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Restaurant deals, concert deals, gear deals and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/4/19

Underground Sound Concert Series

It’s deal season this time of year and the discounts aren’t just reserved for restaurants, spa treatments and hotel stays. Add concerts at the Vilar Performing Arts Center to that list of off-season specials.

The Underground Sound Concert Series returns to Beaver Creek this weekend and lasts until Nov. 11. This annual fall event has been dubbed “love for the locals” and is a way for the Vilar Performing Arts Center to provide some great acts at an affordable price this time of year.

For 10 years, the Vilar has been hosting a variety of musical genres ranging from bluegrass to funk, blues, indie folk rock, soul and country. Past performers have included Brandi Carlile, Jerry Douglas, Elephant Revival, Lukas Nelson, Gregory Alan Isakov and Chris Thile.

Concert tickets are affordably priced between $28 and $38 for individual shows, but the real deal is in the Underground Sound Pass. For $125 you get seven shows, a drink at each show and it’s transferable, so you can share it with co-workers, friends or neighbors. Maybe trade out baby-sitting with your neighbors and enjoy a few shows this autumn.

Dates of the concerts range from weekends to weeknights so you can enjoy a concert experience as a date night to celebrate the end of the week or take a break from the daily grind and squeeze in a show during the workweek.

Discover new music this weekend. Ranky Tanky will kick off the season on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Ranky Tanky hails out of Charleston, SC and is known for its jazz, funk, gospel and R&B sounds. For information on all of the artists, the Underground Sound Pass or individual tickets, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week continues through Sunday. Take advantage of the $20.19 specials at over 40 restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek along with deals on hotels and spa treatments.

Last week, I had an opportunity to try the four-course meal at Tavern on the Square at the Arrabelle. It was a delicious deal that started out with an Italian white bean soup, followed by a baked burrata with Pomodoro sauce. For the third course, I got to choose my entrée. It was hard to pick between seafood cacciatore, lamb T-bone or beef bourguignon, so the chef let me try all three. For dessert, I saved room for autumn spice churros and the sugary spice and texture were a great way to complete the meal.

The menu changes nightly, so see what they are cooking up at the Tavern. The chefs have been having a lot of fun trying out new dishes and some of them may remain on the menu for the winter.

I also stopped into La Nonna Ristorante, which is offering its house-made pasta dishes for $20.19. Chef-owner Simone Reatti and his staff have been busy cranking out the same wonderful menu at discount prices as a thank you to the locals and visitors who have supported them since they opened La Nonna last winter.

I tried a few dishes on the menu, including spaghettini crostacei, ravioli tre funghi, and malfatti di ricotta. They’re so tasty, you may want to order two.

I can’t eat at all the restaurants during Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, so I enlisted the help of Casey Russell, our arts and entertainment editor at the Vail Daily. Casey dined at Gessner at the new Grand Hyatt Vail (formerly Hotel Talisa) and tried sourdough toast with charred peppers, local honeycomb and local goat cheese-which used milk taken in both the morning and the afternoon for two different flavor profiles.

Casey loved the vegan butternut squash soup and the tomato and foraged mushroom tagliatelle with basil cream sauce, which in the winter, becomes a truffle sauce.

For an indulgent dessert, Casey said to try the peaches and cream cake with pistachio crust and mousse at Gessner. Its sweet flavor and light texture pairs well with fresh Palisade peaches and meringue kisses that decorate the slice.

Wherever you decide to dine, call for reservations in advance. These deals are very popular and you don’t want to be turned away if the restaurants can’t fit you in. For a full list of specials, go to www.diningwithaltitude.com.

Gear sales and swaps

Did you lose your gloves last year? Are you due for a new snowboard? Have your kids outgrown their snow pants? If you answered affirmatively to any of those questions now is the time to buy while area sports stores are having gear sales and swaps. Here are a few going on this weekend:

Sun & Ski Sports

Get the best deals of the year during the 3rd annual First Tracks Ski and Snowboard Blowout Sale. Ski and snowboard equipment and apparel will be discounted up to 50% off throughout the store through this Sunday. Make sure you ask them about how you can win a pair of Liberty Skis this weekend, too.

The junior ski and snowboard seasonal lease program is going on as well. You can lease skis, boots and poles or a snowboard, bindings and boots for $99. That price goes up to $119 after Nov. 29. Visit www.sunandski.com/avon-co for more information.

Charter Sports

The Empty the Warehouse Sale will be held at Charter Sports at the Christie Lodge location in Avon. They will be selling a lot of gear and that additional merchandise will spill out of the store and into the parking lot of the Christie Lodge, so be prepared to shop around to find everything you need.

Discounts start at 50% off on winter gear, outerwear and accessories. The discounts will increase as the weekend goes on, but keep in mind that sizes and brands and models of gear may be picked over. The event kicks off on Friday and runs through Sunday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Alpine Quest Sports

Thinking about getting into a new sport or upgrading your equipment? Now is the time to buy and sell new and used AT, Tele and Splitboard skis, boots and bindings. 

The Alpine Touring, Telemark and Splitboard Swap is this weekend at Alpine Quest Sports in Edwards. Drop off gear on Friday before 6 p.m. Sell your gear and get 100% of the selling price in store credit or 70% of the selling price in cash.

The annual sale and swap runs until Sunday. Call 970-926-3867 for more details or stop by their store in Edwards.

Oktoberfest in Gypsum

If you are considering buying a dirndl or lederhosen, I am going to encourage you to do so because you’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear the traditional grab. In Eagle County, we have had five, count ‘em, five Oktoberfest celebrations in the last six weeks (and that is not even counting the Oktoberfest celebrations in other mountain towns or in Denver). Things move down valley to Gypsum for this weekend’s Oktoberfest.

The Gypsum Chamber of Commerce, the town of Gypsum and a host of other sponsors are bringing out the traditional Bavarian costumes, games, brats and pastries. There is even a Bonfire Brewing beer named especially for the event: Gyptoberfest.

The Lundgren Theater will play host to the festival, which is free and open to the public on Saturday from 1-5 p.m. There will be music by A Band Called Alexis. Free pumpkins will be available in the pumpkin patch. For more information, visit www.gypsumchamber.com.

If you want to bring a taste of Oktoberfest home with you, stop by West Vail Liquor Mart and take advantage of some seasonal brew sampling. West Vail Liquor Mart will have oompah music, tons of giveaways and plenty of Oktoberfest beers to try on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. German-style pretzels with beer cheese and mustard options will also be served. Learn more at www.westvail.com.

Fire Department Open House

In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Vail Fire and Emergency Services is inviting the community to visit the West Vail Station for an open house on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The West Vail Fire House has become quite the attraction for kids. During the open house, kids can view the fire engines and the station up close. There will also be a kid’s obstacle course. Free hot dogs and chips will be served as well.

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, activities will center around fire safety information on smoke alarms, exit drills and carbon monoxide alarms presented by the Fire Prevention Division.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6 through 12 and this year’s theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape – Plan and Practice Your Escape.” This campaign encourages everyone to create a home escape plan and not only come up with the plan but also practice it.

Between the open house at the West Vail Fire Station and school visits, representatives from Vail Fire will educate students on the importance of drawing a map of their home and practicing fire drills with family members. During the sessions, firefighters will be teaching children about closing doors to slow the spread of smoke, flames and heat. Students will also learn about staying outside of a building and not going back inside to retrieve belongings.

Gluten-free folks and vegetarians, rejoice: here’s what you can eat at Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week in the Vail Valley is an undeniably good time. What’s better than eating old favorites and new specials from the best restaurnants Vail and Beaver Creek have to offer? But for those who follow an alternative diet, planning outings like these usually pose a challenge.

Here’s a list of where to get gluten-free and vegetarian options at Fall Restaurant Week $20.19, which runs from now until Oct. 6.

Gluten-free

10th Mountain Whiskey: A tasting flight and a bowl of mixed nuts goes for $20.19.

8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill: Lunch options include a kale salad. Though it comes with a draft beer, gluten-free diners could bring a beer nerd friend or ask for a substitution.

Beaver Creek Chophouse / Vail Chophouse: For lunch, grab a house salad with a Mountain Cheeseburger with one topping – ask for their gluten-free bread – and a house dessert for $20.19. For dinner, both restaurants are also serving a Loch Duart Scottish Salmon with summer sweet corn succotash, rock shrimp and roasted corn sauce or a Slow Cooked Pork Shank with green apple mustard, mascarpone polenta and fennel slaw.

Blue Moose: Grab all-day food specials with a Guenoc Chard, Cabernet or Sangria for $2.19.

Bol: This eatery is offering 20.19% off the entire check – pair a sweet discount with poke, wings or gluten-free flatbread.

Buffalo’s @ Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch: The food options – cauliflower masala with a cashew raita and the cast-iron nachos – are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. But each entrée comes with a Colorado draft beer, so try asking for subs or donate your beer to a friend.

Boneyard: The two other menu options are burritos, so gluten-free people should try the low roasted prime rib with garlic mashed potato and asparagus or the short rib platter with garlic mashed and broccolini.

Elway’s Steakhouse: Try the USDA prime New York Strip, Prime Rib, Vancouver Island salmon or half a roasted chicken for $20.19.

Fall Line: This restaurant is also offering $20.19 entrees, or grab 2 cocktails for $20.19. The steak frites, the shrimp pad thai and the Vietnamese noodle bowl are all gluten-free, and so are most of the starters.

Garfinkel’s: Go classic with a rib eye, salad, baked potato and a vegetable. It comes with either a draft beer or a soda, so naturally, gluten-free people will want to go for the soda.

Gessner: Sip on $20.19 select bottles of wine, and pair that with two-for-one entrées when you order an appetizer. Stick around for fall spa specials if you’re stopping in after a busy day of hiking, climbing or other activity.

Golden Eagle Inn: With select entrées at $20.19, and a menu that contains several gluten-free options, diners should head over to check out what’s on tap.

Grill on the Gore: Take 20.19% off the entire bill, but the discount is only valid from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and diners must mention restaurant week to receive the discount.         

La Bottega: Take $20.19 off select pastas and entrees, and most pasta dishes can be made gluten-free.

La Tour: Start with two cocktails for $20.19, and pair it with select $20.19 entrees. Go traditional with a chicken Paillard, or warm up with the roasted maitake mushroom and lettuce curry.

Leonora: Choose three items off the small plates menu for $20.19. All menu items are labeled, and bonus, many of them are also nut-free and dairy-free. Keep in mind that the deal did not apply on Friday, but will continue until Oct. 6.

Matsuhisa: Pair a miso soup with a three-compartment bento box for $20.19. Get creative with some sushi and sashimi.

Mirabelle: Chef Daniel Joly’s Colorado lamb meat bowl with local mushrooms and potato gratin is sure to bring an aire of luxe to your dining plans.

Moe’s Original BBQ: Share a Double Wide Family Pack with three to four people. The whole spread includes one pound of pork, chicken or turkey, two pint-size sides and choice of four buns or cornbread. Skip or share the bread it for a gluten-free meal.

Montauk Seafood Grill: Take 40.38% off full-size entrees for double the savings. Menu highlights include shrimp and scallop fra diavolo and steamed Alaskan crab.

Pepi’s: For a $20.19 lunch, choose any two items off the “Sandwiches” or “European Specialty” menus: gluten-free folks can eat veal, pork or smoked buffalo brats or leberkäse, a mashed potato dish with spinach and a fried egg. Moving into the evening, then gluten-free entree option for $20.19 include is the double veal or pork bratwurst.

Root & Flower: Toast to your small bowl of olives with a glass of Italian bubbly: the bar is offering a bottle of prosecco and olives for $20.19.

Russell’s: Take 20.19% off of the entire check, but leave the King Crab off the table, because it’s not included in the deal.

Splendido: Wine lovers can snag bottles of Naonis or Prosecco for $20.19.

Sweet Basil: Pair a small plate and a drink for $20.19. Gluten-free options include a half-dozen oysters with a glass of sparkling wine or the Salmon Tataki and their special Perfect Margarita.

Swiss Chalet: The restaurant at the Sonnenalp Hotel is offering assorted entrées for $20.19.

Tavern on the Square: The restaurant is offering a four-course chef’s tasting menu that changes nightly, so there’s a chance that items could fit dietary needs. Call ahead to confirm.

Terra Bistro: Try a buy-one, get-one-for-$20.19 deal on house entrees, many of which are gluten-free.

The George: All entrees are $20.19, including the king crab and the surf-and-turf. Both are gluten-free, and would pair nicely with happy hour drink specials.

The Met Kitchen: This restaurant leaves it open for creative menu selections with signature cocktails for $20.19 and 20.19% off the total bill. There are plenty of options, including the lobster tacos on a corn tortilla.

Toscanini Ristorante: All entrees are $20.19 – and they have a whole gluten-free menu. Check it out on their website.

Up the Creek: Entrees are $20.19. For gluten-free options, try the pan-seared scallops with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, grilled sweet corn, basil, balsamic and buffalo mozzarella.

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week kicks off Friday, Sept. 27, and spans 10 days.
Townsend Bessent | Daily file photo |

Vegetarian

10th Mountain Whiskey: A tasting flight and a bowl of mixed nuts goes for $20.19.

8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill: Lunch options include a kale salad, and it comes with a draft beer.

Big Bear Bistro: Pair two crepes with a bottle of wine for $20.19, or do two smothered burritos – plant-based options available – with two coffees for the same price.

Blue Moose: Pizza and beer is the perfect pairing, and get any 3-topping slice and a Colorado draft beer for $2.19 each.

Bol: Take 20.19% off the entire check – try the sweet pea ravioli for a full meal, or pick and choose from the extensive list of snacks and shareables, many of which are plant-based.

Buffalo’s @ Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch: The food options – cauliflower masala with a cashew raita and the cast-iron nachos – are gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. But each entrée comes with a Colorado draft beer, so try asking for subs or donate your beer to a friend.

Boneyard: Chow down on some enchiladas with black beans, lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo with a guajillo red sauce. There is also a special on the classic Boot Burrito. Both are served with meat, chicken and pulled pork respectively, but diners could ask to omit those ingredients.

Fall Line: This restaurant is also offering $20.19 entrees, or grab 2 cocktails for $20.19. The noodle bowl is vegetarian, but that’s it for the entrees.

Gessner: Sip on $20.19 select bottles of wine, and pair that with two-for-one entrées when you order an appetizer. Stick around for fall spa specials if you’re stopping in after a busy day of hiking, climbing or other activity.

Golden Eagle Inn: Plant-based eaters of all varieties can get the vegan zucchini sautée, normally $30, for $20.19. It’s also gluten-free, too.

Grill on the Gore: Take 20.19% off the entire bill, but the discount is only valid from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and diners must mention restaurant week to receive the discount.          The menu is fairly traditional, and most of the vegetarian options are salads and appetizers.

La Bottega: Take $20.19 off select pastas and entrees. Vegetarians should try the the spinach and ricotta cannelloni, the fettuccine puttanesca with Kalamata olives in red sauce or the truffle gnocchi.

La Nonna: All pastas are $20.19, and half of them are vegetarian. Try the spaghetti crudaiola with fresh tomato, arugula, garlic and extra virgin olive oil for a lighter meal, or go all-in with the malfatti de ricotta: spinach ricotta dumplings, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and straciatella cheese.

Leonora: Choose three items off the small plates menu for $20.19. All menu items are labeled with dietary preferences. The summer farro risotto and watermelon and heirloom tomato salad will satisfy everyone, including vegetarians. Keep in mind that the deal did not apply on Friday, but will continue until Oct. 6.

Matsuhisa: Pair a miso soup with a three-compartment bento box for $20.19. Get creative with some sushi and sashimi.

The Met Kitchen: Get two signature cocktails for $20.19 and 20.19% off the total bill. There are plenty of options, including the vegan plate of the day.

Mountain Standard: Pair green hatch chile pimento cheese and any two draft beers for $20.19.

Pivot 62: Select any pizza with a glass of house red or white wine or a draft beer for $20.19. Veggie pizzas include a mushroom pizza topped with a generous pile of arugula.        

Root & Flower: Toast to your small bowl of olives with a glass of Italian bubbly: the bar is offering a bottle of prosecco and olives for $20.19.

Splendido: Wine lovers can snag bottles of Naonis or Prosecco for $20.19.

Sweet Basil: Pair a small plate and a drink for $20.19. The only vegetarian option is fried cheese sticks with a Pinkus beer.

Swiss Chalet: The restaurant at the Sonnenalp Hotel is offering assorted entrées for $20.19.

Tavern on the Square: The restaurant is offering a four-course chef’s tasting menu that changes nightly, so there’s a chance that items could fit dietary needs. Call ahead to confirm.

Terra Bistro: Try a buy-one, get-one-for-$20.19 deal on house entrees, many of which are plant-based and vegetarian.

Two Arrows: Start the morning right with two avocado toasts and two 12 oz. drip coffees for $20.19.

Toscanini Ristorante: All entrees are $20.19. Go nuts on some meat-free ravioli, capellini and bucatini – all fun shapes of pasta.

Up the Creek: Entrees are $20.19. For vegetarians, the option is caprese gnocchi.

Restaurant deals, Oktoberfest, a wine crush and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 9/27/19

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

The seventh annual Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week kicks off Friday and will run through Oct. 6. This 10-day event excites foodies and those looking for deals at area hotels and spas during autumn in the Vail Valley. The $20.19 restaurant specials offer a chance to go for that expense dish and with hotels and spas offering discounts, you could make a staycation out of it or invite friends and family into town at a discount. If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or just want a date night, take advantage of the savings this time of year.

Guests will quickly notice their favorite locations from the past six years are once again participating with new restaurants, lodges and spas joining this popular event.

At the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse, the lunch deal will feature a house salad, their Mountain Cheeseburger plus one topping and house dessert for $20.19. For dinner enjoy either the Loch Duart Scottish Salmon with summer sweet corn succotash, rock shrimp and roasted corn sauce or slow-cooked pork shank with green apple mustard, mascarpone polenta and fennel slaw.

Sweet Basil with have appetizer and drink specials for $20.19. A few to choose from: Salmon Tataki and their Perfect Margarita, a blend of Herradura Silver tequila, lime, Cointreau and Grand Marnier; chicken liver terrine and a glass of Tokaji wine; six oysters and a glass of sparkling wine.

Montauk Seafood Grill in Lionshead is doing the math for you with 40.38% off entrées. (That’s 20.19% times two). At Gessner at the Grand Hyatt Vail (formerly Hotel Talisa) enjoy $20.19 select bottles of wine in addition to two-for-one entrées with the purchase of an appetizer.

Hotels are offering attractive deals as well. The new Grand Hyatt Vail will have rates starting at $169. Montaneros Vail will offer 20% off its rates and the Antlers Vail has condos starting at $168 per night. The Sebastian Vail has its special fall staycation specials for Colorado residents from Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Garfield Counties.

Spa deals can be found at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Bloom Spa at the Sebastian Vail, the Spa at the Sonnenalp Vail and Vail Athletic Club.

For the most updated list of deals, view the Dining at Altitude website at www.diningataltitude.com. Check back often, as more specials may be added.

Oktoberfest at the Sonnenalp

Just when you thought it was safe to put away the lederhosen, the Sonnenalp Vail is hosting another Oktoberfest celebration this Saturday. The Sonnenalp typically hosts a few of these traditional beer fests around Memorial Day and July 4. This last event lines up with the official Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany, which kicked off last Saturday and runs through Oct. 6.

The family-run hotel, which has roots that date back to 1919 in Bavaria, Germany, will provide the most authentic backdrop of all the Oktoberfest celebrations held in the area. The dirndls and lederhosen you see the staff wear aren’t just brought out for this day, it’s the uniform they don throughout the year.

There will be classics such as bratwurst with sauerkraut and specialty dishes like kasespatzle and apfelstrudel will also be on hand. Their pretzels will be served with dark ale mustard, Erdinger beer cheese sauce and apple butter. Seating will be classic beer garden style on a first-come, first-served basis.

There will be beer to wash it all down. The Sonnenalp has paired up again with Erdinger beer from Erding in Bavaria. Big steins will be filled with a few different varieties.  

Providing the music will be Those Austrian Guys playing classic folk tunes and the chicken dance. The event runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Fall lodging specials are available in case you want to remain in the Bavarian vibe and stay right at the hotel. For more information, please visit www.sonnenalp.com.

Wild West Day

Wondering where all the families are on Sunday? You’ll find them at 4 Eagle Ranch for Wild West Day. Hundreds of families will be having a great time while supporting and raising money for nine public elementary schools in Eagle County.

The 29th annual event is put on to enhance the education of the children through each school’s PTA/PTO and Education Foundation of Eagle County (www.efec.org). This local hoedown is filled with fun, games and entertainment for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Get there early and take part in the Wild West Great Stampede hosted by the Kids Adventure Games on Sunday morning. This event will be more of an obstacle course style race this year. Registration is from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m. and the race starts at 9:30 a.m.

The silent auction, featuring all sorts of spa deals, restaurant deals and gift cards, is already live online so you can peruse it at your leisure but keep in mind, the auction closes on Oct. 5. Western fun and activities can be found around the ranch and rumor has it that the dunk tank and the open mic for aspiring singers may show up again.

In addition to Wild West Day, the Wild Wine Tasting will be held on Friday at the beautiful and rustic SaddleRidge restaurant in Beaver Creek. Boone’s Wine and Spirits is bringing out a huge wine selection, plus there will be appetizers and dessert from SaddleRidge and Mountain Flour. There’s also a silent auction featuring exclusive auction items available only at the Wild Wine Tasting.

To get tickets for Wild West Day, Wild Wine Tasting or to view the auction items go to www.efec.org.

Vines at Vail Wine Crush

Speaking of wine, why not join in the winemaking process by visiting Vines at Vail? This modest mountain, boutique winery hosts its 29th annual crush this weekend at its location at 4 Eagle Ranch.

Come out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. until about 2 p.m. on Saturday for the crush, which starts the fermentation process. Also on Saturday, be a part of the “I Love Lucy” costume contest reminiscent of that famous scene where Lucille Ball was stomping grapes with her feet. Look for inspiration for costumes on the Internet by searching “Lucy grape stomp outfit” and you’ll see plenty of ideas.

When you hear Vines at Vail you may wonder where their grapes come from. Although there are some vineyards in western Colorado, all of the Vines at Vail grapes come from Lodi, Stockton and Amador, California.

“We are hands-on with every process of making wine. All of our patrons love to touch, taste and be a part of it because no one in the valley does this,” said Patrick Chirichillo, founder, owner and winemaker at Vines at Vail. To learn more or to get signed up for the event, visit www.vinesatvail.com.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The second annual Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place at the Brush Creek Park and Pavilion in Eagle on Saturday morning. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is part of the walks held nationally by the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk is one of six held in Colorado. There are 600 held throughout the nation each year.

According to its website, the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. It’s a daunting task, but one that is necessary, especially when you consider the statistics on the website:

  • Between 2000 and 2017, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 145%.
  • In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2018, more than 16 million caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at more than $234 billion.
  • In 2019, Alzheimer’s disease will cost the United States $290 billion. This number is projected to rise to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Those statistics are why it’s now being called an epidemic in the U.S. and the Alzheimer’s Association is leading the charge for Alzheimer’s care, education and research and is making sure that every level of government is hearing this. 

Register online in advance or register at the event starting at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by the walk at 10 a.m. Walking in the event is free, but feel free to donate to help the Alzheimer’s Associate keep this disease at the top of minds of researchers and the government. Set up a team or join a team and wear purple to the event if you have it. The walk is a moderate two-mile walk around the Brush Creek Park and downtown Eagle Ranch. Bring the whole family and dogs are welcome, too.

Alzheimer’s is the only top ten causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. If Alzheimer’s touches you or someone you know, gain some hope by joining the walk on Saturday. For more information and to sign up in advance go to www.alz.org/walk. Join me if you want someone to walk with. I’ll be walking for my dad who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Avalanche Alumni hockey, Vail Oktoberfest, trail running races and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 9/13/19

Oktoberfest in Vail Village

Oktoberfest returns for its third weekend in the valley with festivities moving to Vail Village, where the Gore Range and the Bavarian-style architecture on Gore Creek Drive provide the perfect backdrop for this annual German holiday. By now you should know the drill: wear lederhosen or a dirndl if you have one, learn the words to “Roll Out the Barrel” and keep moving to the beat as the pace quickens during the chicken dance.

Vail may be miles away from the home of Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany – but the traditions are well represented at the local event.

The traditional blue and white checkered table cloths and flags line the streets and stage and authentic steins are shipped in along with authentic beer. Vail Oktoberfest will be proudly serving Spaten, one of the six breweries allowed to serve during festivities in Munich. Festival guests will enjoy classic Bavarian fare including brats, schnitzel sandwiches, spaetzle, pretzels and more.

The food and drink aren’t the only things that are authentic, the music is as well. Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band will play several sets throughout the weekend along with the Bavarian Schuhplatters. After the oompah music, Blu Krewe takes the stage on Friday and Boogie Machine will help you dance the night away on Saturday. Both bands play the late set from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

There will be plenty of fun and games at Vail Oktoberfest. Enter the brat eating or stein lifting competitions, try keg bowling or see if your outfit is authentic enough to win top honors in the costume contest. Bring the kids to the Bavarian Kinder Club for games and crafts from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For the full schedule of events, please visit www.vailoktoberfest.com.

Avalanche Alumni vs. Vail Yeti Hockey

If you love hockey, casino games and helping out youth sports programs, you’re going to love this weekend. Those three elements could be described as the hat trick that happens off the ice as the Colorado Avalanche Alumni come to town to help raise money for the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club.

Throughout the weekend, Hockey greats such as Stephane Yelle, Peter Budaj, Cody McLeod, Pierre Turgeon, John-Michael Liles, Rick Barry, even Bernie, the team mascot will be around for meet and greet events, skills clinics, a Casino Night and the Avalanche Alumni will play the Vail Yeti Hockey team. Oh, and did we mention Joe Sakic? Yep, he will be here, too.

Dobson Ice Arena will be transformed into a casino setting for the Top Shelf Casino Night on Friday featuring a DJ, casino tables and a silent auction. Some of the auction items include VIP tickets to “The Voice”; tickets for the “The Bachelorette After the Final Rose” and “Women Tell All”; a VIP experience at Pepsi Center with Jake Schroeder, frequent national anthem singer at Avs games; lots of Avs memorabilia; gift cards to local businesses and more.

On Saturday, youth hockey clinics will be held with some of the Avalanche Alumni between noon and 3 p.m. There will also be a meet and greet with Avalanche Alumni from noon to 2 p.m. at Grey Salt. Grey Salt is a men’s clothing store in Solaris in Vail Village and 20% of proceeds from Grey Salt purchases on Saturday and Sunday will go to the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. when the Avalanche Alumni take on the Vail Yeti hockey team at Dobson Ice Arena on Saturday night.

It’s going to be an exciting weekend for hockey fans and it’s all for a good cause as the money raised from this event will help the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club offset about 40% of the fees each year to make the sport accessible to local youth. For more information on the weekend’s schedule and tickets, visit www.vailmountaineers.com

Zusammen Communal Dining

Gather around the table with friends and family in a celebration of food and community at Beaver Creek’s Zusammen celebration on Saturday night. Dine and drink at communal tables on the Plaza at Beaver Creek while enjoying free live music from Spinphony.

Restaurants and small plates include:

  • Golden Eagle Inn: Filet mignon slider with roasted tomato and poblano aioli, chocolate brownie with chilled berry compote.
  • Hooked: Colorado lamb chops with R Farms squash capponata, organic chicken miniature pot pie, zucchini bread with five-spice mascarpone frosting.
  • 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill: Buttermilk-cornmeal battered Rocky Mountain oyster tacos, crunchy slaw, and salsa de chicharron and chicken tinga tacos with crunchy slaw and salsa de chicharron.

Drinks will be available a la carte from the bar on the Plaza level near the ice rink. Guests over 21 years of age can also enjoy a complimentary pour of prosecco in a Beaver Creek-branded flute.

Spinphony is an all-female string quartet band based out of Denver. This group has been wowing fans with its unique arrangements of classical, rock and pop tunes and they absolutely rock. Spinphony has played venues throughout Colorado including Lindsey Vonn’s annual fundraiser at the Four Seasons Vail. They also played on the streets of Vail over Labor Day weekend at the Gourmet on Gore Food Trucks al Fresco event in Vail Village.

Zusammen features open-air seating from 4 to 8 p.m. The pay-as-you-go system allows you to try the different small plates from the restaurants featured. Don’t forget, there is ice skating in the evenings and shopping surrounding the plaza level of Beaver Creek, so make a night of it. For more information, go to www.beavercreek.com.

Habitat for Humanity Diva Build Day

Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley and Thrivent Financial are seeking volunteers for two special Diva Day build events on Friday and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Habitat’s new Grace Avenue construction site in Gypsum.

Participants may volunteer on either or both of the build days and will be treated to snacks, beverages and a commemorative t-shirt. Suggested build day apparel is pants, hard-soled or closed-toes shoes and layers. No prior construction or home improvement experience is necessary.

On the build days, there will be plenty of ladies clad in pink t-shirts swinging hammers or operating the buzz saw alongside folks from Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley who will be guiding them on how to do all the tasks needed on the job site that day. The volunteers will also be working alongside the family members who will be moving into the house. Habitat requires 250 hours of sweat equity per adult family member. Sweat equity is a central principle in Habitat’s mission of building community and partnering with families to provide a hand up, not a handout.

In addition to the two build days, a Diva Days VIP reception will be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hovey & Harrison in Edwards. Complimentary food and beverages will be served and happy hour pricing will be available throughout the event. Habitat will be collecting donations at the door to help fund its local homebuilding program.

To volunteer call Nick Mejia at 970-748-6718 ext. 127 or email volunteer@habitatvailvalley.org. For more information, visit www.habitatvailvalley.org.

MeadowGold 5k and 10k

Now is your chance to participate in the last race of the summer in the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series. The Meadowgold 5k and 10k races will be this Saturday.

So far, the races have been held in Eagle, Beaver Creek, Camp Hale and on Vail Mountain. This race takes place just outside of Minturn on Meadow Mountain. Runners will ascend technical single track on the beautiful West Grouse Trail. At the high point and nearly halfway through the 10k race, runners will begin the descent to the finish on double track with open views of Vail Mountain and the Gore Range.

The series wraps up with an awards ceremony following the finish of the MeadowGold races at Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in Minturn. All registered racers get a custom tech t-shirt. Word has it that this shirt contains some pretty cool artwork featuring a llama, so that alone might be reason enough to do this race. For more information please visit www.vailrec.com.

Vail Film Festival, soups for charity, a circus and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/16/19

Vail Film Festival

The Vail Film Festival returns for its 16th year and you may be thinking, “Isn’t that event held during the springtime?” Yes, this is the same festival, but this year it is scheduled during the summer. The Vail Film Festival kicked off on Thursday and runs through Sunday and promises to have a bevy of films that will appeal to filmgoers.

From narrative to student films, feature-length to shot films, you won’t want to miss the creativity and storytelling going on at Cinebistro, where all films will be shown, except for the opening and closing night films. Those will be shown at the Vail Mountain School. This year’s festival will showcase women filmmakers. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with those in the industry by attending workshops, panel discussions and the opening and closing night films and parties.

Some highlights include a world premiere of Lisa Raven’s narrative feature, “Snaeland”, “Stand Up, Falling Down” with Billy Crystal and “Poisoning Paradise” which is directed by Keely Brosnan and executive produced by Pierce Brosnan.

The Vail Film Festival will also feature a film by Vail Valley local and Battle Mountain High School graduate, Meredith Kirkman. Many know her parents, Gaye and Rob Steinke and Meredith’s many performances on stage for the Vail Performing Arts Academy and the Star Dancing Gala.

Kirkman, along with production partner Andrew Tamarkin, will debut their first film, “The Promise of the Butterfly” at 11:15 a.m. on Friday at Cinebistro in Vail Village. This film tells a coming-of-age story about the millennial artist. Set in Chicago, we meet Doran, part-time flower delivery boy and avid journal keeper, who spends the day pondering life by bike. Caught between pressures from his mother and his undecided future, he encounters a mute dancer who takes him on an unexpected journey into himself.

The Vail Film Festival is a must for avid moviegoers, but even if you don’t keep up with the latest list of flicks, there is still something for everyone. It’s a packed schedule, so for more information, visit www.vailfilmfestival.com and you can view the entire schedule of films and events.

Circus Bella presents Kaleidoscope

Get a taste of real circus action in Avon’s Nottingham Park this weekend when Circus Bella returns and presents Kaleidoscope. Circus Bella defines itself as being a “classic circus for a modern world” and will be showcasing new works never seen before in Colorado.

This San Francisco-based company was started in 2008 and represents talents from all over the world and will showcase aerialists, acrobatics, foot jugglers, clowns, wire walkers and more family-friendly entertainment. The backdrop for these amazing feats will include props and set dressing from LA Circus, whose work dazzled audiences in the motion picture “Water for Elephants,” “The Greatest Showman” and more.

Accompanying the performers will be a live six-piece band playing original music written by San Francisco music legend Rob Reich.

There will be seven shows under the Big Top Friday through Sunday and although there are 600 seats in the tent, it’s best to get your tickets in advance. Free lap passes for kids two years old and under. Discount pricing for families and groups available online and in this week’s Everything Vail Valley magazine in newsstands next to the Vail Daily. Purchase in advance at www.circuscolorado.com.

Heart and Sole event for Starting Hearts

The Heart and Sole event returns to Vail’s Ford Park to help raise awareness about cardiac health and bring together families for some fun before school starts. A one-mile fun run, a 5k lead by XTERRA world champion triathlete Josiah Middaugh and a scavenger hunt will be held. Starting Hearts will also be providing EKG readings throughout the day, sign up in advance as spaces are limited. 

Other activities include live music, free CPR classes, face painting, a bounce house, heart-healthy snacks, health and wellness vendors and more. The scavenger hunt will earn one lucky team an automated external defibrillator (AED) for their home, office or neighborhood. The goal of the hunt is to be the first team to locate all 17 defibrillators in the Town of Vail, take a team selfie with each device on a single phone, and post to Instagram at #Startinghearts. Teams will have 90 minutes to find all 17 AED devices throughout the town of Vail. 

All proceeds go to Starting Hearts’ mission to save precious lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through education and CPR training and adding Automated External Defibrillators in key locations throughout Eagle County.

Heart and Sole will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and scavenger hunt rules, please visit www.startinghearts.org.

Empty Bowls Benefit for Salvation Army Vail

In an area as affluent as the Vail Valley it’s hard to believe that hunger exists. Surprisingly, nearly 500 households utilize the Vail Valley Salvation Army’s food pantry every month. Empty Bowls, an annual fundraiser held Friday at the Battle Mountain High School from noon to 1:30 p.m., strives to fill the void on the food bank’s shelves.

Empty Bowls was started over ten years ago to help supplement the cost of replenishing the shelves at the food bank. The Battle Mountain high school cafeteria is set up like a soup kitchen and features some of the valley’s favorite restaurants serving up not only soups but also homemade bread and delicious desserts. Some of the flavors in the past have included lobster bisque, vegetable barely and a seasonal gazpacho.  

Along with the meal, there are beautiful pottery bowls for each participant to take home. Handcrafted by local and regional potters, these empty bowls signify hunger in our valley.   

The community pitches in and 100 percent of the ticket price goes to the food pantry. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased the day of the event. For more information, visit www.salvationarmyvail.org.

Zusammen at Beaver Creek

Gather around the table with friends and family in a celebration of food and community at Beaver Creek’s Zusammen celebration on Saturday night. Dine and drink at communal tables on the Plaza at Beaver Creek while enjoying free live music from Cloud Nine Strings.

Area restaurants will offer small plates to guests who want to try a variety of flavors throughout the evening. The food vendors this Saturday include Hooked, Golden Eagle Inn, Rocky Mountain Raclette and Ekahi. The event features open-air seating from 4 to 8 p.m. Don’t forget there is ice skating in the evenings and shopping surrounding the plaza level of Beaver Creek.

Cloud 9 Strings is based out of Denver and they have played with big names like Earth, Wind and Fire, Andrea Bocelli and the Moody Blues. Their sound spans from classical to swing, jazz to rock, so expect to be entertained by the band. They even take requests.

Pay as you go trying the different tastes from the restaurants featured and get drinks along the way as well. For more information, go to www.beavercreek.com.

Wine tastings, mud runs, monster trucks and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/9/19

Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival

There are wine and spirits festivals, and then there are wine and spirits festivals at Beaver Creek. For the 13th year, the Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival puts its own special twist on incorporating culinary excellence with outdoor adventures that pair together perfectly. Here’s a look at the schedule throughout the weekend. Please note that the wine dinners at both Mirabelle and Splendido are sold out.

Friday

  • A Taste of Sicily Seminar – 12-1:30 p.m. – Toscanini
  • The Grower Champagne Seminar – 2:30-4:00 p.m.  – The Met Kitchen
  • Rosé Soiree – 3–5 p.m. – Village

Saturday

  • Hike and Lunch: A Guided Gourmet Adventure – 10 a.m. –2 p.m. – Summer Adventure Center – Spruce Saddle
  • Shaping Your Senses: Wine Glassware and Tasting Seminar – 12-1:30 p.m. – Peregrine Room at The Osprey
  • Women in Wine – 1– 3 p.m. – Village
  • Pinot Noir Uncorked Seminar – 2:30-4 p.m. – Peregrine Room at The Osprey
  • 13th Annual Grand Tasting – 5– 8 p.m. – Base of Haymeadow Express Gondola 

Sunday

  • Guided 4×4 Adventure Tour with a wine and cheese pairing – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – start and end at Centennial Station.  

For more information and tickets, please visit www.beavercreek.com.

Vail Dance Festival Closing Weekend

If you haven’t had a chance to see a performance at the Vail Dance Festival, there is still time this weekend. In its 31st year, the Vail Dance Festival continues to shine, inspire and amaze event-goers throughout the two-week festival.

The Martha Graham Dance Company returns to the festival with a program that highlights both the history of the company and the future of modern dance. Don’t miss the Graham masterpiece “Appalachian Spring” which will be set to the Aaron Copeland score and played by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra.

Choreographer Pam Tanowitz will also present one of her works set to the music of composer-in-residence, Caroline Shaw.

Find out why the “New York Times” has been stated that “The company is overflowing with talented dancers” at Friday night’s show at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

Ballet Hispanico made its debut in 2018 and is back for more on Saturday. “Last year was an incredible experience and we look forward to sharing more of our repertory with the Vail audiences,” said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispanico. 

Before closing down the festival on Saturday night at the Ford Amphitheater, Ballet Hispanico will be Dancing in the Streets, one of the Vail Dance Festival’s fringe events, on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the crossroads of Gore and Bridge Street in Vail Village.

“Since Ballet Hispanico’s inception, our mission has been tied to community education and engagement making the Dancing in the Streets event something we relish in doing as a Company.”

Ballet Hispanico will close down the festival with new works along with audience favorites including “Club Havana” which was featured on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center.” A closing night dance party complete with a salsa band will follow the performance. The audience is invited to join in the celebration and dance on the same stage the pros have been on for the past two weeks to close down another fun and fabulous Vail Dance Festival.  

For tickets, go to www.vaildance.org. Showtime for both shows is 7:30 p.m.

Kids Adventure Games

I have some good news and bad news about the Kids Adventure Games. I’ll give you the bad news first: they are sold out. But, the good news is there are still ways to take part in this fun family weekend.

The challenging yet fun course is designed especially for kids in teams of two ranging in age from 6 to 14. The course involves a range of obstacles in an outdoor environment. It’s very spectator friendly along the 2.5-4 mile course as well. Watch as the teams go through up to 15 man-made and natural obstacles.

In addition to spectating, take part in activities at the Adventure Zone in Solaris Plaza from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. There will also be a yoga session with Revolution Power Yoga at 2:30 on Saturday.

There’s still space available to get your competitive juices flowing during the KEEN Family Mud Run on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Here, it’s more about getting dirty and having fun than taking first place. The course meanders around the base of Mountain Plaza and yes, you will get muddy during the mud run. All mud runners will receive a special gift from the sponsors for their willingness to get soiled and there will be some “cool” ways to wash off at the finish line.

The Kids Adventure Games started in Vail in 2010 and has grown greatly since then. Competitions are held at various locations across the U.S., so if you can’t get into the Vail Kids Adventure Games next year, try traveling to one of these destinations:

  • Stowe, VT
  • Big Sky, MT
  • North Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Lost Valley, ME
  • Park City, UT

For a full schedule and information on how to get involved, visit www.kidsadventuregames.com.

Vail Jazz at the Riverwalk

Summertime in the Vail Valley is all about outdoor music and one of the newest venues is the small amphitheater along the river at Riverwalk. Vail Jazz has its big Vail Jazz Party coming up Labor Day weekend, but leading up to the signature event, the music spills out into communities up and down valley. The Jazz at the Riverwalk shows started out just being a once a month thing and has grown to include every Friday between Independence Day through Labor Day.

Quemando takes the stage on Friday. Quemando means “burning” in Spanish and this salsa band will be heating up the stage and encouraging folks to get up and move on the lawn at Riverwalk. Lots of energy will be coming out of this 12-piece band as they cover legendary Latin tracks from artists like Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Gloria Esteban and more. They have also been known to add a little heat to classics from the Beatles and Frank Sinatra.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and there are food and beverage tents and other vendors on hand for you to mingle with before the free concert begins at 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.vailjazz.org.

Crawling to a Cure

One thing I love about the Vail Valley is that you can see ballet one day and get to ride in a monster truck the next day. Come down to the Eagle on Saturday for Crawlin’ to a Cure, a benefit that “races to raise cash” and gives that money back to local families impacted by cancer. 

The Eagle County Fairgrounds are transformed into an obstacle course full of boulders, logs, tabletop jumps and other hurdles that will challenge the drivers of the various vehicles that will be out on the course. There are seven classes of vehicles competing in Saturday’s event. The cost is $100 to compete in the event or $50 if you just want to drive the course and aren’t doing it for time. Qualifying rounds will begin at 9 a.m. and the competitions will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Other activities include rides in the monster trucks, kids power wheels racing and a Show and Shine car show where you can show off your 4×4 rig.

Crawlin’ to a Cure was created in 2011 by Stewart and Vikki Hobbs as a way to help support their friend, Tiffany Myers. Tiffany Myers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and lost the battle in 2016. Part of the proceeds go to the Tiffany Myers Keeping ‘em Real Memorial Scholarship Fund that helps graduating seniors in the Eagle and Garfield County area public high schools that have been impacted by cancer in their immediate family.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids aged five to ten years old. Kids who are four years old and younger are free. Crawlin’ to a Cure donates all of the driver’s fees, gate admissions and merchandise sales proceeds. For more information, visit www.crawintoaocure.org.   

Island vibes at Blues, Brews and BBQ

Nearly two dozen restaurants will be cooking, smoking and marinating up something delicious for the 16th annual Blues, Brews and BBQ event at Beaver Creek this weekend.

Known as Beaver Creek’s signature Memorial Day weekend event that kicks off the summer season, Blues, Brews and BBQ brings together great eats, suds and tunes. In addition to the beer garden set up each day of the event, don’t forget about the Colorado Craft Brew Festival on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., which is a ticketed event that gives you access to sample handcrafted beers from 30 Colorado breweries.

The musical line up this year includes Larkin Poe, a duo of two sisters, Megan and Rebecca Lovell, who are descendants of 19th-century American writer, Edgar Allen Poe. Also appearing will be Los Lobos, whose musical sounds span from rock, Tex-Mex, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican influences.

Each year, Beaver Creek invites barbecue chefs and restaurants from Beaver Creek and beyond to dazzle the taste buds of event goers. Each restaurant is trying to earn the coveted People’s Choice award.

We caught up with Riley Romanin, executive chef and owner of Hooked Seafood, Sushi and Market to see which culinary direction he was going. “This year we are following our outdoor tiki bar theme and preparing some Caribbean-influenced barbecue,” Romanin said.

Romanin starts with wild Mexican white shrimp soaked overnight in locally sourced One Love Jamaican jerk marinade and then slow smokes it in the Big Green Egg, which is also the preferred method of cooking, smoking and grilling used in the annual Backyard BBQ Competition on Friday. In addition to the Jamaican jerk shrimp, Hooked will also have that same Jamaican jerk marinade on chicken wings at its booth throughout the weekend.  

At Romanin’s other restaurant, Revolution, his team will be preparing numerous items featuring Berkshire Duroc pigs from their partners at Mountain View Farms located in Meeker, CO. “We’ll have barbecue pork ribs, Hauxenbauer, which is a German barbecue rotisserie special of smoked pork hocks,” Romanin said.  

Revolution will also serve smoked bone-in headcheese with all the accouterments for those who want to be adventurous.

“We like being the first to do things. Sometimes our ideas might shock the guests because we are using interesting and creative new ways to deliver our delicious flavors that haven’t been seen or tasted before,” Romanin said. Case in point, Romanin came up with the Crimpster, a crab, shrimp and lobster combo which is a de-shelled lobster tail stuffed with shrimp that is stuffed with a snow crab leg that is wrapped in bacon. Delicious.

For the full schedule of the Blues Brews and BBQ event at Beaver Creek, visit www.beavercreek.com.

Chow down on Italian galore at Toscanini

Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from EAT magazine, featuring the best restaurants in the valley. EAT is available on magazine racks and in hotel lobbies for free.

With snow slightly falling, skaters of all sizes swirl around the ice rink at Beaver Creek; fire pits are silently dancing and almost every seat rink-side is occupied. If Currier & Ives were making a comeback, they’d start here to capture the lively warmth of togetherness. But even the most closely knit groups must heed the inevitable stomach grumble after a day at play. Fortunately, the cordiality continues at Toscanini with several different opportunities to enjoy la dolce vita.

For those who aren’t quite ready to land (and want a few more turns ‘round the rink), start with an aperitif or cocktail from Toscanini’s umbrella bar. Open from 3-9 p.m. when the weather cooperates, this convenient outpost serves wine, beer and hot beverages (both spiked and saintly). Sip and savor until the thought of a dish of comfort becomes too much to bear — then move inside.

If you play your cards right, you won’t need to abandon your people-watching: The tableau outside might be viewable from your table. After you’re seated, so begins the oh-so-onerous-yet-enjoyable task of narrowing down options. Take a tour of “the boot” with the wine list, which is entirely comprised of Italian wines. For those who are less confident choosing between a Nero d’Avola and a Nebbiolo, Toscanini’s full-time sommelier can help you navigate the more than 200 different wines.

The menu makes it equally difficult to choose: Do you start with calamari or carpaccio? Caesar or carciofo? Everything sounds amazing, so there’s only one options: Order several and share. Italian comfort classics, like the osso bucco, a fall-off-the-bone braised pork shank with baby carrots and whipped potatoes, or the lasagna just like Nonna wished she could make, are perfect for warming up from inside. Toscanini is dedicated to providing comforting Italian favorites for everyone — even those who are sensitive to gluten. There’s no need to pass on pasta or pizza here: Gluten-free penne pasta, made from GMO-free corn flour imported from Italy is available to create dinner options for vegetarians, pescatarians and carnivores. A classic Margherita pizza, as well as pies with more modern options like fig with prosciutto and goat cheese, can be served on a gluten-free crust.

Guaranteeing that guests enjoy each bite is Chef John Zavoral’s goal with each dish. “Seeing the look of enjoyment on people’s faces when they taste our food and the pleasure they express following the meal is what inspires me,” says Chef Zavoral. “We strive to ensure they feel that way about every dish on the menu.”

If dessert seems an unattainable addition, take a few turns on the ice rink to make some space then return for a piece of tiramisu or torta, a warm, dark chocolate molten cake with caramel corn for crunch and salted caramel gelato for just a hint of savory with the sweet. It’s the perfect end to a print-perfect day in the snow.

Zach’s Cabin offers mountainside, nature-inspired meals

Editor’s note: This story originally ran as a paid feature in EAT Magazine, featuring the best restaurants in the Vail Valley. EAT is available on magazine racks and in hotel lobbies for free.

Get whisked away this winter on a nature-inspired dining adventure to Zach’s Cabin, an on-mountain restaurant that epitomizes Beaver Creek fine dining at its peak. The journey to Zach’s Cabin begins with a snowcat-pulled sleigh ride from Bachelor Gulch up the Cabin Fever ski run to this feverishly special place that’s nestled into an aspen grove. Along the way, fresh mountain air and views of starry skies will pique your senses for a sumptuous dinner and award-winning wine pairings to follow.

Settle in around the glowing fireplace hearth in this dining room that is intimately connected with the outdoors, and choose from a wine list that’s earned Zach’s a “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator for 10 years running. Root down into the dining experience with the roasted root vegetable salad, a beautifully presented appetizer with a zesty carrot lemon emulsion that draws other flavors and textures together, from roasted beets and carrots to creamy local goat cheese and crunchy toasted quinoa. Local flavor, as highlighted in this appetizer’s local goat cheese, is a theme across this menu that calls out local and Colorado-sourced ingredients including acorn squash, pork tenderloin, beef short ribs and more.

 

The Quintessential Colorado Dining Experience

The focus on what’s seasonal and local reflects the vision of Executive Chef David Gutowski, who is new to Zach’s Cabin this winter but not new to the Beaver Creek fine dining scene. Gutowski has spent the past 12 years at the renowned Grouse Mountain Grill and brings more than 20 years of experience to Zach’s, along with a passion for sharing the best of Colorado cuisine. “What’s most appealing about Zach’s Cabin is not only the unique setting but the entire experience from start to finish,” Gutowski says. “It’s the quintessential Colorado dining experience — from the arrival in an open-air sleigh to a rustic cabin with an intimate dining room and a beautiful burning fireplace. It’s all meant to feel special.”

Continue exploring what’s special at Zach’s Cabin by choosing one of Gutowski’s favorite entrées, the duck breast, which is dry aged for 14 days in-house. A citrus duck jus anchors this dish that includes hearty barley risotto and a yam and brown butter puree. While other meat and game entrée options ranging from Colorado beef tenderloin and venison chops naturally fit within this rustic yet refined place, the butternut squash-stuffed agnolotti is a standout among meatless options. This pillowy house-made pasta dish’s brown butter emulsion and pumpkin seed pesto add rich flavors that are balanced by tart julienne apple strips in the mix.

For dessert, have a taste of what could be the best of all possible dessert worlds combined: the molten chocolate bread pudding, one final indulgence of warm Dutch cocoa challah bread and vanilla ice cream that’s like the sleigh ride back down the mountain — a sweet ending to a fairy-tale evening at Zach’s Cabin.