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

Underground Sound Concert Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gear sales and swaps

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

Sun & Ski Sports

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

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

Charter Sports

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

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

Alpine Quest Sports

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

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

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

Oktoberfest in Gypsum

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

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

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

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

Fire Department Open House

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.”

National Rosè Day this Saturday

After a long and chilly spring, the temperatures are on the rise, prompting our palettes to switch from the heavy red wines and buttery chardonnays to lighter and brighter wine varietals. This switch is just in time for National Rosè Day, which is held on the second Saturday of June. 

National Rosè Day was submitted to and approved by the registrar of National Day Calendar in October of 2014 and first celebrated in June of 2015 by Bodvar House of Rosès, a winery specializing in rosè wines that hopes to raise awareness and give rosè lovers a day to unite together and celebrate.

Rosè may be one of the oldest types of wine known but it’s been gaining popularity recently, even becoming a mixer for use in other cocktails, rather than just being consumed as a straight wine.

To celebrate National Rosè Day on June 8, area bars are trying various ways to serve it up. White Bison serves a rosè frozè, which is reminiscent of those frozen flavored slushy drinks you enjoyed as a kid.

They start with rosè wine then add Domaine de Canton, which is a cognac-based ginger liqueur. Then they add some sugar, fresh lemon juice and cranberry juice to add the pink color back into it. Oddly enough, when you put the rosè wine into a frozen slushy machine, the color fades. It’s garnished with plenty of mint to add another element of flavor and a little color to the pale pink drink.

These drinks are great summer sippers on the White Bison deck, which was voted “Best Deck” in the Vail Daily Reader’s Poll last year. If you have a large group, ask if you can get the “golden swan” which is basically a copper punch bowl shaped like a large swan, allowing you to keep everyone’s glasses full right at your table.

Four Seasons Resort Vail launches two-year renovation project

VAIL — A decade can be a long time in the luxury lodging business. That’s why Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail is getting an extensive upgrade.

Changes include a re-do of Flame restaurant and The Remedy Bar, as well as upgrades to the hotel’s 122 guest rooms and suites, as well as the lobby, corridors and meeting spaces.

The work will take this year and much of 2020. The hotel will remain open during the work.

Perhaps the biggest change is in the residences. Extell Development Co. in 2018 received town of Vail approval to change a number of the hotel’s fractional-fee condos to full-ownership units.

Six of the original 19 fractional units will be retained in the fractional pool. The remaining 12 units will be turned into 12 residences, eight new hotel rooms and 18 lock-off units.

Of the new condo units, one was finished in 2018. Only eight are still available for sale. Three of those units are sold “as you see them,” meaning they still have the fittings and furnishings that came with the fractional-fee units. The remaining five will be done with designer renovations.

Prices range from $4.5 million to $16.9 million.

Custom touches for owners

Dana Dennis Gumber, of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate, is the listing broker for the new units. Gumber said the current fractional units all have the same fittings and furnishings. Buyers of the whole-ownership units will be able to add their own touches.

Owners of the whole-ownership units will also be able to put their units into the Four Seasons’ international rental program.

That’s a lot of outreach to potential renters, Gumber said.

Extell Vice President of Development Kurt Krieg said the sales of the new residences will help finance the rest of the changes at the property.

Those changes are going to be extensive, Krieg said, fitting with the Four Seasons brand.

Upgrades to restaurants

AvroKo, a design company with offices in New York, San Francisco, London and Bangkok, has worked at Union Station in Denver. That firm will do the work on the Flame and The Remedy Bar restaurants.

At The Remedy Bar, a kitchen will be installed at the bar level. Food currently comes from the Flame kitchen, two floors below the bar.

Renovations at Flame will include a new menu, as well as chefs tables and a closed, private room. Flame will also enclose some current outdoor space.

Krieg said the $40 million project will also include work to the hotel’s conference and banquet facilities. That work will include new colors and finishes in the meeting rooms.

The idea, Kreig said, is to get the work done with minimal disruptions to guests, employees and the rest of the town. And, he added, the improvements will “meet or exceed” the Four Seasons’ promises to those same groups.

“We’re excited and proud of this project,” Krieg said. “It’s been a well-received project.”

Vail Daily business editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2930.