the fall, because September — and even the first couple weeks of October — are now a part of the high season, said Alison Wadey, executive director of Vail Chamber and Business Association. And, as Denise Cheng, marketing specialist for the Vail Chamber pointed out, restaurants had “a great shoulder season in October.”

This year, the name is a bit of a misnomer; Restaurant Week started Nov. 11 and stretches into Nov. 23. The dates capture the opening day of Vail Mountain and the first day of the season at Beaver Creek.

After discussing the best dates with restaurant owners, Restaurant Week moved to align with Vail Mountain’s opening.

“It’s not typically the busy season yet, and we thought it was a good time to encourage people to come out and provide them with something to do if snow conditions aren’t ideal yet,” Wadey said.

But not everyone agreed on the exact date. Drew Riley, owner of Russell’s and Los Amigos preferred the week after Thanksgiving, so his staff doesn’t have to hit the ground running. He admits the date of Restaurant Week is “never going to appease 100 percent of people,” and he sees it as an evolving learning process. Wadey said the chamber and business owners “might work with a slightly different date” next year, particularly since many of Beaver Creek’s restaurants haven’t opened ahead of its winter season, and some maintenance work is going on in the village.

Still, Beaver Creek’s Blue Moose Pizza and Vail Coffee and Tea are participating, as is Stoke & Rye in Avon. The village also is supporting Eagle County Gives during Restaurant Week by accommodating table tents with information on how to donate to, or get involved with, nonprofits.

Blue Moose Pizza, with locations in Beaver Creek and Lionshead Village in Vail, will be offering pizza specials during Restaurant Week.
Special to the Daily

“Restaurant Week is a great event,” said Krista DeHerrera, director of events at Beaver Creek Resort Company. “It’s an opportunity to encourage locals to eat and drink and enjoy what our restaurants have to offer. Vail Coffee and Tea has a super amazing staff that’s very friendly and very welcoming, and Blue Moose Pizza is just top-notch and very fun and lively — kids love that restaurant. Both are staples in Beaver Creek.”

Every restaurant chose its own specials to highlight. For example, Russel’s wanted to showcase its new chef and upgraded menu items, so it’s offering a three-course meal so guests “can try as much food as possible,” Riley said, for $40.44.

“We still have all the classics; we just enhanced the menu to make it more contemporary, but we want to stress that most of what makes Russel’s Russel’s is still three — all the staples and classics,” Riley said, adding that the new menu features items like a Wagyu 4-ounce portion steak with scalloped potatoes and different vegetables and sides “to create more offerings.”

Meanwhile, Gessner is offering a main course with either an appetizer or dessert for $20.22, and diners can add the third course for a mere $8. Choose from onion soup or roasted vegetable salad for the first course; chicken fried chicken with potatoes and green beans or Boulder Colorado trout with Marcona almond, piquillo peppers, spinach and potato cake for the second course; and a limoncello ice cream flute with raspberry coulis and fresh berries or white chocolate croissant bread pudding with rum raisins, salted caramel and cheesecake ice-cream.

The smoked oysters are a great way to start off the meal at Stoke & Rye.
Sean Naylor/Vail Daily

Other establishments offer everything from a serving of family-sized pulled pork with sides to tacos, burgers, pad Thai chicken and bacon-wrapped scallops.

“We wanted to include every restaurant with no restrictions,” Cheng said. “Locals appreciate the fact that they can try restaurants we don’t typically go to and experience what our guests experience.”

Restaurant Week Specials

Beaver Creek:

Vail Coffee and Tea: Fresh drip coffee and a cookie for $2.22. vailcoffee.com

Blue Moose Pizza (Vail and Beaver Creek): 18” pizza for $20.22; any 12” house pizza with two draft beers or glasses of house wine $20.22; or draft beers and house wines for $22.22 (this latter offer is only good from 3-5 p.m.). BlueMoosePizza.com

(Avon): Stoke & Rye: Small plate and glass of wine for $20.22. Choose from three specific wines and pan-seared bacon-wrapped scallop; beef tartar with cured quail egg yok; mushroom ravioli; or smoked oysters. StokeAndRye.com

Vail:

8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill: $20.22 specials. Hyatt.com

Big Bear Bistro: Specials for $20.22. BigBearBistro.com

Moe’s Original BBQ: Double-wide family pack with 1 pound of pulled pork, two side pints and choice of bread. MoesOriginalBBQ.com

Russell’s: Three-course meal for $40.44 and select bottles of wine for $20.22. RussellsVail.com

Los Amigos: Select tacos for $2.20, select entrees for $20.22 and select half liters of margaritas and pitchers of beer for $20.22. LosAmigosVail.com

El Segundo: Any two tacos and a house margarita for $20.22. ElSegundoVail.com

Deca + Bol: DECA Burger for $20.22. DecaBolVail.com

Garfinkel’s: $20.22 specials. GarfsVail.com

Montauk Seafood Grill: A half-dozen freshly shucked oysters and glass of Champagne for $20.22. MontaukVail.com

Leonora at the Sebastian: Any breakfast and a bloody Mary for $20.22. TheSebastianVail.com

Frost at the Sebastian: 7X Colorado Wagyu Burger and a draft beer for $20.22. TheSebastianVail.com

Elway’s Steakhouse: Smash burger and a beer for $20.22. Elways.com/vail-home

Mountain Standard: One sandwich and one beer at lunch for $20.22, or two beers and the pimento cheese appetizer for $20.22 all day. MtnStandard.com

Sweet Basil: Lunch for two (choice of one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert) for $60, lunch only, or choice of any dessert with select dessert wine pairing for $20.22, all day. SweetBasilVail.com

The Hythe Vail – Revel Lounge: Signature bison poutine and Revel old fashioned for $20.22. TheHytheVail.com/Revel

Bully Ranch Sonnenalp: Chef Jesse’s Burger: double patty burger with white cheddar, bacon onion jam, crispy onions and a peppercorn aioli served with a draft beer. Sonnenalp.com/dining/bully-ranch

Treff Café: Two hugo sprintz cocktails for $20.22. Sonnenalp.com/dining/treff-café

Sushi Thai at Lionshead: Salt and pepper soft shell crab for $22, pad Thai chicken for $18 or Thai ginger chicken for $19. BeyondSushiThai.com

The Tavern on the Square: Half off all food between noon and 8:30 p.m. daily. VailResorts.com

Gessner: Choice of first and main course or main course and desserts for $20.22 (add $8 for third course). GrandHyatt.com

Yoshimi Pop-up @ Grand Hyatt: $20.22 daily sushi roll and draft Sapporo beer. GrandHyattVail.com

The George: $20.22 filet mignon, sirloin steak or plum duck. TheGeorgeVail.com