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Vail Mountain opens, bells ring for après-ski, holiday ornament painting and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/15/2019

Vail’s Opening Day & Vail Après ringing of the bells

We’ve been watching ski resorts open over the pass in Summit County and now it’s Eagle County’s turn to start spinning the lifts. Vail will open for its 57th season with approximately 91 acres of terrain, up from the originally announced acreage of 70 acres of terrain accessed via Gondola One in Vail Village starting at 9 a.m. on Friday.

New for this season, Vail will open skiing and riding out of Vail Village, with upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One (1). The resort will offer skiing and riding terrain for all ability levels on trails accessed by Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) out of Mid-Vail including Swingsville, Ramshorn, Slifer Express, Cappuccino, Upper Powerline, Lower Meadows.

Beginner terrain will be available at the base of Golden Peak with Gopher Hill Lift (#12) and Sherry’s Carpet (#33) open. The connector trail between Golden Peak and Vail Village will connect the two base areas.

If you hiked up the Berry Picker trail this summer, you noticed the pipes and trenches as Vail was prepping the mountain for more snowmaking capabilities. That has resulted in nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain this season, in addition to the previously existing 431 acres of snowmaking terrain.

Vail will continue to make snow across the mountain at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and look to expand open terrain as soon as possible.

As part of the Opening Day festivities, Beth Howard, Vail Mountain’s vice president and chief operating officer, along with snowmaking project leaders will perform a celebratory ribbon cutting on one of Vail’s new state-of-the-art snow guns at the base of Gondola One at 8:30 a.m.

Complimentary breakfast burritos and hot cocoa will be provided in Mountain Plaza at the base of Gondola One for early risers on opening day, while supplies last. If you don’t get there in time for the free burritos, Express Lift Bar will be open in Mountain Plaza as well. For dining options on the mountain, Look Ma at Mid-Vail and Buffalo’s at the top of Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) will be fully operational starting at 9 a.m.

Après-ski bell ringing

The start of the ski season also kicks off après-ski. Après-ski is French for “after ski” and it can be likened to happy hour after work. To take après ski up a notch and pay homage to the European ski areas, Vail will kick off Vail Après at 2:45 p.m. Friday with a ceremonial bell ringing on Pepi’s deck.

Sheika Gramshammer and her family, owners of Gastof Gramshammer and Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant will be joined by dignitaries from the town of Vail and Vail Mountain to kick off the inaugural Vail Après bell ringing and celebrate the start of Vail’s ski season.

To join in the celebration, members of the community are encouraged to gather on Pepi’s deck at 2:45 p.m. on Friday to take part in a ceremony that will launch this new tradition.

Following Friday’s launch, Vail Après will take place daily at 3 p.m. throughout the season with simultaneous bell ringing throughout Vail Village, Lionshead and on Vail Mountain to signify the beginning of après-ski.

For information about opening day in Vail go to www.vail.com. For details on Vail Après or information on custom bell orders, visit www.vail.com/apres.

Tales of the 10th

We just observed and thanked vets on Monday for Veterans Day, but this Friday you can learn quite a bit more about the famed 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale before fighting battles in Europe during World War II. Acclaimed author and historian Maurice Isserman will give a 90-minute presentation beginning at 3 p.m.

The presentation coincides with the publication of Isserman’s new book, “The Winter Army: The World War II Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America’s Elite Alpine Warriors.” The 10th Mountain Division is known for breaking down the last line of German defenses in the Italian Alps in 1945, which was instrumental in leading the Allies to victory.

Isserman has poured over letters and diaries written during battle. This material has never been published before and Isserman brings the voices of these soldiers to life.

Seating at the Colorado Snowsports Museum is limited, with a maximum capacity of 30 participants. A $5 to $10 donation per person is suggested. Please call 970-476-1876 in advance for availability. To learn more about the Colorado Snowsports Museum visit www.snowsportsmuseum.org.

Cocktails and Canvas: Ornament Painting

Get a jump on holiday decorating by creating your own ornaments at Cocktails and Canvas: Ornament Painting this Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Lionshead. Make a set of round glass ornaments, perfect for holiday decorations and handmade gifts. The Alpine Arts Center provides all materials and step-by-step instructions. Wine and beer can be purchased for those ages 21 and older at the event.

Paint a snowman, a wintery scene or do something more abstract. It’s all up to you and what inspires you at the time. You don’t need to be an artist to do this project, either. It’s all about having fun and getting into the holiday spirit.

This event takes place at the Vail Recreation District community programming room (second floor of Lionshead Parking Garage above the Welcome Center). Parking is free after 3 p.m. The class is being offered at the discounted rate of $20 per person due to sponsorship from the town of Vail and Alpine Bank. To register, go to www.alpineartscenter.org.

Vail Performing Arts Academy presents “Broadway Stars”

Feel like you’ve traveled to New York City with the songs of Broadway filling the stage as the students from the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s present “Broadway Stars”, a revue featuring performances of Broadway hits.

Audiences will be entertained by students ages 8 to 18 who will be singing numbers from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Seussical The Musical,” “Anastasia,” “The Addams Family,” “Hairspray,” “Be More Chill,” “Matilda,” “Billie Elliot,” “Beetlejuice” and more.

Even though these performers are students, the acting, singing, costumes and set design are all top-notch. Annah Scully, executive producer of the Vail Performing Arts Academy, surrounds herself with professionals like Colin Meiring, artistic director; Melinda Carlson, vocal coach; Maria Barry, assistant choreographer and Val Watts, costumer. There are also technicians who help with logistics and countless parents and volunteers who really help each child’s experience live up to the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s slogan: The Most Important Stage in a Child’s Life.

Speaking of stages, the students get to perform on a stage that has seen the likes of B.B. King, Ringo Starr and Jay Leno. “Broadway Stars” will be hosted at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating. Call 970-845-8497 or visit www.vilarpac.org. To learn more about the Vail Performing Arts Academy, visit www.vpaa.org.

Epic Mountain Express Fill the Van food drive

On Saturday, Epic Mountain Express will be hosting the 22nd annual Fill the Van event across our mountain communities. Fill the Van is the largest single food drive across the mountain region, with donated food going directly to local food banks.

Chances are you need to grab some groceries this week, so why not wait and shop on Saturday during the food drive and pick up some extra non-perishable items, put them in a separate bag at checkout and drop them off on your way out of the store. Epic Mountain Express makes it easy for you to help our neighbors in need.

Collection locations will be set up all throughout Eagle County and beyond. Look for the teams next to the colorful Epic Mountain Express vans between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the following locations:

Eagle County locations:

  • City Market – Vail
  • City Market – Avon
  • City Market – Eagle
  • Safeway – Vail
  • Wal-Mart – Eagle-Vail
  • Village Market – Edwards        

Summit County locations:

  • Safeway – Frisco 
  • City Market – Dillon
  • City Market – Breckenridge

Roaring Fork Valley locations:

  • City Market – Glenwood
  • City Market – El Jebel

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.

Skiing, spa deals, free champagne and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/18/19

Skiing and snowboarding available in Colorado

It’s always been a race to see which resort can be the first to usher in the ski and snowboard season each fall. This year, Keystone thought they would be the first resort in North America to spin its lifts and welcome back skiers and riders on Oct. 12, but in a sneaky move, Arapahoe Basin opened to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 on Oct. 11.

Regardless of who was first, there were plenty of happy skiers and snowboarders enjoying some early season conditions with the help of some snowmaking equipment and cooler temperatures provided by Mother Nature.

With Keystone’s new state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system, the resort was well-positioned to offer guests one of its earliest openings in more than 20 years. Keystone will continue to make snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and looks to expand terrain as soon as possible.

Keystone will be celebrating the start to the season with a Halloween costume contest, pancake breakfasts, live music, a bags tournament and more in upcoming weeks.

After closing this past Fourth of July, Arapahoe Basin didn’t have much of an off-season. In a surprise announcement at 1:45 p.m. last Friday, The Legend stated that it would be open less than two hours later, at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Excited skiers and riders scrambled to find their gear, get off work or drive the distance to the base area to get in line and hold bragging rights for being present during opening day, well, maybe not a full day, but opening “afternoon.”

A-Basin will also have a few events to kick off the season including a Halloween concert and costume contest, so dress up your friends, family and even the dog in order to win prizes.

Before you go to either resort, check www.keystoneresorts.com and www.arapahoebasin.com for current conditions and terrain updates.

Underground Sound concert series

Save the best for last this weekend with a Sunday night show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The Small Glories take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and will treat the listeners to some bluegrass and folk music. This marks the third concert out of the seven-concert series dubbed “love for the locals” and the Underground Sound pass is still available.

The Small Glories consists of JD Edwards and Cara Luft (Luft was also part of the Wailin’ Jennys). This folk singer-songwriter duo met by accident on the Canadian prairie when they played an anniversary show together at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.

The wit and banter between Luft and Edwards are all part of the show, and sometimes the duo spends more time setting up the song than it takes to actually play the song. But the crowd loves it and the intimate setting of the Vilar will be a perfect place for the audience to feel like they are a part of the show.

Tickets are available for $28. You can still take advantage of the savings offered in the Underground Sound pass. For $125, the pass gives you entry to Sunday’s show and four more concerts in this series, which goes through Nov. 11. With the pass, you also get a drink at each show and it is transferable. I did the math and you still come out ahead financially if you purchase this pass. For more information, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Spa Deals

The change of seasons is upon us and your body may be craving a change as well. Spas are offering specials this time of year on all sorts of treatments. Take a look at these deals below. If you don’t see your spa of choice, give them a call and see if they are running any specials.

The Spa at the Vail Athletic Club

  • $99 for your choice of 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • $189 for your choice of two services: 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • 25% off all other services
  • www.vailathleticclub.com

The Sonnenalp Spa

  • 50-minute signature massage or facial for $99
  • 25% off all other treatments
  • Upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for an additional $85
  • www.sonnenalp.com/spa

The Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

  • Signature spa pedicure plus a glass of prosecco for $69
  • 50-minute custom massage or 45-minute rose quartz facial for $105
  • 80- minute custom massage for $149
  • 75-minute oxygen facial for $165
  • www.allegriaspa.com

Simply Massage

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

  • $99 for a 50-minute massage or facial
  • $149 for a 75-minute massage or facial
  • $179 for 100-minute massage or facial
  • www.spaanjali.com

The Spa at Four Seasons Vail

  • 20% off massages, facials and body treatments during the month of October
  • Bring your state-issued identification upon check-in for the discount to be valid
  • www.fourseasons.com/vail/spa

The Rock Resorts Spa at the Lodge at Vail

  • $99 for a choice of a 50-minute massage, facial or body treatment
  • $149 for a choice of an 80-minute body treatment (which includes a free gift)
  • Book two treatments in one day and get a glass of champagne
  • 20% off a full-price Float Tank session
  • 20% off of a spray tan
  • www.thevailcollections.com/spa

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many businesses are honoring that with events and deals through the end of the month. The Sonnenalp Breast Center in Edwards reminds you that this is also a good time to schedule your mammogram if you need one. They are even open on Saturdays throughout the month of October to help you fit an appointment into your schedule.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is raffling off two spa prizes with 100% of the proceeds going to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. The prizes are:

  • One four-hour Alpen Rejuvenation package valued at $370
  • One spa gift basket valued at $500

The raffle is going on between now and the end of the month and raffle tickets are priced at one ticket for $10 and three tickets for $20. Visit Spa Anjali to purchase your tickets and they are asking for cash only. Two winners will randomly be selected on Nov. 1. For more information, go to Spa Anjali’s Facebook page.

Barre Forte in Edwards is also getting into the spirit of giving back and invites you to tuck, hold and burn your way through a day of barre classes to raise money for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. This Saturday, take one class, two classes or as many as your muscles can handle during the Barre-A-Thon. Barre Forte is asking for a $10 donation for each class. Classes start at 9 a.m. and will continue each hour with 4 p.m. being the last class. Pink drinks will follow to celebrate the sweat and success of this fun fundraiser. Sign up in advance to secure your spot.

Barre Forte will also be donating a portion of all punch cards and pink merchandise sold during the month of October to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. For more information check out Barre Forte’s Facebook page.

The SKEA clothing line, led by Vail local Diane Boyer, is going to donate 5% of all sales during the month of October to the Shaw Cancer Center at Vail Health in Edwards. Proceeds will directly benefit patients at Shaw through the Spirit of Survival program where they receive free emotional and physical services to help them fight their battle. If you need a cute ski jacket, new snow pants or some of their great base layers or accessories buy them this month and help give back. Learn more at www.skealimited.com.

Celebrate International Champagne Day

Cheers to the off-season! If you need an excuse to make a toast, the new Grand Hyatt Vail is offering a complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne and specials at the hotel, restaurant and spa all weekend.

The Grand Hyatt Vail has partnered up with Moët & Chandon Champagne and is taking celebrations to a new level. At 6 p.m. on Friday, celebrate International Champagne Day by witnessing a Champagne sabering in the hotel’s Fireside Lounge. Complimentary glasses of Moët Impérial will be served and additional glasses available for $20.19 throughout the evening. Moët & Chandon specialists will be on hand for the event to discuss champagne and make pairing suggestions.

Grand Hyatt Vail will also offer $129 rooms on Friday night. The room rate includes tokens for the state’s only champagne vending machine, located in the lobby, that is filled with Moët & Chandon Champagne.

A Champagne brunch will be served on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Gessner, Grand Hyatt Vail’s signature restaurant for $20.19. The special bubbly brunch menu will include decadent champagne pancakes, live entertainment and $20.19 glasses of Moët Ice with a unique celebratory twist. The Spa at the Grand Hyatt Vail will offer seasonal specials including a choice of a 50-minute classic massage or signature facial for $119 or upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for $190.

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

Underground Sound Concert Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gear sales and swaps

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

Sun & Ski Sports

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

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

Charter Sports

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

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

Alpine Quest Sports

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

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

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

Oktoberfest in Gypsum

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

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

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

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

Fire Department Open House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gluten-free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vegetarian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oktoberfest at the Sonnenalp

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

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

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

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

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

Wild West Day

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

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

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

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

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

Vines at Vail Wine Crush

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

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

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

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

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gourmet food, wine, biking and a yoga pants party: Tricia’s weekend picks 9/20/19

Taste of Vail Fall Wine & Food Classic

The Taste of Vail, which is a long-standing springtime fete, has added the Fall Wine & Food Classic to its schedule to take advantage of not only the bountiful harvest but also the beauty that surrounds Vail this time of year.

The Fall Wine & Food Classic blends the best of both worlds with great activities like fly-fishing, hiking, yoga and salsa dancing along with venues that provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy fabulous food and great wine.

After some of the morning excursions, head to brunch at Matsuhisa, Vintage or Remedy at the Four Seasons Vail. Lunch is also an option at Sweet Basil where they will be pairing cheddar cheese with wine.

On Saturday evening, Vail Valley restaurants come together with Southern Hemisphere wines at the Grand Tasting event at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Guests will enjoy a picnic-style event with south of the equator music while taking in the gorgeous Vail scenery. The Grand Tasting features more than 50 wineries and 13 restaurants. For more information, tickets and a full schedule go to www.tasteofvail.com.

Hike, Wine & Dine benefit

The 11th annual Hike, Wine & Dine fundraiser returns to Beaver Creek this Sunday. Get there early to enjoy a light breakfast consisting of breakfast burritos, coffee, orange juice and mimosas. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the base of Beaver Creek’s Centennial Lift. This is a moderate five-mile hike and kids and teens are allowed and there are tickets priced specifically for that age group. 

Leave the energy bar and trail mix at home, along the way there will be several places to stop and enjoy small gourmet bites from the following restaurants:

  • 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill – veggie or meat breakfast burritos
  • Beaver Creek Chophouse – braised beef short rib tacos
  • Colorado Tasting Room – ahi tuna nachos
  • Dusty Boot – shrimp and octopus cocktail
  • Pavalici’s Croatian Pizza – assorted gourmet pizzas
  • The Osprey at Beaver Creek – smoked pork pozole
  • Rocky Mountain Raclette – Swiss raclette cheese, toast and fig
  • Rimini – peach yogurt and toppings
  • Splendido at the Chateau – peach cobbler
  • Vail Brewing Company – Hot Mess Blonde Ale and Gore Creek IPA

Hikers will travel through a special section of aspen trees where around 40 yellow ribbons adorn the trees in honor of those affected by cancer. Plan to spend a little time there and reflect. It’s just magical to see the forest transformed into a subtle memorial.

This annual autumn excursion benefits the Shaw Cancer Center and Jack’s Place, a 12-room cancer caring house for patients of Shaw Cancer Center and their caregivers. Funds go toward the operating costs to allow patients and their caregivers to stay for free during treatment at Shaw. It also supports programs like yoga, nutrition and wellness classes, massages and more. Visit www.hikewinedine.com to purchase tickets or make a donation.

Casual Classic

If the name is any indication, the Casual Classic bike ride isn’t a race, but more of a way to enjoy the views from the bike path from Breckenridge to Vail. Yes, you heard right, from Breckenridge to Vail, meaning it’s a 38-mile trip and the last 16 miles are downhill (almost).

The Casual Classic has been a fall tradition for 34 years and benefits the Sonnenalp of Vail Foundation. The Foundation creates family-friendly charitable endeavors and proceeds are directed toward medical, educational and human services. The Casual Classic has donated over $150,000 to ECO Trails, Eagle County’s bike path system, which requires annual improvement, upkeep and maintenance.

On Saturday, riders will take part in a casual ride beginning in Breckenridge and will follow the recreational path to Frisco. Next, they enjoy a gradual climb along Tenmile Creek to Copper Mountain followed by a more challenging climb to the summit of Vail Pass. Finally, riders coast predominantly downhill to the Bully Ranch at the Sonnenalp Hotel Vail for the after-party.

The fee is $145 for adults and $45 for children under 15 years of age. The price includes breakfast, transportation, snacks, gift bags, door prizes, Bully Ranch buffet, dessert, drinks and live entertainment.

If you’re feeling the need to ride more, take on the 76-miles from the Sonnenalp to Breckenridge and back again to really earn that fabulous buffet. All details for start times and shuttles, including a shuttle back to Breckenridge in case you are starting from that point and need a ride east are provided at www.sonnenalpfoundation.com/casual-classic.

The Community Market fundraiser

You’re invited to have some great food and fun while learning about The Community Market, a program of the Eagle Valley Community Foundation. The launch party is set for Saturday at The Community Market warehouse in Gypsum from 5 to 8 p.m. and tickets are $35 per person.

This event not only aims to spread awareness about food solutions in Eagle County, but it also wants to welcome Kelly Liken to the team.

Kelly Liken was the chef and owner of the famed Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail for many years. She also appeared as a contestant on such shows as Top Chef and Iron Chef America. Beyond her vast cooking skills, Liken is striving to find food solutions in Eagle County.

According to Feeding America, 8,700 Eagle County residents struggle to put food on the table. The Community Market is reaching more than 800 people every week. In June, the Community Foundation and The Community Market paid off the lunchroom debt across the Eagle County School District for a second school year. This year, the debt was almost double last year’s tab.

The Community Market over the past year has been recovering more than 25,000 pounds of food each month from local groceries, as well as sourcing produce from local farmers. This assures healthy, wholesome foods to families in need while reducing food waste, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Enjoy food provided by Anthony Mazza of Chef on the Fly and Village Bagel. Complimentary beer, wine and a special Kelly Liken cocktail for purchase will round out the drinks. The Evolution and the Altitones will provide live music. They will be selling chances to win a private dinner hosted by Liken and The Community Market team. To learn more go to www.eaglevalleycf.org or RSVP by calling 970-977-1093.

Fitness happenings

Crosstraining Fitness of Vail provides a free class for the community on Saturday mornings where anybody can attend. If you want to commit more time, explore the facility for free. Starting on Monday and going through Saturday, Crosstraining Fitness of Vail is hosting a free week of classes as a Local’s Appreciation Event.  Anyone who signs up after giving it a try will get 50% off the first month’s membership.  

If you want to take your yoga to the next level, Vail’s first 300-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School begins this weekend. Led by Amy Baker, Keri Bergeron and R.R Shakti, this 300-hour advanced yoga education workshop series guides you to a uniquely rich and powerful dimension of yoga experience to amplify the practice for dedicated yogis.

The Living in Alignment 300-hour Advanced Yoga Education program is comprised of a series of weekends and workshops designed for maximum accessibility in Vail. Hosted by Inner Power Yoga and the Lodge at Vail, this flexible program provides a comprehensive certification course for yoga teachers and an empowerment education program for yoga scholars. Enroll now at www.livinginalignment.yoga or call 970-331-4493.

If you just like to wear yoga pants, don’t miss the 7th annual Yoga Pants Party hosted by Yoga Off Broadway and Bonfire Brewing in Eagle on Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. Bring out the stretchy pants and drink beer while enjoying live music with the Runaway Grooms from 6 to 9 p.m. followed by DJ One from 9 p.m. until close.

There are prizes for the best-dressed men and women in yoga pants. If you don’t have a pair of yoga pants, buy a pair and get a beer for just $10. For more information, visit Bonfire Brewing or Yoga Off Broadway’s Facebook page.

Get your fill of ‘shrooms this fall by foraging and cooking, with inspiration from Zino Ristorante’s porcini dinner

The local mushroom harvest has been abundant this season, and as Zino Ristorante co-owner and executive chef Nick Haley explained at a dinner on Aug. 14, foraging edible fungi can be just as enjoyable as preparing and eating it.

“I get excited every year for the mushroom season because it’s a way for me to decompress out in the forest, especially because I work in such a busy environment where it’s kind of stressful,” Haley said. “I use it as an opportunity to get out there and go on this treasure hunt and have a peaceful time in the forest that I really enjoy.”

I agree that finding mushrooms in the forest is fun — a true treasure hunt, yet my favorite part of this mushroom season was at that dinner when Haley created a four-course, porcini-inspired meal at Zino alongside Italian wine selections from Fontanabianca.

Some of the wines served at the dinner included a 2016 Barbera and an Arneis Lange Bianco.
Kim Fuller | Special to the Daily

Mushrooms and wine

“Porcini mushrooms grow in Italy hand-in-hand with grapes,” said Zino partner and general manager Giuseppe Bosco. “It’s the perfect pairing and chef Nick worked so hard to balance each course specifically to the personality of each wine.”

A Vitello Tonnato of sliced veal, caper and tuna aioli was topped with shaved pocinis and paired with a Arneis Lange Bianco wine — full-bodied with a tight, fresh palate and a fruity finish. Haley’s second and third course were my favorite: Porcini Ravioli with quail egg, house ricotta ravioli, porcini and sage brown butter, served with a medium-bodied Dolcetto, followed by a Porcini Risotto topped with fresh parmesan and served alongside a 2016 Barbera. For the final course, a pour of Barbaresco “Bordini” went beautifully with Waygu steak, caramelized onions and purple potatoes, finished with a Nebbiolo reduction.

“I’ve been cooking with mushrooms since I worked in Italy and for the past 17 years here in the valley,” Haley said. “I really love them, and the porcini mushrooms are so earthy and there are so many classic Italian dishes that pair well with them — they are just meant to be together.”

Haley lived in northern Italy, where Italian porcini mushrooms are harvested, and he’s especially fond of them with Italian wine.

“And I love that most Italian winemakers, like the Fontanabianca family, are farmers and have such a passion for what they do,” Haley said. “When you go to Italy, they are just so proud of their product that they want you to try it because it’s something that they have had in their family for generations, so they are definitely proud of what they produce and they bring that energy to every dinner.”

As described by the Fontanabianca winery, the wine welcomes “the taste of the territory of Neive, rich in perfumes and elegance.” Mushrooms, like grapes, tell a story of their native land, the terroir.

The selection of porcini-inspired dishes at the Zino dinner traversed across Northern Italy, where Chef Nick Haley worked before coming to Vail.
Kim Fuller | Special to the Daily

Colorado harvest

Every year, depending on what the valley provides, Haley said he incorporates mushrooms into special menu items for as long as possible.

“It has been an ideal mushroom season with all the snow this past winter, and we also had good rainfall in the beginning of summer,” he said. “It really has to do with a lot of rainfall and hot temperatures, which we had.”

Haley said the best way to tell how great of a mushroom season we’re having is to go camping. He said to notice when there is morning dew lifting off the forest floor, creating a mist.

“This year we had really good porcinis, but now it’s kind of drying up because we haven’t had any rain in three weeks,” Haley explained. “We should be getting chanterelles right now. But I feel like we may not get chanterelles this year — it’s still possible if we start to get some rain, but we need to get some moisture here pretty quickly. It can turn off as fast as it turns on.”

Mushroom season generally lasts until the first frost, he added.

“That could be middle of September, or really early,” Haley added. “So it’s really on Mother Nature to decide what we’re gonna get.”

The last course was a Wagyu steak with caramelized onions, purple potatoes and a Nebbiolo reduction.
Kim Fuller | Special to the Daily

From the Kitchen

For some inspiration in your kitchen, here is a porcini recipe from Zino Ristorante co-owner and executive chef Nick Haley.

Porcini Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage

Serves about 5

For pasta:

1 kg flour

30 egg yolks

For filling:

1 lb. ricotta cheese

½ lb. porcini mushrooms

Sage

Parmesan

Egg yolk

Parsley

For brown butter:

6 oz. butter

Sage

4 oz. porcini mushrooms

Salt and pepper

Ravioli pasta: In a mixer, mix the flour and slowly incorporate egg yolks. Roll out sheets of pasta with a rolling pin or use a pasta roller. Set aside in the fridge.

Ravioli filling: Slice the porcini mushrooms and sauté in olive oil with sage. After mushrooms are cool, chop them. Mix your chopped mushrooms with ricotta cheese, chopped sage, parmesan, egg yolks, salt and pepper. Place filling inside pastry bag. Place sheets on table and lightly brush with egg wash. Put a half-ounce of mushroom filling in 2“ x 2“ square, and place another sheet of pasta on top. Cut between the fillings with pasta cutter to form ravioli.

Brown butter: In a sauté pan, cook butter until it’s brown. Then add sage and mushrooms. Cook raviolis for about two minutes. Before draining the pot, save two ounces of pasta water to cook in the sauté pan with your brown butter sauce raviolis and serve.

Terra Bistro wins Garden to Glass event

The Eagle Valley Land Trust invited guests out to not only enjoy the beautiful Copper Bar Ranch but also to try some handcrafted cocktails by area mixologists as part of the third annual Garden to Glass fundraiser on Aug. 22. Garden to Glass is a fun reception featuring a cocktail competition that challenges local bars and restaurants to create their most amazing beverage highlighting a single secret ingredient.  This year’s secret ingredient was sage.

Each guest voted for their favorite drink and decided which restaurant earned the grand prize. The winner received a $500 check, a trophy and an invitation to stay for the Farm to Fork dinner after the Garden to Glass event. Terra Bistro bartender Scott Shannon and General Manager Jessie Rethman took home top honors for their creation, Sage + Vice, a play on the word “advice.” 

“We came back with a vengeance because last year we were the runner up to Pivot62,” Shannon said.

The mission of Eagle Valley Land Trust is to forever protect lands, scenic beauty, heritage, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitats while building a permanent legacy for future generations. 

“Savor Our Mountain Heritage” was this year’s theme. Fitting into that theme, Copper Bar Ranch has a history of being an original homestead property in the mid-1890s and was along the stagecoach route from Red Cliff to Eagle. John and Diana Donovan, the current owners, said their goal is to keep it plain and simple — much like the original homesteaders.  

“Garden to Glass is a unique and uniquely accessible event that celebrates the creativity of our local food and beverage savants, the bounty of our local environment, the joy of communing in a spectacular local setting and the intoxicating effects of preserving forever the local lands that we collectively cherish,” said T.J. Voboril, an Eagle Valley Land Trust board member. 

Here’s a description of the drinks from each bar or restaurant:

  • Terra Bistro, Sage + Vice: Montanya rum, sage simple syrup, Palisade peaches and a sage shrub with prosecco topper.
  • La Tour Restaurant & Bar, Sage of Consent: Vanilla bean-infused Tito’s vodka, Averna Amaro, sage-infused Hawaiian passion fruit, lemon zest cordial, house-made cacao and nutmeg bitters, Maui red sea salt solution, pineapple sage tincture.
  • 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co., Mountain Trooper Old Fashioned: 10th Mountain whiskey, brown butter, fried sage, sage honey.
  • The Rose, Smudge This: Four Roses Bourbon, canton ginger, blue agave, grapefruit, orange bitters and fresh sage.
  • Vail Catering Concepts, the Classic Sidecar: Infused with lemon zest and Knapp Ranch pineapple sage.

To learn more about the event or about the Eagle Valley Land Trust, visit evlt.org/garden-to-glass.

Eats at the Amp

People ask me all the time if they can get something to eat at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, and the answer is a resounding “yes.” The menu at the amphitheater is varied, convenient and delicious. 

Although many like to bring picnics and elaborate spreads to the iconic venue, if you don’t have time to buy and make all the fixings for a picnic but still want to feed the family, never fear, great food is here.

Hunter Smith, chef and owner of Big Delicious Catering and executive chef at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, has done a fantastic job of creating menu items this summer that are local, seasonal, fresh, light and not messy.

“I’ve come up with dishes that are crowd pleasers and easy to eat when you are sitting in the seats or on the lawn. You don’t want to spill it all over yourself,” Smith said.

Try the Angus carne asada street tacos with cotija cheese, salsa roja, fresh pico and lime. Or try the Moroccan chicken pita with citrus hummus, feta cheese and arugula and tzatziki sauce. 

The response to the new menu has been positive, and a few items like the burger, brat and hot dog remain. Smith has elevated each dish, however. The burger now features regional beef on a brioche bun. The brats and hot dogs come from Polidori Sausage in Denver and are served on an Amaroso’s roll. 

“(Amaroso’s rolls are) the same type of roll they use in Philadelphia for Philly cheesesteaks,” Smith said.

Charcuterie plates change regularly. You can find anything from soppressata, capocollo or calabrese salami for the meat choices and the cheese selection varies including manchego, asiago, gouda, havarti and more. Candied almonds and chocolate truffles are included to sweeten things up. 

Wash these great eats down with a bevy of beverage choices at the Ford Amphitheater. Here, it’s not just red, white and rosé — look for the latest beers and craft cocktails in a can as well as frozen margaritas and a frosé rosés from the slushy machine.

“We have a diverse clientele that comes to events like Bravo! Vail, the Vail Dance Festival, Hot Summer Nights and Whistle Pig concerts, so I like to have options for everybody while keeping it modern, fresh, light and affordable,” said Sean McRee, beverage director for the Ford Amphitheater. “It’s more than a concession stand, and the public notices.”