| VailDaily.com

Open for Business: Main Street Grill

Name of business: Main Street Grill    

Physical address: 97 Main St. Unit W101, Edwards, CO 81632

Phone number: 970-926-2729

Email: info@mainstreetgrilledwards.com    

Website:  mainstreetgrilledwards.com    

What goods or services are you offering at this time? 

We are now offering table service and takeout daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ordering online works best for takeout orders.

How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?

We changed from in-house dining to takeout on March 17, the day we were ordered to close and have sustained our daily operations since then. We also served the Eagle Valley Ambulance District 30 dinners per day for almost seven weeks. We also utilized this opportunity while we were closed to remodel our restaurant in appreciation of our 20 years in business.

How can the community support you?

Please come in or continue to order take out! Buy gift certificates!

What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?

Our offers can be found on our website, Facebook, Instagram, Vail Daily and radio ads.

What’s the response been?

We have had huge support from our locals through this hard time. We love our locals!

What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves?

We are following the guidelines given to us from Eagle County to the Colorado Restaurant Association to the National Restaurant Association. Please be patient while we have to adhere to limited seating capacity and new regulations in order to serve you safely.

Open for Business: Zino Ristorante

Name of business: Zino Ristorante

Physical address: 27 Main St, Edwards, CO 81632

Phone number: 970-926-0777

Email: info@zinoristorante.com

Website: www.zinoristorante.com

What goods or services are you offering at this time? 

We are open for table service as well as take out seven nights a week. The patio is open and we’ve also opened 50% capacity inside. Outdoor seating will be weather-dependent. We ask that people make a reservation so that we can accommodate the diners while following all health guidelines. Guests must wear a mask to enter and exit but can remove once the masks once seated. We’re open from 5 p.m. until about 9 p.m. We will still do take for food, wine and specialty cocktails.

How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?

We were doing food, wine and cocktails to-go, but now that we are allowed to open, we are happy to welcome people to our deck and indoors at 50% capacity.

How can the community support you?

Make a reservation for what night you want to come in and we are happy to see you again. We are able to take parties of up to eight people from the same household at this time. You can still get take out orders and gift cards through our website.

What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings? Our website or Facebook page.

What’s the response been?

Our community is amazing! We have been so grateful for the support of our wonderful guests. 

What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves? 

We will follow the new guidelines and are happy to continue to serve this great community!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, area restaurants are here for you: Tricia’s weekend picks 3/27/2020

Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily has been publishing an updated list of open restaurants each day online and in print. If you don’t see your favorite restaurant listed there, call ahead to see if they are open and what their options are and encourage them to get on our list by emailing details to Kaylee Porter at kporter@vaildaily.com.

Currently, restaurants in the Vail Valley are able to be open and doing takeout, delivery or a combination of both during these trying coronavirus times. Some staffers at the Vail Daily had a chance to dine in while eating food someone else had made for them. Here’s a round-up of what they ordered. (Warning: Reading this article may make you hungry!)

Pam Boyd – Vail Daily reporter and editor of the Eagle Valley Enterprise

Which restaurant?

Grand Avenue Grill in Eagle

What did you order?

Asiago Crusted Chicken Club Sandwich and a Castle Peak Burger

Was it takeout or was it delivered to your home?

Takeout, super convenient from their ice cream window.

Was there a good variety of items on the menu?

These two items are my favorite (club sandwich) and my husband’s favorite (burger) and it is our standing order at Grand Avenue Grill. We were thrilled we could get them.

How did it taste? 

Terrific. Like always. The Grand Avenue Grill has had outstanding quality for nearly two decades.

Any other notes about the experience or any comments from the restaurant you’d like to share?

In the middle of these weird days, it was a great break to treat ourselves to our favorite lunch.

Morgan Allman – Digital content manager for Everything Vail Valley

Which restaurant?

Thai Kitchen in Minturn

What did you order?

I went for the classics and ordered pad Thai and Thai tea from Thai Kitchen in Minturn

Was it takeout was or was it delivered to your home?

Takeout- called in my order, and when I went to pick it up there were sanitizing wipes by the door (which I used to wipe down my hands as well as my card before I handed it over). I was greeted at the door and asked for my name.  I was given my receipt, I gave her my card, she ran it and brought me the to-go bag.  She was also wearing a precautionary mask and gloves.

Was there a variety of items on the menu?

The full menu is available for takeout.

How did it taste?

Delicious. I spent a summer backpacking through Southeast Asia and both the pad Thai and Thai tea tasted exactly as I remember.

Any other notes about the experience or any comments from the restaurant you’d like to share? 

The woman who helped me was very nice and my food was ready by the time I got to the restaurant, in about 10 minutes.

Emily Peterson – Vail Daily account manager

Which Restaurant?

Red Canyon Cafe in Eagle

What did you order?

We got delicious iced coffees and breakfast sandwiches along with amazing cinnamon rolls.

Was it takeout was or was it delivered to your home?

You can call in or go in with your order and you can do takeout or pick up your order curbside.

Was there a variety of items on the menu?

Looks like they have their regular breakfast menu featuring bagels, pastries and burritos. They have a wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch. Coffee and espresso drinks.

How did it taste?

It was awesome! We think they also have the best lunch sandwiches and the best coffee.

Any other notes about the experience or any comments from the restaurant you’d like to share?

Ryan, the owner, is always there taking care of guests with a big smile and this time was no different. It was also obvious that he was taking all the precautions from having hand sanitizer available to guests, wearing gloves, etc.

Tyler Buscemi – Digital content manager for Everything Vail Valley

Which restaurant?

Asian Fusion in Gypsum

What did you order?

We ordered a few of their lunch specials: General Tso’s chicken and kung pao chicken with egg drop soup and crab rangoon

Was it takeout or was it delivered to your home?

Takeout

Was there a good variety on the menu or were there only a few items available?

The full menu is available

How did it taste? 

This is our favorite Asian restaurant in the Valley. Great service, fast, dependable.

Any other notes about the experience or any comments from the restaurant you’d like to share?

When mentioning a “birthday lunch” for my wife, Brooke she didn’t hesitate to say that she wanted Asian Fusion.

Tricia Swenson, Vail Daily reporter

Which restaurant?

Zino Ristorante in Edwards

What did you order?

I took advantage of Zino’s deal going on that day which was 50% off appetizers. I ordered the melanzane – roasted eggplant parmigiana, mozzarella, marinara and dried basil pesto; cavolini – Brussels sprouts with house-made pancetta and frito misto – crispy calamari, shrimp, catch of the day, shishito peppers and harissa aioli.

Was it takeout was or was it delivered to your home?

I went online and ordered off the menu on their website. I called and gave my credit card information over the phone. The to-go bag and credit card receipt was on a table in the entryway at Zino, so, in its own little room. I waved at Giuseppe through the glass of the door between us. 

Was there a variety of items on the menu?

It looked pretty much like their regular menu with appetizers, soups, salads, pizzas, entrées and even desserts. Don’t forget the deals on bottles of wine, too!

How did it taste?

It was delicious and a nice break from the humble meals we’ve had at home. The frito misto was a treat since I don’t make fried calamari at home. Since I ordered three appetizers I had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Any other notes about the experience or any comments from the restaurant you’d like to share? 

When I called Zino, owner Giuseppe Bosco answered the phone in his enthusiastic Italian accent. It was good to hear his voice and he said he’s so grateful for the community’s outreach and thanks everyone who is supporting them during this trying time.

Bookworm hosts cookbook author Jennie Iverson for Friendsgiving brunch event

Some places are known for their activities, some for their food. Ski towns typically are known for both. Jennie Iverson is working to bring that special ski town flavor off the slopes and into your home.

Join Iverson at the Bookworm in Edwards for a Friendsgiving brunch, catered by Tracy Miller of Colorful Cooking and the Bookworm Café. Tickets are $75 and include the brunch and a copy of Iverson’s new cookbook, “Ski Town Brunch.”

Iverson has had a passion for food for as long as she can remember. 

“Living to eat is definitely a Jennie-motto,” Iverson said. “I actually have a theory that my taste bud chemistry might be different than others; I can decipher nuances in foods and relish my eating rituals more than any other person I know.”

Despite this, Iverson didn’t set out to have a career in food; in college, while pursuing a degree in engineering, she would take study breaks by pouring through cookbooks in the library. But as she graduated, traveled and skied around the world, an idea began to form. 

“I had been pondering how I could combine a love of travel, eating and skiing into a business model, and voila: “Ski Town Soups” was born,” Iverson said. 

Soon enough, people began to jump at the opportunity to bring a little bite of their vacation home with them. 

“I believe that everyone that lives in or visits a ski town loves to reminisce about their travels, so a keepsake was in order,” she said.

But if she truly wanted to make her cookbook a hit for everyone, it couldn’t just be about the ski towns she personally loved. 

“Of course, all skiers love different mountain towns,” Iverson said. “I had to make it wide and inclusive, and full of that ski town feeling. It’s fun to page through the cookbooks and almost use them as travel guides to plan your next excursion.”

“Ski Town Soups” was such a success, Iverson followed it up with “Ski Town Apres Ski,” filled with recipes to enjoy after a full day on the snow. Now, the third cookbook is available to satisfy those lazy, snowy morning cravings. “Ski Town Brunch” features savory and sweet brunch dishes from 65 of the top North American ski resorts as well as legendary cafes and charming bed and breakfasts. 

“The recipe that I was stoked to get, besides the awesome and beyond scrumptious Julia Child from The Bookworm, was the Lemon Souffle Pancakes from The Little Nell in Aspen,” Iverson said. “This is one of their most notable and popular dishes, and I was beside myself when they shared!”

For those of us that drool over the pages of delicious new recipes and are always hungry for more, there is now a box set of all three cookbooks just waiting to take a place on the kitchen shelf called “Ski Town Kitchen.”

“I created these cookbooks to be read, which is what I like,” Iverson explains. “They are very visual, understandable for the home cook and rated by difficulty. I feel the success of these cookbooks stem from the fact that I am actually the intended audience.”

If you go …

What: Friendsgiving Brunch

When: Thursday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards

Cost: $75 for brunch and a copy of “Ski Town Brunch”

More information: Limited seating is available. Call the Bookworm at 970-926-7323 or visit bookwormofedwards.com for more information.

Ski Town Brunch shares recipes from North America’s top resorts

Thanksgiving is coming early to the Bookworm of Edwards. The Riverwalk bookstore and cafe has teamed up with Ski Town Life, the creators of the “Ski Town Soups,” “Ski Town Après” and “Ski Town Brunch” cookbook series authored by Vail resident, Jennie Iverson. Some of the recipes from Iverson’s latest cookbook, “Ski Town Brunch” will be featured at a Friendsgiving event this week.

The “Ski Town” series showcases recipes from North America’s ski resorts. This coffee table-worthy cookbook could also serve as a travel guide and a keepsake with beautiful photos from legendary cafes, spectacular resorts and charming bed and breakfasts.

When Iverson started thinking about doing a cookbook, she pondered how she could combine a love of travel, eating and skiing into a business model. The latest cookbook, “Ski Town Brunch,” features savory and sweet brunch dishes from 65 top North American ski resorts. “I actually conduct a pretty thorough search of places to feature and have researched and visited most of the big North American resorts that are included,” Iverson said. 

Living to travel may be one thing for Iverson, but living to eat is certainly another. “I have always had a passion for food. I have this theory that my taste bud chemistry might be different than others,” Iverson said. “I can decipher nuances in foods and relish my eating rituals more than any other person I know.” 

Enjoy some of the tasty recipes in “Ski Town Brunch” at Friendsgiving on Thursday with two seatings at 9 and 10:30 a.m. The menu features savory and sweet dishes from the cookbook along with baked goods, hand-crafted espresso drinks, smoothies and more. Tracy Miller of Colorful Cooking will make the buffet in Bookworm’s kitchen and Iverson will be selling and signing cookbooks.

Seating is limited and tickets available for $75, which includes brunch and the cookbook. For more information about the cookbook, go to www.skitownlife.com and for more information on the Friendsgiving brunch, visit www.bookwormofedwards.com.

Learn more about the granola from Cafe Genevieve from Jackson Hole, WY. Iverson shares the recipe and how to make it in today’s video.

Ingredients

1 cup Vital Farms butter

½ vanilla bean

½ cup Vermont Sticky maple syrup

7 cups of old fashioned oats

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

1/3 cup oil

2 ½ cups coconut, sweetened and shredded

1 ¼ cup dried cranberries

¾ cup dried apricots

¾ cup dried peaches

In a medium saucepan, melt the @vitalfarms butter and scrape vanilla seed into butter then throw the entire seed into butter. Cook on medium, stirring frequently until butter is golden. Off the heat, add @vermontsticky maple syrup and oil to saucepan. Combine oats, coconut, salt and the melted vanilla syrup butter in large bowl until evenly coated. Spread out on 2 baking sheets and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown. (Rotate and toss granola mid-way through baking). Remove from oven and let cool. Add dried fruit and then enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for future enjoyment.

Walking Mountains Film Series starts Wednesday

Walking Mountains Science Center will host its eighth annual Sustainable Film Series on a new night and at a new venue. The Riverwalk Theater in Edwards will host films each month on Wednesday nights from now until April. Walking Mountains had been showing the same film upvalley and downvalley each month. With a centralized location, the series will now host one movie per month in an actual theater.

“When we were looking for a new venue, we reached out to Grant Smith from the Riverwalk Theater, and he was interested, said Melissa Kirr, senior programs director of sustainability for Walking Mountains. We decided that by moving to a centrally located spot in the valley, we could combine the two film nights into one. We are very excited to be able to have everyone in one place.”

Smith is excited to host. “This aligns with our mission to really have the Riverwalk Theater be involved with the community. We are happy to host locals and visitors and bring some great films to the big screen,” Smith said.

Kirr sources the films from all over the globe, reviewing flicks that are out on the festival circuit and checking in with film publishers and promoters.

“I try to find a variety of sustainability topics so that everyone can find an interest. I always take recommendations from community members, too,” Kirr said.

The topics center around energy, waste, natural resources, climate change, sustainable food, sustainable tourism and sustainable communities and lifestyles.

On Wednesday, Walking Mountains will kick off the series with “Paris to Pittsburgh.”

“This film focuses on how Americans are demanding and creating real solutions around climate change. This hits home as the community continues to meet goals created by the local climate action plan,” Kirr said.

She is also looking forward to “The Wild” film in March.

“This is the third film that we have shown since we started the film series on the Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay in Alaska. I had the chance to see this film at a festival recently, and it is really impactful,” Kirr said. “We always partner with Kaleb’s Katch to share these films, and he always ends up bringing some tasty salmon appetizers.”

Speaking of food, the Riverwalk Theater can take care of dinner for you right at the theater. They serve more than just popcorn. Try the pizzas from Village Bagel or gourmet hot dogs from Colorado Meat Co. Come early and enjoy happy hour specials on beer and wines by the glass from 3-6 p.m. (Yes, when Smith took over the Riverwalk Theater, he also brought in the adult beverages.)

In addition to a new night and new venue, Walking Mountains will also bring in a few directors from the films and outdoor apparel company Fjallraven will be giving away an item at each event. 

Walking Mountain’s goal for this series is to provoke thought and create action, so take part in the opportunity to learn at this free monthly film series. For dates and more on each film visit walkingmountains.org.

Kevin Clair of Sweet Basil received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association

Kevin Clair, owner of Sweet Basil and its sister restaurants, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Of the several honors that the CRA awards to restauranteurs in the Centennial State, the Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious. Awards were presented at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Board of Directors Inaugural Dinner on Oct. 15 at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.

When Clair opened Sweet Basil in 1977, its center-of-Vail location was considered off-the-beaten-path. The restaurant quickly blazed its own trail, raising the caliber of the town’s whole dining industry in the process and today is a fan favorite for fine dining in town.

After graduating from the University of Denver’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Clair spent a year in France as an apprentice cook at two different Michelin three-star restaurants. When he returned to the U.S., he fostered a culture of constant improvement to his own restaurant. Sweet Basil became of the first restaurants in Vail to serve varietal wine by the glass while the norm was to serve boxed wine. He also banned smoking in the dining room.

Kevin Clair (center) with KC Gallagher (left), CRA chairman of the board, and Sonia Riggs (right), CRA president and CEO.
Danielle Lirette | Special to the Daily

Clair’s tenacity is part of the reason Sweet Basil remains a contstant, and since, it’s spawned several siblings. Clair opened Montauk Seafood Grill with partner Gary Boris in 1988, Zino Ristorante in Edwards in 1997, and Mountain Standard with partners Matt Morgan and Paul Anders in 2012. All of the restaurants are still operating successfully.

Outside of his restaurants, Clair was the first president of the Vail Restaurant Association and was a founder of the Taste of Vail. He and his wife Sally spend their free time traveling, biking, and boating.

Others who received the Lifetime Achievement Award this year include Patricia Calhoun of Westword in Denver, Jeff Hermanson of Larimer Square in Denver, Jose Ramirez of Los Dos Potrillos in Centennial. Josh Wolkon of Secret Sauce F&B in Vesta won the Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award, and KC Gallagher of Little Pub Company received the Richard P. Ayers Distinguished Service Award.

The first annual Rocky Mountain Burger Battle will serve the best beefy creations in the valley

The inaugural Rocky Mountain Burger Battle, set for Thursday, June 20, will feature the valley’s best burgers. The event is a kickoff event for the Vail Craft Beer Classic this weekend – because after all, the second-best pairing to pizza and beer is burgers and beers.

“We’re hoping that this first year gets a lot of exposure and we can show what the event’s about,” said Ryan Slater. “We’d love to see it grow and have everybody be into it so much that we can make it a standalone weekend event.”

Slater, who coordinated the event with Team Player Productions, has been organizing the Denver Burger Battle for 10 years, and thought it would be a great idea to expand the festival into the Rockies after last year’s Vail Craft Beer Classic. He envisioned it as a sister festival to Denver’s burger battle, and has been planning it since.

The Burger Battle will serve as a Thursday night kickoff event to the Vail Craft Beer Classic this weekend.
Steve Peterson | Special to the Daily

He asked around in Vail which restaurants would be the best competitors, and after reaching out to those establishments and gaining traction for the event, he started receiving applications from other places as well. He encouraged contenders to make creations that festival-goers could also order in the restaurant, but the menu will feature new concoctions and current favorites.

Vail Brewing Co. and Bonfire Brewing Co. will be serving a new collab beer – a hazy pale ale – as well as pouring their own suds. VBC is also hosting an after-party, and burger battle wristbands get wearers $1-off beers.

“We’re happy that the first year – trying to convince people is a little tough – but we’re happy with the lineup. We got a good array of what eagle county has to offer,” Slater said.

Slater said a couple hundred people have already purchased tickets to try the valley’s best burgers. Tickets are still available for online purchase, and can also be bought at the door day-of. For entry into the event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m., patrons pay $45 plus fees. There are also several packages available, but those close online on Thursday.

The Double Double package grants admission to the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle and the Denver Burger Battle on Aug. 1 for $125. The VIP Double Deluxe package grants the same as the Double Double, but with VIP entry in Denver. There’s also a Vail Craft Beer Classic package. For $170, the Beer & Burger Weekender Package holders get entry into the burger battle, and two Craft Beer Classic events: Sip at the Summit and VIP Toast of Vail.

Some competitors are serving their version of a classic burger, and others are going with less traditional flavors.
Special to the Daily

Burgermeister

Here’s a list of the competitors, and what they’ll be serving, per the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle website:

Backcountry Wings | Minturn
The Backcountry Burger

The Backcountry Burger consists of hand-pressed locally sourced certified Black Angus Colorado beef topped with bacon-onion jam, distinctive Tillamook white cheddar cheese and Back Country’s own sauce. With a finishing touch of sliced pickles and served on a buttery brioche bun, this burger is an experience not to be missed.

White Bison | Vail
White Bison Burger

Hailing from the heart Vail Village, the hearty bison burger from White Bison is topped with delicious caramelized onion, cheddar, and house pickles. All of this comes together with smoked tomato aioli on an English muffin. 

Illegal Burger | Multiple locations, flagship in Denver
Off the Record

The Off the Record burger is served with a legitimate all-natural Never Ever Beef patty, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato topped with Daikon sprouts and our creamy delicious avocado jalapeño aioli all served on a butter toasted brioche bun.

Craftsman | Edwards
Schmidt Mac

The Schmidt Mac is made up of grass-fed Colorado beef from Colorado Meat Co., garnished with Nueske’s bacon, American cheese and shrettuce – short for shredded lettuce. It’s topped off with special sauce, thyme onions, and spicy dill pickles, all on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Hotel Talisa restaurant | Vail
Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger

The Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger prides itself on being 100% local grass fed beef raised Eagle, Colorado. Topped with shallot marmalade, onions, pickle chips, sharp cheddar, and lemon aioli, this juicy burger is sure to make your mouth water.

Bully Ranch, Sonnenalp Hotel | Vail
South of the Border Burger

The Bully Ranch South of the Border Burger takes beefy goodness to the next level with seven times the beef, smoked gouda cheese and tasty smoked bacon. Topped with traditional lettuce, onions and tomatoes, it gets a modern twist with addedhomemade guacamole, pickled onions and a little kick of pickled jalapeño.

Bol | Vail
Eaton Ranch Bol Burger

The Eaton Ranch Bol Burger is created with an Eaton Ranch – located in Edwards – beef patty and Haystack Mountain – located in Fort Collins – goat Monterey Jack cheese. It’s topped with poached egg, crispy shoestring potatoes, arugula and served on a house-made English muffin. Tender belly bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, L.T.O. and mayo on a brioche bun.

S’mores ice cream?

Nothing says summertime like camping and you can’t have a campfire without s’mores. Sundae Homemade Ice Cream decided to take that summer staple and create a flavor around it.

“We set out to combine all of the iconic ingredients of a traditional s’more into a unique ice cream flavor, right down to the toasted marshmallow,” said Ashlyn Streetz, general manager at Sundae.  “We started by making a graham cracker ice cream, then folded in mini marshmallows we roasted ourselves and finished it with the dark chocolate chips our customers know and love.”

Sundae’s unique and creative flavors of the month inspire many of its customers to share what flavors they’d like to see next. “Sometimes it’s a customer suggestion we find intriguing or sometimes its something we’ve been dreaming up ourselves,” said Streetz, who is a pastry chef by trade. “We featured a chocolate raspberry sriracha ice cream this winter, and recently featured a cucumber melon sorbet.”

Sundae prides itself on offering quality ice cream that starts with quality ingredients. “We’re not looking to cut corners or do what’s easy, real homemade ice cream takes time and tons of effort,” Streetz said.  “We’re always looking to create the best ice cream possible for our customers and for ourselves.”

Sundae’s mission is to simply spread joy, one scoop at a time. Sundae is expanding its reach this summer and besides the Edwards Corner and Bridge Street ice cream parlors, expect to find scoops of deliciousness at other places as well.

“We’ve added an ice cream cart to our team this summer.  We’ll be spreading our wings in Garfield and Summit Counties this summer scooping up joy at farmers markets,” Streetz said.

Sundae has also honored requests to have its homemade ice cream at special events and now offers catering services for weddings, backyard parties and other gatherings. June is flying by, so stop by Sundae to try the s’mores ice cream flavor before it’s gone. To learn more about Sundae Homemade Ice Cream, visit www.sundaeicecream.com.

Zino Ristorante offers a warm winter welcome

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.

Walk into Zino Ristorante in Edwards, and your mood will go up a notch. Something about the friendly neighborhood vibe and chicly classic décor combine to put people at ease and in the mood for a little food, a little conversation, a little wine, a little fun.

Though Nick Haley rules in the kitchen and Giuseppe Bosco sticks to all things front-of-house, both partners are passionate about great food and warm hospitality.

Upstairs is the lively bar area, with balcony seating that overlooks part of the dining room. Upholstered chairs and small tables create intimate gathering spaces, while the bar itself is a whirl of coming and going. Walk down the grand staircase to the dining room proper and you’ll find an exhibition kitchen that is at once on display and yet buffered from the tables.

“Here at Zino we try to do as much as possible in house,” says Chef Haley. “We make every piece of pasta in house, we make our own pancetta, our own burrata. You always can take more pride in something when you make it yourself.”

This commitment to making everything in house dovetails with the Italian ideal of showcasing good, seasonal products without overly manipulating them. Rather, you set them off with excellent flavor combinations. The Zino menu has a solid soul of popular mainstays — the crispy roasted chicken, the burrata, the pork chop Milanese, the pizza Margherita, for instance — that’s embellished with seasonal offerings such as the seafood-rich stew, cioppino, and gnocchi topped with comforting braised Oxtail Sugo.

So when can you serve tomatoes in the winter? When you slow roast them in a low oven for a couple hours to bring out their flavor, and then roll them out really thin. Add Panna di Parmigiano, and there you have it — wonderfully intense tomatoes, softened by the parmesan cream sauce, supple and exclamatory on the tongue. Chef Haley calls it Carpaccio di Pomodoro, and you’ll call it delicious.

But above and beyond the seasonal menu are the daily specials: fish of the day, meat of the day and usually a filled pasta of the day, too. Haley is especially excited about his new fish source:

“I get a call from the dock in Honolulu at 9 a.m. and we receive the fish by the next day at 2 p.m.”

And then it’s served later that night. If you’re lucky enough to see Mero sea bass on the menu, go for it. “It’s hands down my favorite fish,” Haley admits.

Or you can stay closer to home with the elk sausage. Twice a year, Haley brings in three full elk from Debeque, Colorado. The prime cuts are used for various specials, but he uses most of it for the spicy elk sausage served with pasta.

And don’t skip the wine list, which is extensive but manageable. Better yet, leave the decisions to Bosco, who has a natural ability to pair wines and food to make both components shine. It’s also fun to have a reason to call over the enthusiastic and energetic Italian, though he’ll likely stop by your table anyway just to check in.

“Zino is a very warm and familiar place,” Bosco says. “We have warm, friendly service. We have so many locals, and they come here not just to have pasta, but to see me or Nick or the server they want every time they come in. It’s a place that feels like home.”