Wild Sage owners take over Boneyard restaurant space in Eagle

The Boneyard in Eagle will get a fresh, new look once neighboring restaurateurs Casey Glowacki and Kevin Nelson take over the space in downtown Eagle Ranch.

“We’ve got a signed lease so it’s official. We are moving forward with a new restaurant in Eagle Ranch called Capitol Public House,” said Casey Glowacki, who also owns the Drunken Goat restaurant and Cut, a seafood and meat shop, in Edwards.

Kevin Nelson is Glowacki’s chef and managing partner at Wild Sage, which opened earlier this summer. Nelson will be overseeing both Wild Sage and Capitol Public House kitchens but the commute won’t be long since the two restaurants are across the street from each other. Nelson is known for quality, made-from-scratch food, so the new place will stay with that theme but it will be applied to a bar and grill-style restaurant.

“The best definition of the new menu would be gastropub. It’s going to be elevated bar food, comfort food in a very comfortable, family-oriented atmosphere,” Glowacki said. “The town of Eagle has spoken loudly that they wanted to keep a place where they could let their kids loose in the backyard while having a quality beverage and something yummy to eat, and that’s what we’re going to give them.”

Glowacki said they are already working on a curated menu that is going to feature some classics but done in the new restaurant’s style. Look for burgers, Reubens, pizzas and more. Capitol Public House will also showcase an extensive list of bourbons and whiskeys.

“Our general manager, John Delaney, is really excited about a very aggressive bourbon and whiskey program. He’s bouncing around a bunch of ideas for ways to make it fun and make it be the place to go for bourbon and whiskey drinks downvalley.”

Their target opening date with the new concept is mid-January. Glowacki has enlisted the interior design skills of Susan Nowakowski of Zehren and Associates in Avon, who also worked on Wild Sage.

“The challenge is to bring it back to a square room and make it feel cohesive to the restaurant. We’ve got a giant bar in there, and that is going to stay. We’re not moving around a bunch of walls or doing a whole lot of construction, we’re more or less cleaning it up and putting some interior design elements into it,” Glowacki said.

Although Capitol Public House will open during the winter, Glowacki said they are already looking forward to summer and how they are going to use the space.

“Our plans next summer are to really maximize the patio and the stage and have a ton of live music,” Glowacki said.

The new Capitol Public House will take over the former Boneyard restaurant in mid-January. The space is known for having a lively patio scene with live music and a place for kids to roam during the warmer months.
Sean Naylor/Vail Daily

Before moving back to Colorado, Glowacki owned and operated seven restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina. Glowacki was born and raised in Colorado and wanted a slower pace of life when he sold off the Charleston restaurants. He didn’t expect to be back owning multiple restaurants, but he said with the team he has, it’s easy and fun to do.

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“I have such phenomenal people on board with me, and this opportunity to take over the Boneyard space kind of fell into my lap,” he said. “I wasn’t really looking to recreate what I was doing in Charleston all over again, but I like to say I’ll stop doing it when it’s no longer fun, but right now I really feel like I’ve caught my second wind and we’ve just got a really solid situation at the Drunken Goat, Wild Sage is off to a great start and we’re so excited about Capitol Public House.”

Parties and pumpkins: How to celebrate Halloween in the Vail Valley

Even though Halloween is on Tuesday, there are already events going on to celebrate the spookiest time of the year. Whether you are going to get dressed up to the nines or want to spectate, here’s a partial list of happenings throughout the Vail Valley.


Pumpkin Carving Party – Alpine Arts Center

The Alpine Arts Center is hosting an all-ages pumpkin carving party from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring your own pumpkin and they will provide tools and templates to help you create your own jack-o-lantern. Candy and “boo’s” will be on hand. The Art Bar will be open and beer, wine and champagne will be for sale. The cost is $25 and you can register at AlpineArtsCenter.org.

Bring a pumpkin and create a jack-o-lantern with the help from the artistic pros at Alpine Arts Center on Friday.
Alpine Arts Center/Courtesy photo

Glow Flow Yoga – Athletic Club at the Westin Riverfront

This community yoga event will not only celebrates Halloween, but also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Athletic Club will provide the glow bracelets and necklaces and all attendees are encouraged to come dressed in Halloween costumes, so make sure you choose something you can wear while do yoga poses. There is a suggested $20 donation for the class and that goes directly to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. Class size is limited so advanced registration is recommended. To sign up, please call 970-790-2051 or book online at AthleticClubWestin.com.

Kid’s Night Out Halloween Skate Party – Eagle Pool and Ice Rink

Children grades kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink for Skating Club of Vail’s spooktacular skating event from 6 to 8 p.m. Come dressed up in your favorite costume and be ready to skate, play games, do crafts and more. $25 per child also includes dinner, skate fees and skate rentals. For more information, visit SkateClubVail.com.

Halloween and Flamenco Dance – Color Coffee

Head over for some fun in Eagle Ranch at a Halloween Costume Party and a Flamenco show with Dwende Flamenco at Color Roasters Coffee shop. There will be a contest for the best costume, music, the flamenco show and a nice selection of wine and food for purchase. The party will go from 5 to 10 p.m. and the flamenco show is from 7 to 8 p.m.

Southside Alley – Southside Benderz

A costume and pumpkin carving contest will be taking place at Southside Benderz in Avon. Wear your best costume and bring your pumpkin (already carved and ready to present) for your change to win $250 in gift cards for your creativity. Drinks specials include $4 pumpkin beer, $4 skeleton water, $7 orange wine, $7 spooky margs. The party goes from 7 to 10 p.m.

Eagle County Charter Academy’s Halloween Bash – The Hythe Vail  

Dress up for a good cause! Get ready for a spooktacular evening that supports dedicated teachers and staff at Eagle County Charter Academy. The Hythe will serve up some bites and drinks and the silent auction has some great items as well. Tickets are $65 per person. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and for more information, go to ECCA.org.  

Halloween Costume Party – Agave

Get your costumes ready for Friday night when Agave hosts its annual Halloween Costume Party. It pays to be creative when it could earn you $500. Live music will be provided by Schlep n’ Wolf, featuring band members Johnny Schleper, Jake Wolf, Rob Eaton, Jr. and Bob Masters. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the costume contest is at 11 p.m. Get tickets at AgaveAvon.com.


Pumpkin Fest – Riverwalk Backyard

Enjoy this family friendly event benefiting the Family Learning Center. Sponsored by Riverwalk and Village Market, Pumpkin Fest will be complete with face painting, fun photos, yard games and a $5 suggested donation for pumpkins. Dress in your costume and do some trick-or-treating at the businesses throughout Riverwalk between 10 a.m. and noon.

Story Hour: “Gustavo the Shy Ghost” – The Bookworm

Bravo! Vail continues to celebrate Music Education Month this weekend with offerings for all ages. Bring the kids to the Bookworm to meet Gustavo, the main character in the book, “Gustavo the Shy Ghost.” This spooktacular bilingual story hour features readings of #1 New York Times bestseller “Gustavo the Shy Ghost” by Flavia Z. Drago, with special musical performances by Bravo! Vail’s Music Makers Haciendo Música students. The event starts at 10 a.m. and admission is free, but reservations are required through BravoVail.org.

Spooky Concerts with Bravo! Vail – Walking Mountains Science Center

If you listen closely, nature can create some pretty eerie sounds. To mimic that, Bravo! Vail Music Makers Haciendo Música students and staff from Walking Mountains Science Center present the sounds of the season with spooky concerts and nature music instruments from 1 to 4 p.m. This family-friendly, interactive event is free and no reservations are required. Visit walkingmountains.org for further information.

Fall fun Fest – 4 Eagle Ranch– Mountain Life Calvary Chapel

Grab your costumes and head out to 4 Eagle Ranch for a fun, festive, fall event for the whole family from 1 to 4 p.m. Games for all ages, inflatables, ax throwing for the older kids and adults and a whole lot of candy await. Family friendly costumes encouraged, no scary costumes please.

Halloween Funfest – Beaver Creek

Head up to Beaver Creek to roam the village and trick-or-treat at area merchants. Stick around for fun and games and a whole lot of pumpkins. Free parking in the garages this time of year but if they do fill up you can take the free shuttle buses to the village. The event is free and goes from 2 to 5 p.m.

Trunk-or-Treat – Edwards Interfaith Chapel

The Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration has been hosting this event every year (even during COVID) to bring the community together during this festive time of year. People of all ages are welcome to came out for this creative way of trick-or-treating. Those interested are welcome pop their trunk and hand out candy, too. In addition to the candy, there will be Halloween music and other entertainment. It’s quick – just 4 to 5 p.m., so get there early to hit all the trunks full of candy.

Halloween Party – Ein Prosit

Stop by Ein Prosit for its inaugural Halloween party on Saturday night. There’s no cover charge and if you wear a costume, you get a free shot. There will be live music with Zane Zirkle and the party starts on the early side, going from 6 to 9 p.m., in case you have to get up early the next day or want to party hop.  

Funky Fright Fest – Second Street Bar

Wild Love Tigress will be rocking the new Second Street Bar in Eagle on Saturday night. Dressing up is highly encouraged and prizes will be given to the best ones. The band will play 1970s style funk and soul that they’re bringing into the 21st century, so dress to dance the night away.

Halloween Bash – Mango’s

Wear your costumes and head to Mango’s for a free Halloween Bash with live music with Bill McKay and Friends featuring Rob Eaton, Jr., Mark Levy and Todd Smallie. In addition to prizes for best costume, there will be a raffle for a pair of K2 Mindbender skis. Party starts at 8 p.m.

For years the Minturn Saloon hosted an annual Halloween fundraiser for the Minturn Community Fund. The iconic restaurant is bringing back the event on Saturday. Money raised will go to the Neighbors in Need program.
Terry Armistead/Courtesy photo

Minturn Community Fund Party – Minturn Saloon

After a lengthy renovation, the Minturn Saloon is back open and ready to reprise its role as a Halloween headquarters in Minturn. This Saturday, this iconic location will once again host not only a Halloween party but a fundraiser for the Minturn Community Fund’s Neighbors in Need program. Neighbors in Need is designed to assist Minturn residents in times of trouble. Enjoy live music by the Johnny Schleper Band. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door with all door proceeds going to the fund. In addition to prizes from area business for costumes, a Weston Snowboard will be given away. Come early and grab a bite off the regular menu and the party runs from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Halloween Party – El Segundo in Vail

Get your creative juices flowing for a good costume idea because it could win you $1,000 in prize money at El Segundo in Vail. DJ Stennor will spin the tunes. $20 cover at the door, doors open at 8 p.m. and the party goes until midnight.


Cupcakes and Canvas – Alpine Arts Center

‘Tis the season to paint a scarecrow. That will be the subject matter at Cupcakes and Canvas from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. An instructor will guide you through a step-by-step demonstration on how to paint a scarecrow. All supplies and cupcakes are included in the price and wine, beer and champagne can be purchased during the class. Register by going to AlpineArtsCenter.org.

Halloween Dance – United Methodist Church, Eagle

Kids ages 5 to 12 are invited to come to United Methodist Church in Eagle for a dance featuring black lights for an extra eerie feel. In addition of grooving to “Monster Mash” and other tunes, there will be a costume contest, food and games. This free event goes from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Rewind will play during Route 6 Cafe’s annual Halloween party. Funds raised from the event go to the Vail Valley Theatre Company.
Rewind Band/Courtesy photo

Rewind Halloween Party – Route 6 Cafe

Come in costume and ready to dance to the sounds of local favorites Rewind at the second annual Halloween party benefiting the Vail Valley Theatre Company. Best costume will earn a $300 cash prize. A $10 suggested donation will benefit the nonprofit theater group. If you have to work early on Monday, don’t worry, the event goes from 7 to 9 p.m.


Minturn Halloween – Minturn

Head to Minturn for its traditional Halloween celebration that happens downtown each year on the eve of Halloween. Start at Town Hall located at 302 Pine Street for Trick-or-Treating and photo ops. Candy available until 7:30 p.m. or until the candy runs out. The Bunkhouse will be featuring games, music and will treat those old enough to some adult beverages. Minturn’s Main Street is a great place to go trick-or-treating and many residents go over the top decorating their front yards.  


Trick-or-Treat Trot – Vail

On Halloween, the Trick-or-Treat Trot is a great opportunity for kids from infants up to 10 years old to wear their costumes and roam the streets of Vail and Lionshead from 2 to 5 p.m. Participating merchants will have an orange jack-o-lantern leaf bag outside their front door. Trick-or-treating may begin in Lionshead or Vail Village. The Trick or Treat Trot takes place rain, snow or shine! Participants are asked to bring their own reusable bags.

The annual Trick-or-Treat Trot will take place in Vail and Lionshead Village on Tuesday between 2-5 p.m.
Vail Recreation District/Courtesy photo

Halloween at the Vail Public Library
Stop by the Vail Public Library for some fun events like the Halloween-themed story time and puppet show with Sandy Fuller Ferguson at 1 p.m., so head over there before the Trick-or-Treat Trot.

Miller Ranch

Although there’s no organized event in Miller Ranch, a neighborhood near Battle Mountain High School in Edwards, it really is a Halloween scene each year. Kids from up valley and down valley make the trip to this community that is set up perfectly for trick-or-treating with the houses all in a row and close to the street and driveways in the back. The decorations are taken to a whole new level in Miller Ranch, too. If you are new to Miller Ranch, be sure to stock up on candy for this big event.

Resurrection Party – Minturn Saloon

The newly renovated Minturn Saloon is getting back into the Halloween Spirit and is not only hosting the Minturn Community Fund’s party on Saturday, it’s also hosting its Resurrection Party on Halloween night. Come ready to dance to the Evolution band playing from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. There will be a costume contest, drink specials and bar snacks in this historic building that has been around since 1901.

Eagle Ranch kicks off Halloween festivities with trick-or-treating and a ‘Thriller’ flash mob Wednesday

Get the candy piles going early. Eagle Ranch will help you fill those Halloween bags during the 15th annual Trick-or-Treat Street on Capitol Street on Wednesday. This free event is open to all ages and costumes are encouraged. After the trick-or-treating stick around for some spooky fun with DJ Kuchler spinning tunes.  

A highlight of the fall fête is the annual group dance choreographed to Michael Jackson’s epic single, “Thriller,” which came out in 1982 on the album that bears the same name. Look for your friends, neighbors and kids from Zealous Schools performing a scary shuffle in costume right on Capitol Street.

Tami Higbee has been working with people as young as five years old and older since the beginning of September to get ready for this public performance that has become a tradition since 2011 at Trick-or-Treat Street.

“It started as an event that is done around the world called ‘Thrill the World’ where everyone dances the “Thriller” dance around the world at the same time,” Higbee said.

Thrill The World is a global community project that inspires others to break down barriers by connecting people of all religions, races, political persuasions and economic backgrounds through dance, according to its website, ThrillTheWorld.com

Dancers of all ages have been attending practice sessions at Endorphin in Eagle to perfect the choreographic moves to “Thriller.”
Thrill The World Eagle, Colorado/Courtesy photo

Higbee took on the task of being the volunteer lead dance instructor from Lora Silagy and has carried on the torch for the past six years.

“Lora started the event. She was a Zumba instructor at the time and got asked to do it as a flash mob at Trick-o-Treat Street by Erin Vega. I was a Zumba instructor and Lora decided to pass the baton off to me,” Higbee said.  

A Facebook page, “Thrill the World Eagle, Colorado,” keeps those interested in participating posted in advance of the event. Veterans of the flash mob return year after year, but they also get newcomers and start practice once a week in Sept. and the frequency usually bumps up to twice a week in October. Practices take place at Endorphin in Eagle.

Higbee said there are about 50 people who will dance in the event on Wednesday.

“My students keep me coming back. Their enthusiasm is contagious and it is so much fun. You get to learn a complicated dance in a short period of time, find a costume and perform in front of an entire town. What’s not to love?” Higbee said. “My dancers are so talented and really work hard to make this happen.”

But you don’t need to have a dance background to perform the “Thriller” dance. “I teach people how they can modify the dance moves to make it easier if they are newer to dance,” Higbee said.

This year’s nonprofit is SpeakUp ReachOut. Its mission is to prevent suicide in Eagle County through training, awareness and hope.

“The need to reach out to everyone and show positivity is what we all need. With the losses we’ve experienced here and the amount of people we reach with this dance, we feel this was an appropriate way to help our community,” Higbee said.

Trick-or-Treat Street runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Thrill The World Eagle, Colorado/Courtesy photo

Local businesses are stepping up to help incentivize people to make donations to SpeakUp ReachOut. Eventgoers can give to the nonprofit before or while at Trick-or-Treat Street online at SpeakUpReachOut.org/Give-Back. Then, if they show proof of a donation, on their phone, perhaps, they can take advantage of deals that night like a free house margarita from El Segundo, $2 off house drinks at Social Oak, a small bag of popcorn at the Capitol Theater and a free pint of Eagle River Brewing’s beer at Color Coffee.

The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Capitol Street and parking is available behind Capitol Theater and behind the Talon Flats building and surrounding streets. Capitol Street will be closed to traffic starting at 3 p.m. Higbee said they will probably dance around 6:15 p.m., so make sure you are parked and have your viewing spot secured by 6 p.m. since, to quote Vincent Price, “for no mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller!”

Traditional Spanish flamenco dancing comes to the Vail Valley

The allure of the Vail Valley brings people from all over and it really becomes a melting pot of culture and Jessica Pinto wants to share her talents of flamenco dancing with the public.

With over 20 years of experience dancing internationally, Pinto settled in Edwards eight months ago and has been working on building a solid team of performers to bring an authentic look, sound and feel to the craft.

“The flamenco I’m bringing is not fusion, it is pure gypsy style, like what you would see at a tablao in Sevilla, Spain,” Pinto said.

The result is Dwende Flamenco, a trio that features a talented guitarist, a mesmerizing percussionist and a captivating dancer, each coming from diverse Hispanic backgrounds. Pinto hopes to transport audiences from the Rocky Mountains to the Mediterranean with a culturally rich experience that blends style, fiery rhythms and soulful melodies.

The name, Dwende also means “to have Dwende” which is a popular expression within the flamenco world that can be loosely translated as having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and heart while playing or dancing to flamenco. 

“It applies to the audience too,” Pinto said. “If someone gets a sense of emotion and connection while witnessing flamenco, it means the “Dwende” came to visit you.”

Dwende Flamenco is comprised of percussionist Santiago Doglione of Buenos Aires, Argentina, left, Jessica Pinto who honed her flamenco skills primarily in Barcelona, Spain and Diego Espinosa, a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Rafael Bruno/Courtesy photo

Pinto was driven to bring flamenco skills that she honed primarily in Barcelona, Spain to Eagle County to share a culture she loves.

“Dwende Flamenco aims to infuse the valley with a dose of international culture. Every show we deliver will serve as a captivating tour of the flamenco world, offering something entirely fresh and unique to our local audience. Our goal is to transport spectators to distant horizons through the captivating art,” Pinto said.

“Since my relocation to Colorado, I’ve longed to come back to dancing, but finding like-minded and talented individuals willing to commit to a band proved challenging since flamenco is extremely rare here,” Pinto said.

Pinto was able to find those individuals. Diego Espinosa, hailing from Cuernavaca, Mexico, is a multi-instrumentalist and composer with a wealth of international experience. From a young age, he explored a diverse spectrum of musical styles, including jazz, rock, funk, blues, Latin and Mediterranean rhythms.

Percussionist Santiago Doglione brings the rhythmic heartbeat of Buenos Aires, Argentina to the group. His deep love for Latin American styles to dynamic worlds of pop, rock and flamenco infuses Dwende Flamenco’s performances with a powerful energy.

Dwende Flamenco will perform its first show in Eagle County at Color Coffee on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Special Spanish wines will be for sale during the shows.
Rafael Bruno/Courtesy photo

The valley will get its first taste of Dwende Flamenco on Sept. 15 at Color Coffee in Eagle. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and there will be two sets lasting 45 minutes each with a 15-minute break in between. There will also be special Spanish wines for sale. 

Pinto hopes to spark more performance opportunities, from private events to theater shows. She will also be sharing her knowledge and skills with the public. She will be teaching flamenco dancing at Vail Valley Academy of Dance in Edwards. There is a master class on Sept. 23 where aspiring dancers can immerse themselves in the world of flamenco.

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“I’ll teach the intricate steps, rhythms and soulful expressions that define this mesmerizing art form,” Pinto said. “Dwende Flamenco is not only here to perform but also to ignite a love for flamenco within the community.

To learn more, go to DwendeFlamenco.com or follow them on Instagram: @dwendeflamenco. To learn more about the master class, visit VailValleyAcademyOfDance.net.

Wild Sage now open in Eagle Ranch

“Eat well, play more.”

That’s the slogan at Wild Sage, the newest restaurant in Eagle Ranch. The idea centers around active lifestyles and a desire to fuel those hungry souls after a day on the golf course, river or hiking trail.

“I’ve been living down in Eagle now for a year and the community down here is just freakish about health and wellness. So, it was kind of a no-brainer that we would have our menu reflect that,” said Casey Glowacki, owner of Wild Sage. “I see people doing everything from golfing to mountain and road biking to jogging to playing hockey in the winter at the town park, there is just so much going on here and it is such a local’s community. Nobody sits around. There are no homebodies here.”

Glowacki purchased the space at 1143 Capitol Street on March 15, in the same location that once housed The Assembly.  

“We are in good company down here. We have El Segundo, Social Oak, the Boneyard, Color Coffee and the movie theater nearby,” Glowacki said. “We’re kind of in this little hub in the downtown area of Eagle Ranch, where the school is across the way, there are a lot of biking trails, so there’s a ton of people around, it’s great.”

At Wild Sage, look for a healthy approach to the extensive menu.
Wild Sage/Courtesy photo

Glowacki is also the owner of Drunken Goat and Cut Meat & Seafood Market in Edwards. He owned and operated seven restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, before returning to Colorado to raise his family surrounded by the mountain lifestyle. But don’t expect Wild Sage to be the Drunken Goat version 2.0 downvalley.

“One thing that we wanted to communicate to the public was that we are not the Drunken Goat and we are not the Assembly. Wild Sage is a different restaurant concept,” Glowacki said. “The only thing that is similar is that the Drunken Goat has the same owner, and the similarity between the Assembly and us is that Wild Sage happens to be in the same space.”

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into Wild Sage is the mural that covers most of the wall space in the new eatery. Local artist Amy Dose created a mural of hand-painted flowers.

“Many people see it and they think it is wallpaper and they have no idea the amount of work that went into this,” Glowacki said.

The goal was to give the new space a lighter feel.

“The challenge was changing a space that was already beautiful and make it our own. We partnered with Susan Nowakowski, an interior designer at Zehren and Associates, and we put together a space that is organic and light and very feminine,” Glowacki said.

Wild Sage has a number of grain bowls on its menu featuring poke tuna, chicken, mushrooms and more.
Wild Sage/Courtesy photo

Spend some time looking over the menu because there is a lot to choose from. You’ll find a long list of items under the appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and entree headings. Wild Sage is soon going to be known for its bowls. Teriyaki steak, blackened fish, tuna poke and mushrooms are some of the stars of the bowl recipes. Try the Budda Bowl, featuring quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes, beets avocado, chickpeas, kimchi, vitality seeds and a turmeric-tahini sauce.

The menu offers many vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and keto items. Check out the Totally Possible Veggie Burger, a play on words with the Impossible Burger.

“It’s of course made in-house and it’s heavy on the beets, so when you cut into it, it’s literally red all the way through and it kind of tricks you into thinking you’re eating a real burger. It’s phenomenal and Kevin Nelson, our executive chef and partner in the restaurant, put his heart and soul into all these recipes,” Glowacki said.  

The Totally Possible Veggie Burger is made in-house at Wild Sage in Eagle Ranch.
Wild Sage/Courtesy photo

Even though Glowacki stressed that Wild Sage is not the Drunken Goat, a few items from the Edwards restaurant made their way west. One of those items you’ll find on the Happy Hour menu, which runs 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

“As people started to see that we were opening, I was getting bombarded on social media with messages asking for the same oysters as Drunken Goat, so I pushed that forward and they are going over great. On Saturday, we probably sold over 200 oysters,” Glowacki said.

Another item that is duplicated from the Drunken Goat menu is the Chocolate Avocado Banana Brulé dessert.

“That is one of Chef Kevin’s signature dishes. It is gluten-free, dairy-free and it is super decadent,” Glowacki said. So, save room for dessert.

The team has also worked hard on coming up with a great wine list and craft cocktails. Try the Ritual Smudge featuring Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, sage simple, orange and Angostura bitters and charred sage, of course.

Look for creative hand-crafted cocktails at Wild Sage. Happy Hour runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Wild Sage/Courtesy photo

Wild Sage has only been open since May 3 but Glowacki said the restaurant is already seeing repeat customers. Restaurant hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Sundays.

“We’re just trying to create an environment for the community to gather. That is the big reason why I like to have a price point that is available for all so that you see a big, diverse crowd. We want this to be a place to get a family meal, to go on your first date, get together with friends, a place where celebrations happen,” Glowacki said.

Although Glowacki and Nelson are dealing with the typical opening woes and working out the kinks, he is pleased with the response so far.

“It’s kind of insane how many people were clearly excited for a new concept to come to the Vail Valley, so the support and love has been overwhelming,” Glowacki said.

Kentucky Derby parties, Cinco de Mayo specials, highway cleanup, gravel rides and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 5/5/23

Kentucky Derby Parties

Saturday marks the 149th Kentucky Derby. The “most exciting two minutes in sports” is surrounded by long-standing traditions that date back to the first race held in 1875. KentuckyDerby.com, the official website of the Run for the Roses, calls it a “celebration of Southern culture” and a “true icon of Americana.”  

Locally, you can dust off that seer-sucker suit, hat or fascinator and strut your style at a party. The pandemic has squelched some of the public gatherings the past few years, but the party is revving up at the Fitz at Manor Vail where the Children’s Garden of Learning preschool is hosting its fundraiser once again.

“We’ve had so many parents asking if this event was coming back and we are happy to invite everyone to join us on Saturday and encourage them to dress up,” said Nicole Teaver, director of education at Children’s Garden of Learning.

The Vail-based nonprofit relies on donations in many forms from parents, alumni and the greater Vail community. The Vail Derby Party allows those with kids or without a chance to enjoy the event in a fun setting while raising money for childcare.

“Although this event benefits our school, we want it to be a party for the whole community,” Teaver said.

The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and the horse race begins at 4:57 p.m. Tickets are $75 and include two drink tickets for beer or wine and heavy appetizers. There will be a bourbon tasting station set up as well. Before and after the horse race, enjoy tunes from Dave Tucker.

There are also silent auction items ranging from skis to gift cards and wine to a bracelet-making party with Squash Blossom and tickets to a Notre Dame versus Pittsburgh football game. Place your bets on the betting board for your chance to win, but more importantly, all proceeds from that game will go toward Children’s Garden of Learning.

Children’s Garden of Learning provides care for kids aged 18 months to 5 years old.

“What we’re seeing right now is a huge need for childcare. To give parents the opportunity to still work and provide these services is a big deal for us and fundraisers like this allow Children’s Garden of Learning to continue to do that,” Teaver said.  

Tickets are available on Eventbrite and you can purchase them at the door if it is not sold out, so it’s best to get your tickets in advance.  

There will also be a Kentucky Derby Party at the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company’s Tasting Room on Bridge Street. The festivities will kick off at 2 p.m. and derby attire is highly encouraged. You can even get a free mint julip if you dress in your best derby wear. Stick around after the race and enjoy live music with Chuck Grossman and Brent Gordon.

If you plan to watch the Kentucky Derby at home and want to make your own mint julip, here’s a recipe. According to KentuckyDerby.com, over 120,000 mint julips will be served at Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby at the race venue, Churchill Downs.

Perfect Mint Julip

  • Fresh mint
  • Crushed ice (crushed ice works better than cubed ice)
  • Woodford Reserve, Bardstown, Maker’s Mark or Michter’s bourbon
  • Sugar cubes, straight sugar or simple syrup

Put four or five mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and muddle the leaves with a muddle stick, Add half an ounce of simple syrup or sugar to the leaves and muddle some more. Add two-and-a-half ounces of bourbon. Add crushed ice until the glass gets frosty then garnish with a leaf or two of mint and serve cold. If you have a pewter, silver, copper or aluminum cup, serve the mint julip in that.  

Serve your mint julip with dishes like the famous Hot Brown open-faced sandwich, bourbon meatballs or pretty much anything with Vidalia onions.  

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is Friday. Check out local restaurants for specials on margaritas and more.
Brian Jones/Unsplash

We checked with several of the area’s Mexican restaurants to see what’s going on for Cinco de Mayo. Margs, tacos, even flautas, pozole and menudo will be on special up and down the valley. Please note that Los Amigos, El Sabor and El Segundo in Vail are closed this time of year. But, El Segundo invites you to its Eagle location for the fun, bites and drinks. El Segundo in downtown Eagle Ranch will be serving up its Herradura house margaritas for $5. Stop by for good vibes, this deal will be running all day long.

In Vail, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences is offering specials at the Remedy Bar for Cinco de Mayo. Get a taco and a Mexican beer for $23 or a taco and margarita for $30. How does a carne asada taco with grilled flank steak, corn tortillas and smoked tomato salsa sound?

In Minturn, head to The Mexican Bar & Grill for 2-for-1 house margaritas for $6.99 and draft beer for $5. They’ve been busy in the kitchen making flautas, pozole and menudo so take advantage of these specials.

Agave in Avon is hosting a Cinco de Mayo party on Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. with food and drink specials. Enjoy $2 al pastor tacos, $3 chicken, elote and mahi mahi tacos, $3 select draft beers, $4 Modelo Especial beers and $5 house margaritas. There will be live music as well. From 3 to 5 p.m. come to the meet and greet with Pedro the Donkey, Agave’s mascot. If you can’t make it to Agave, here’s the recipe that you can make at home:

Agave’s Coconut Margarita

  • 1.5-ounce coconut tequila
  • .5-ounce Cointreau
  • .5-ounce fresh lime
  • .25 agave nectar
  • 1.5-ounce sweet sour mix
  • .5 coconut water

Also in Avon, stop by Sabor Mazatlan for 2-for-1 margaritas. You get to pick the size and pick the flavor, so go big.

Fiesta Jalisco in Avon is going to be doing drink specials all day long.

As a reminder, Maya is no longer the restaurant in the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon. Stoke and Rye, also a Richard Sandoval restaurant, took over the space last June. But, if you find yourself there, they have plenty of tequilas to try. The Pasado de Moda cocktail is very popular featuring Casamigos reposado along with mezcal, agave and hellfire bitters.

Since 1989, Fiesta’s Café & Cantina in Edwards has been bringing the fiesta and this Friday will be no different. Stop by for food and drink specials and stick around for giveaways, piñata breaking for the kids all day and a DJ will start spinning tunes at 5 p.m. Save room for one of my favorites, the shrimp enchiladas on blue corn tortillas, and other great items on the menu.

Although not typically thought of as a place to grab a margarita, the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards does serve up the frozen kind for $8 on the patio, so, you don’t even have to go to the movies to enjoy this treat while supplies last.

In Eagle, once again you have El Segundo and the specials mentioned above, and you can also stop by Casa Mexico next to the Back Bowl. It’s fiesta time and Casa Mexico is offering 2-for-1 margaritas and micheladas – any kind, any size, any flavor, all day.

This is just a partial list, so stop by your favorite Mexican restaurant and see if they are doing any deals. Salud!

Community Pride Highway Cleanup

The Eagle River Watershed Council is hosting the Community Pride Highway Cleanup this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Eagle River Watershed Council

Now that the snow has melted, the trash is being revealed along the roadways, so it is time for the spring ritual, the Community Pride Highway Cleanup, which happens this Saturday. The Eagle River Watershed Council has been busy organizing teams and assigning miles of roadways for an event that has been going on for over two decades. Every year, hundreds of volunteers participate in the county-wide effort.

The time commitment is only a few hours in the morning on Saturday. From 9 a.m. until noon volunteers will collect as much trash as possible. When this event first started, nearly 50 tons of trash had accumulated and was removed. Now, an average of 10-15 tons of trash is removed annually, so each year does make a difference and you’ll see that difference on Sunday, the day after the cleanup, and how nice it looks alongside the roadways.

This is a great way to give back to the community and the results are tangible, you will see a difference and you can be filled with pride knowing that just by showing up, you helped make Eagle County more beautiful than it already is.

Volunteer registration is required so go to ERWC.org for more information. They can assign you to a team and even a certain geographical area if you want. The areas include:

  • Red Cliff/Minturn/Vail
  • EagleVail/Avon/Edwards
  • Wolcott/Red Canyon/Eagle
  • Gypsum/Dotsero/Colorado River Road

Moving Mountains for Marc

The Vail Valley Charitable Fund is hosting Moving Mountains for Marc, a benefit for Dr. Marc Peck.
Vail Valley Charitable Fund/Courtesy photo

Since 1996, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund has provided locals with financial help during medical crises. The nonprofit has awarded 2,000 grants to members of the community and $9 million has been given out to help ease the burden on our friends and neighbors. This Friday, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund is hosting a fundraiser called Moving Mountains for Marc for long-time local, Dr. Marc Peck.

Dr. Peck has served Eagle County with his medical expertise for over three decades. He was first diagnosed with cancer but was able to continue to work full-time for years. His health issues caused him to decrease his practice hours to part-time, and now, with an additional diagnosis of ALS, he has been forced to stop working altogether. His wife, Judy, is no longer able to work either, and she and their five children are taking care of Marc. Proceeds from the event will allow them to provide full-time care in their home and keep Marc there for as long as possible. The medical bills and other expenses are stacking up as well, so this event will hopefully put a dent in that.

The fundraiser hosted by the Vail Valley Charitable Fund will be held at the EagleVail Pavilion on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. A $35 suggested donation will not only support the Peck’s but also get you two drinks and heavy appetizers. Beaver Liquors, West Vail Liquor Mart, Riverwalk Wine & Spirits and Bottle ‘N Cork have all donated the beverages and Sweet Basil, Craftsman, Route 6 Café and Moe’s Original BBQ are cooking up the apps.

There will be live music from Trees Don’t Move and Moving Mountains Band. The silent auction is stacked with great items from Vail Resorts EpicPromise (think spa, dining, retail and golf), restaurants like Pazzo’s, Mountain Standard, Vendetta’s and Montauk, and there are other items up for grabs from Revolution Power Yoga, Eagle Ranch Golf Course, P Furniture & Design, Valley Girl, Kitchen Collage, Squash Blossom, Antler’s, Vintage Magnolia and 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co.

To learn more go to VVCF.org.

Bighorn Gravel Recon Rides

The Bighorn Gravel event returns to Gypsum June 23-25 and you can a preview of the courses this Saturday during the Bighorn Gravel Recon Rides.
Linda Guerrette/Courtesy photo

Time to get off the couch and head out on the bike and the latest craze is gravel riding. Gravel bikes are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike, with drop handlebars and wider tires to help you navigate unpaved roads. Eagle County boasts the Bighorn Gravel ride and this year’s event will be June 23-25. This Saturday gives you a chance to check out portions of the courses so you can be more familiar with them before the race.

There will be two rides on Saturday exploring portions of the 85-mile and 50-mile courses. Recon Ride #1 is the shorter ride, covering 19 miles and a 2,000-foot vertical gain. This route follows the Gravel Curious Course which also is the first 16 miles of the Ram’s Horn Escape Course.

Recon Ride #2 is the longer ride at 48 miles and climbs 4,500 vertical feet. This route follows the start of the Ram’s Horn Escape course to preview the first 31 miles or so before going back downhill into Gypsum. Both rides will start and end at the Gypsum Recreation Center. The group will depart at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The Bighorn Gravel event was founded by Jake Wells and Mike Brumbaugh. Wells is a multi-time U.S. Cyclocross national champion and is now focusing more on gravel and endurance events. He owns FORM Attainment Studio in Edwards which focuses on functional strength training, bike fitting and endurance coaching. Brumbaugh is an accomplished cyclist, climber, skier and entrepreneur and the owner of Venture Sports.

After the rides, stay for a short tech clinic and complimentary nutrition and hydration from The Feed. The rides are open to the public and free of charge but make sure to RSVP to reserve your spot at Eventbrite. You can also learn more about the Big Horn Gravel event at BighornGravel.com.

Valentine’s Day plans in the Vail Valley? Here are some ideas

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, and while you can celebrate love any day of the year, here are a few ideas on how you can spend the holiday, whether you are looking for a traditional “date” night or gift, seeking pampering, something more sporty, or don’t have a Valentine…yet.

Traditional Date

Dinner, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, a couples massage … if that is your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. Many restaurants will be changing table configurations to make room for dozens of two-tops on Tuesday night and jewelry stores will be helping pick out last-minute gifts. It might be hard to fit a couples massage into your schedule but get a gift card that can be used later. Just plan ahead to make sure you are set for Feb. 14.

Restaurants will be busy during this holiday so call ahead to reserve your spot at your favorite eatery. Mix things up with a horse-drawn sleigh ride dinner at 4 Eagle Ranch, or a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride going to Zach’s Cabin or Beano’s Cabin, which are private during the day but are open to the public at night. Or snowshoe to dinner at Tennessee Pass Cookhouse near Ski Cooper. Here are a few specials going on at area restaurants.

The Hythe Vail

Revel at The Hythe in Lionshead will have its regular menu available and will be doing specials on Feb. 14:

  • Fresh shucked oysters (West Coast) – rose water mignonette, basil foam
  • Frisée salad – 30-minute egg, rosé and pink peppercorn vinaigrette, lardons, caviar
  • Lavender-scented Chilean sea bass – asparagus coins, preserved lemon aioli, lavender water, parsnip purée
  • Sous vide New York strip – cocoa coffee crust, sauce noir, sweet potato pommes pavé, lacinato kale
  • Chocolate rose cannoli – rose cannoli cream, cocoa nibs, dried rose petals

Chasing Rabbits

The Restaurant at Chasing Rabbits is doing a special dinner on Valentine’s Day.
Michael Stavaridis/Courtesy photo

Take your date on an adventure at Chasing Rabbits. This nightclub in Solaris is the newest hot spot in town, so explore it together if you haven’t made it inside the 13,000-square-feet of club space.

The Restaurant at Chasing Rabbits is aiming to spark romance with a special five-course menu on Valentine’s Day. Guests will start with a pommes souffle and then have a choice of several options within each course. Examples include surf and turf, duck in a box and roasted celery root. The tasting menu will be the only menu available on Valentine’s Day and is available for $195 per person. The menu is available on Feb. 14 only from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

On Feb. 13, check out “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” on the big screen at Chasing Rabbits. Doors to Moon Rabbit will open at 7 p.m. so you can get settled in to watch the flick. You remember “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” the rom-com released in 2011 that stars Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Follow along the ups and downs of Cal Weaver’s (Steve Carrell) life when his wife decides to leave their “perfect life” after 25 years of marriage and Cal gets dating tips from Gosling’s character, ladies man Jacob Palmer. This is a 21+ event and tickets are $15 and can be purchased on EventBrite.

Gessner at Grand Hyatt Vail

Choose an appetizer, entree and dessert at Gessner Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Vail from now through Valentine’s Day.
Grand Hyatt Vail/Courtesy photo

Valentine’s Day dinner is all about choices at Gessner Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Vail. You can choose the date you go and have all sorts of appetizers, entrees desserts and drink pairings to select. This special is happening any night between now and Feb. 14.

Appetizer and drink pairing:

  • Elk carpaccio or lobster salad
  • Chocolate martini or La Marca prosecco

Entrée and drink pairing:

  • Miso glazed cod or grilled lamb chop
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling or Belle Glos “Clarke & Telephone”

Dessert and drink pairing:

  • Strawberry almond champagne cheesecake or chocolate and red berry cake
  • Moët Imperial Ice

Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon

Stoke & Rye opened this past summer, so if you are returning for a winter ski trip, you may not know about this new steakhouse that took over the former Maya Mexican Restaurant space. It is still part of the Richard Sandoval collection of restaurants, and it is hosting a special three-course Valentine’s Day dinner on Feb. 14.

  • Appetizer: raw platter to share – beef tartar, smoked oysters, trout crudo and focaccia bread
  • Entrée (1 per person) – pan seared butter herbed Colorado bass with roasted potatoes, chorizo lentils and crispy parsnip – OR – tamarind braised short rib with creamy polenta, herbed heirloom carrots and chimichurri
  • Dessert platter to share: pecan pie, carrot cake and bread pudding

Valentine’s Day reservations are highly recommended at StokeandRye.com. Stoke & Rye will also be serving its full menu on Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy a multi-course meal at Stoke & Rye, a Richard Sandoval restaurant at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon.
Stoke & Rye/Courtesy photo

If you want to toast to Valentine’s Day with your sweetie or bring out your gal pals for Gal-entine’s Day, Stoke & Rye is doing drink specials all throughout the month of February:

  • La Rosa – a paloma served with edible flower ice cubes
  • Smoked Cherry Sazerac – a traditional Sazerac sweetened with Luxardo cherry juice and smoked tableside, served with a charred cherry and orange peel 
  • Lady in Pink – a chocolate strawberry martini

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is offering couples massages in its award-winning spa. There is also a special for the month of February. Try the Strawberry Seed Body Polish treatment exfoliate you and fill you with antioxidants and vitamin C to leave your body hydrated and feeling soft and smooth. Pair this with a massage to leave relaxed and refreshed. To book a treatment, please visit SpaAnjali.com.

You can also get a Spa Anjali gift card at a discount if you buy between now and Feb. 14 and use it for any future spa or salon service. Save $25 when you buy online, Shop.SpaAnjali.com/Vouchers/Category.

Valentine’s Day at The Remedy Bar

The Remedy Bar in the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is offering a few Valentine’s Day specials on February 14 only:

  • Chocolate covered strawberry martini: Strawberry chocolate martini, tequila rose, crème de cocoa, Bailey’s – $22
  • Maine lobster pot pie for two: Heirloom carrots, smoked pearl onions, pee wee potatoes – $70
  • Valentine’s Signature Haut Chocolat: Haut Chocolat modified with Love Heart Marshmallow. Haut Chocolat can be enhanced with a shot of your choice – $20 for one, $35 for two

Sporty Date

Some like to get off the beaten path from traditional Valentine’s Day activities and want to be active with their Valentine, whether it’s enjoying the day on the slopes of Vail and Beaver Creek or, getting away from the crowds and snowshoe up a trail. Most hiking trails in the summer make great snowshoe trails in the winter. Don’t have snowshoes? Rent a pair at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center or the Vail Nordic Center. The Vail Nordic Center also rents fat tire bikes, which are fun to try on the relatively flat land around the Vail Nordic Center or test them out on the bikes trails throughout the valley that aren’t too packed with snow.

Skinning uphill under the moonlight can be romantic, too. The full moon was last week, but even a crescent moon can shed some light if the skies are clear. Meadow Mountain outside of Minturn is a good place to go. If you want to skin up Vail or Beaver Creek, call the uphill hotline to see what routes are available and remember that there are no dogs allowed at any time and you cannot skin up while the mountain is open.  

If you want to learn a little more about your surroundings, take a guided snowshoe tour. On Tuesday, join Walking Mountains for a guided back country snowshoe hike from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Walking Mountains campus in Avon to get set up with snowshoes, hiking poles and hot drinks before being whisked off to the featured hike that day. The guides at Walking Mountain will know where the best snowshoe hikes are this time of year and the fabulous vistas that go with them. Tuesday’s location is Tennessee Pass and the topic is watersheds. Tickets are $35 per person. Registration is required and you can find out more information at WalkingMountains.org.

Jewelry, art and charitable giving

Stop into Squash Blossom on Tuesday for a pop up with Curate Art and Curiosities that benefits Roundup River Ranch.
Squash Blossom/Courtesy photo

Jewelry is often given to show one’s love on Valentine’s Day and the Squash Blossom, which has been locally owned and operated for over 40 years, is a great place to go to find something that sparkles, but on Tuesday they are teaming up with Curate Art and Curiosities to show their love and support of Roundup River Ranch with a pop up event. “Share the Love” allows you to celebrate love while shopping the jewels at Squash Blossom and the artwork, rugs and a special collection of jewelry by Mauri Pioppo.

You shop = Roundup River Ranch benefits. 10% of the proceeds that day will go to Roundup River Ranch, which is part of Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network of camps outside of Gypsum. The camp provides free camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and their families.

The event will go from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. so stop in, find some awesome gifts (and you can get a gift for yourself and show some self-love!) and give back – what a way to share the love!

Valentine’s Day for singles

Everyone is welcome to the singles party at North Coast Originals in Eagle on Feb. 14.
Priscilla Du Preez for Unsplash

North Coast Originals in downtown Eagle wants everyone to feel included this Valentine’s Day. Single or not, or maybe you’re trying to set your pal up with someone, come to the Single AF Party starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 14. The eatery on Broadway in Eagle will serve up signature drinks, food specials and will have “zero heart decorations.”

North Coast Originals, or NoCo for short, has hosted Halloween and New Year’s Eve parties and has special events on Thursdays like wine tastings, bingo and trivial night. Check out one of Eagle’s newest places to mix and mingle and who knows…you may just meet someone sweet at this non-Valentine’s Day party. Go to NorthcoastOriginals.com or its Facebook or Instagram page for more information. Come for the drinks and stay for a made-from-scratch meal.

Meet Your Chef: Christine Rice of North Coast Originals

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: Christine Rice and I have a restaurant in Eagle called North Coast Originals. I am the owner and executive chef.

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

A: I’ve been here two and a half years this time. It is my third time living in the Valley. I really never thought I would end up here. But, COVID-19 ended my time living in Napa and Oakland in May of 2020. I had packed up and was moving back to my parents in Ohio when I pit-stopped at my sister’s place in Eagle and never left.

North Coast Originals is located on Broadway in downtown Eagle.
Christine Rice/Courtesy photo

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

A: My journey to cooking was an interesting one. My grandmother and mother always cooked and baked. I always loved cooking for others but I went to college for commercial photography, then after my first few years in Vail I moved back to Cleveland to work in the photo world. We had many food clients including Vitamix, all the Smuckers brands and local restaurants as well as Red Lobster and Burger King. I thought the food stylist job was more interesting than being a photographer. I went to culinary school and became a food stylist. From there I worked at fine dining, casual and private cheffing in between as well as food styling.

Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?

A: Definitely my grandma and mom, they always made sure we had a home-cooked meal on the table every night.

Christine Rice was a line cook and Gwen Kang was the pastry chef at Splendido restaurant in Beaver Creek last winter.
Christine Rice/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite spice?

A: Clove

Q: Favorite protein?

A: Beef. I mean, chicken tenders are my favorite food, but beef gives you chili and beef wellington, so it wins.

Christine originally went into photography but found food styling to be more interesting.
Christine Rice/Courtesy photo

Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?

A: I am trying to think of a fruit I won’t eat…But I will NOT eat fruit on my salads. I am a little pickier with veggies, but love whatever is in season and is super flavorful. Except Brussels sprouts, eggplant and broccoli. I’ll pass on those!

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

A: Potatoes. From French fries to gnocchi. They’re delicious.

Rice loves to make Beef Wellington.
Christine Rice/Courtesy photo

Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?

A: My grandma’s pork and dumplings.

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

A: I love the Vail Valley community and being a part of it. I am planning many fun events and parties in the NoCo space. Even cooking classes and wine tastings. I am available for catering and have a small event space in the back.

Locals rally to help save Vail Valley eateries

Save Our Restaurants encourages people to order from a local restaurant at least once a week and share the experience and spread the word on social media.

At times, the year 2020 has brought out the worst in people, but it has also brought out the best in people. Save Our Restaurants is one example of locals doing what they can, where they live, right now to make things better.

Edwards residents Melinda Gladitsch and Beverly Freedman have been thinking about ways to help out local restaurants during the pandemic for quite some time and knew there were several individual efforts taking place in municipalities but no countywide efforts.

“We finally decided to make it happen by approaching key organizations across the county for buy-in, setting up social presences on Facebook and Instagram and launching the campaign,” Gladitsch said. Save Our Restaurants just launched this week.

The goal of Save Our Restaurants is simple: Order out at least once per week and share your experience on social media to spread the word.

Even with the vaccine coming to Colorado and Eagle County and hope on the horizon, there is still a long road ahead. State and county safety mandates are still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Eagle County restaurants are currently operating at 25% of capacity, or at 50 people or less, whichever is fewer.

“Our restaurants are facing strict dine-in restrictions and a large part of our population may not feel comfortable dining in anyway. But everyone can do their part to help our restaurants survive by ordering out frequently,” Gladitsch said.

Save Our Restaurants reached out to several local organizations including the Vail Valley Partnership, the Vail Chamber & Business Association and Beaver Creek Merchant Association to help get the word out and they promptly backed this grassroots effort.

“I feel like we are a community of action-oriented people. When we see a need and feel passionate about it, we try to take action. Beverly Freedman is an excellent example of that. She pushes for what she believes in,” Gladitsch said about her friend and cofounder of Save Our Restaurants.

Eagle County restaurants do not need to do anything to participate in the program because this effort will be driven by local and visiting diners.

“We look forward to seeing this effort grow and make a difference,” Gladitsch said.

To join the cause simply order out, share your experience on social media and tag the restaurant as well at @saveourrestaurantsvailvalley on Facebook and @save_our_restaurants on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Cheeseburgers in paradise

According to the National Day Calendar website, Sept. 18 is National Cheeseburger Day. In honor of this American staple, we thought we’d share some delicious details on the places that serve up a fantastic cheeseburger up and down the valley.

Restaurant: Craftsman – Edwards

Name: Schmidt Mac

The Goods: Two all-beef patties, Fromage Américain (American cheese), tender belly bacon, griddled onion, shrettuce (shredded lettuce), special sauce, dill pickles on a Hovey & Harrison sesame seed bun.

Word has it that Christopher Schmidt, chef-owner of Craftsman, created this as a staff meal when he worked at Sweet Basil. Made with fresh ingredients like grass feed beef, “freedom” (American) cheese and quality bacon and secret mayo-based sauce has qualified the Schmidt Mac to win the Vail Daily’s Best of the Vail Valley gold medal for best burger last year and the bronze medal in 2018.  

Restaurant: Southside Benderz – Avon

Name: Original Benderz Burgerz

The Goods: Your choice of a single, double or triple one-third pound beef patty served on Benderz’ signature fresh-baked, house-made-every-day bun with 2,000-island dressing, lettuce, tomato and red onion with your choice of American, cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, provolone or bleu cheese. Other add-ons include mushrooms, jalapeños, grilled onions as well as avocado, bacon and a fried egg.

Stop by Southside Benderz for what Denver’s Westword Magazine calls the best burger on I-70. What makes its burger so great? “It’s the beef! Fresh, never frozen Angus beef is what sets our burgers apart,” said Noah Bender, the namesake behind Southside Benders. “We make our buns at our Northside bakery and people love our atmosphere with the big giant bar and patio,” Bender said. The Benderz burger has earned the Vail Daily’s Best of the Valley bronze medal in 2019 and the silver medal in 2018 and 2017.

Breaking news, there will be even more space to enjoy a Benderz burger. Its sister restaurant, Pavalici’s Pizza, is closed and Benderz Burgers will open an additional location in its original spot where Northside Coffee and Kitchen sits on the north side of 1-70 in October.  

Restaurant: Bully Ranch  – Vail Village

Name: Various

The Goods: Bully Ranch gives you a choice of protein: Redbird chicken, 7X Wagyu Japanese beef, buffalo and even a non-meat option with the Impossible burger.

“We have five distinct styles of burgers that are regionalized, from our South of the Border burger with house-made spicy guacamole to our Bully Bourbon burger with smoked cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon and house-made bourbon demi-glace, cheeseburgers are the ultimate American comfort food,” said Jeffrey Geller of the Bully Ranch at the Sonnenalp Hotel Vail. 

“What I love the most is how wonderful and warming they can be. It brings you back to that place where you had your first cheeseburger,” Geller said. “Come try one along with one of our signature mudslide drinks.”

Restaurant: Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse – Lionshead and Beaver Creek

Name: Mountain Cheeseburger

The Goods:  a one-half pound patty of the chef’s special grind, choice of eight types of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, brioche bun, fries, pickle and then pick add-ons like bacon, avocado, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and grilled jalapenos.

“Our chef’s grind is 80% chuck beef and 20% brisket. The brisket is a bit fattier and we fold that in to give the burger that rich flavor,” said Joe Griffith, manager at Beaver Creek Chophouse. “We’ve kept this same burger on the menu for the past several years. We sell them all day and all night.”

Restaurant: Dusty Boot Roadhouse

Name: Various

The Goods: Choose from building your own burger to the classic Boot Burger with crispy fried onions, Applewood bacon, jalapeño jack cheese and house-made guacamole. The Fat Burger takes things to new heights with onion rings piled on top of bleu cheese crumbles, Applewood bacon and barbecue sauce. Need more? Add a fried egg or pork green chili to your burger.

“Everybody loves our burgers. We use Colorado raised hormone-free Angus beef,” said Alina Dabrowski, bartender at Dusty Boot. She also suggested you pair it with a Hazy IPA beer.

Restaurant: Brush Creek Saloon – Eagle

Name: Various

The Goods: With over a dozen burgers to choose from you’ll need to head down to the Brush Creek Saloon a few nights a week to taste them all. Try the Eagle Fire Truck with natural beef, bacon, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo and pico de gallo.

“The Eagle Fire Truck is our most popular burger on the menu,” said Brush Creek Saloon bartender Devon Sartori. “We use Aspen Ridge beef and it’s served with hand-cut fries, a fried jalapeno on top and it’s about six inches tall.”