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Vin48’s warm and tasty offerings

In December 2007, three local gastronomic professionals created Vin48, a hybrid wine bar and restaurant that quickly became a year-round culinary and vinous favorite of locals and Vail Valley visitors.

Early in its storied life, Vin48 earned its stellar gastronomic reputation for an ever-changing, seasonal menu of creative mountain cuisine with an international twist, delivering new and exciting dining experiences every season. The concise menu structure of snacks, small plates from the sea and land, large plates, and of course, scrumptious desserts provide extensive opportunities for the culinary team to innovate — and diners to rejoice — whether nibbling with a glass of wine at the bar or enjoying a full meal at table.

Mountain View pork meatballs with smoked applesauce, spiced wine gastrique and apple cider-goat cheese crema.
Dominique Taylor Photography/taylordmedia@icloud.com

Executive Chef Tim McCaw’s less-is-more approach of seeking simple, exceptional ingredients creates explosions of flavor in all the dishes. There’s no rush in the preparation of the pappardelle small plate. Hours of slow cooking with heritage Berkshire pork, beef short rib, spicy Italian sausage, toasted garlic, and plum tomatoes produce a flavorsome ragu for the thin ribbons of house-made pappardelle.

Chef McCaw describes the pork meatballs small plate as “our play on the classic pork chops and applesauce.” Ground Heritage Berkshire Pork from Mountain View Pork in Meeker, Colorado — the source of all the restaurant’s pork — is blended with caramelized Granny Smith apples, roasted shallots and sage. The meatballs are served over house-made smoked Granny Smith applesauce and given a light coating of spiced-wine gastrique, apple cider goat cheese crema that balances the palate, making it impossible to resist the next bite.

From the sea, Chef McCaw’s ahi tuna carpaccio with dollops of tobiko — flying fish roe — gets an infusion of umami flavor from sweet and savory Japanese mayonnaise.

Creative, delectable cuisine deserves pairings of the same consideration and quality. From his cellar of over five hundred distinct labels, partner and wine director Greg Eynon curates an impressive list of under-discovered wine regions, producers and grape varieties blended with better-known vinous choices. This season, he’s excited to pour Chiara Condello’s Lo Stalisco 2018, a 100% Sangiovese di Predappio from the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Eynon describes the wine he recommends to pair with the pappardelle small plate as “one of the most profound wines” he’s had on the list lately. “I love the elegant and slightly saline mineral expression of this wine,” he added. To pair the ahi tuna, Eynon looks to Hungary for a dry Furmint from Tokaj-Hetszolo.

Pistachio-crusted chicken with Springer Farms breast, rice soubise, brown chicken demi-glace, butternut squash and kale.
Dominique Taylor Photography/taylordmedia@icloud.com

Eynon takes great care choosing which 32 wines he offers by the glass from the Enomatic preservation and dispensing system, a dominant feature in the restaurant’s vibrant, signature bar. The wide selection of by-the-glass wines — also offered by the bottle — provides an opportunity for diners to explore pairing each plate with a different, interesting wine. The amalgamation of delicious food, carefully structured wine and cocktail offerings, and stellar, warm service with breathtaking views of Beaver Creek’s slopes offers the exclamation point we all need after a tiring but exhilarating day in the Colorado Rockies. 

Route 6 Cafe: fun times and great food


When Ollie Holdstock searched the U.S. in the early 1980s looking for a place to call home, the Vail community welcomed him with open arms. And that’s exactly what he wants to do for both locals and tourists: Create a comfortable, welcoming, fun and entertaining restaurant to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a place to meet for open-mic nights, karaoke, live music and games.

And the restaurant and bar is fresh off a Best of the Vail Valley win for best late night scene — a point of pride for Holdstock.

“Of course our food is good. This is Vail, every place has good food,” he said. “But our late-night and sports-bar scene is really special. Almost every night of the week we have something going on.”

Karaoke is a weekly event at Route 6.
Dominique Taylor Photography/taylordmedia@icloud.com

Route 6 is the place locals in the know go for an inexpensive, healthy meal and a casual hangout to throw some darts, shoot pool on the multiple tables or play pinball and other games. Music is important at Route 6, with Fridays featuring the D.J. Dance Night and Sundays showcasing the Vail Valley Band with Don Watson and Beth Swearingen. The stage springs to life with local talent during karaoke on Wednesday nights and open-mic on Thursdays. Check in on Saturdays — sometimes they get hot, hot, hot with Latino Americano dance night. The family-friendly establishment even provides a play area for little ones, so mom and dad can have a worry-free date night. The lounge, filled with multiple big screen televisions and couches to sit back and relax in the pool table area, make it the perfect area to gather with friends for appetizers and beers.

The café offers many gluten-free dishes. Chefs use quality ingredients, including pink salt to flavor dishes and antibiotic-free, cage-free, vegetarian-fed Red Bird Chicken and all-natural, hormone-free beef and nitrate-free cold cuts.

Start your day with a hearty breakfast such as steak and eggs, breakfast burritos, omelets, Benedicts, waffles, pancakes and more. 

Lunch features classic sandwiches like a Reuben, French dip and po’ boys, burgers and a fun pineapple-basil chicken sandwich. And then there’s the fan favorite fish and chips, which is available all day. While you’ll of course find your wings, nachos and guacamole at Route 6 for appetizers, you can also order the likes of calamari, tuna wontons and steamed mussels.

Seafood pasta with garlic bread at Route 6.
Dominique Taylor Photography/taylordmedia@icloud.com

Dinner entrees range from chicken, veggie or shrimp curry to grilled Atlantic Scottish salmon or buffalo meatloaf and more. It’s no wonder Route 6 Café has been a locals’ favorite in the Vail Valley: With a large selection of homemade dishes and great entertainment, along with daily happy hour specials from 3-6 p.m., it’s just where you want to be. 

If you go…

Route 6 Cafe
40801 Route 6
Avon, CO

Apps $12- $16
Dinner Entrees start at $18

Neighborhood sports bar
and local hangout

Signature dish
Fish and chips

Meet the artists: Jane DeDecker and Nancy Switzer join forces at Edwards’ Claggett/Rey Gallery

“Within Arms,” by Jane DeDecker, bronze, 19″ x 14″ x 9″, Claggett/Rey Gallery.
Courtesy image

At first glance, there’s no obvious similarity between Nancy Switzer and Jane DeDecker or their work. DeDecker sculpts (oftentimes life-sized) human figures and animals out of clay. Switzer paints inanimate objects – cartons, cans, sacks and bottles – on canvas. However, DeDecker says there’s a directness and similar palpable energy to both of their work. Switzer describes their common ground as “ballsy.”

“Both of us enjoy simply handling the medium we are using, which is evident in the finished work,” Switzer said. “I think we have a similar gusto for the tactile experience of creating something out of a physically malleable substance. Neither of us erases or smooths out the evidence. While paint and clay are a means to arrive at depicting subject matter, in our work, paint and clay become their own part of the subject matter.”

Both women are based in Colorado and will be coming together for a special exhibition at the Claggett/Rey Gallery in Edwards, beginning with an artists reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 11.

DeDecker, who has six sisters and three brothers, was born in Iowa and moved with her family to Loveland, Colo., when she was 10. She has possessed a creative drive as long as she can remember.

“It’s always saved me,” she said. “I studied at the University of Northern Colorado, working in fibers and figurative drawing. A summer job opened up working in a sculpting studio. That summer job turned into an eight-year apprenticeship, learning the ins and outs of creating sculpture. I really love it. There’s so much problem-solving involved and each piece has its own challenges. Being raised on a farm, working together with family, it was really formative. Working with communities means being the eyes, hands and ears of how the community might want to represent their values. I like all of the interactive layers of sculpting.”

DeDecker sculpts in clay and works with her team – mostly family members – through the multi-step process of engineering molds and casting the metal. Over the years, her work has depicted numerous iconic women such as Harriett Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Susan B. Anthony. Her newest collection largely features animals, which she views as embodiments of emotions. One new piece she is calling “Kindred” features a woman surrounded by numerous dogs. It was inspired on a walk she took while her brother was fighting a serious illness at Denver’s Kindred Hospital.

“Dog Walker — Untitled,” by Jane DeDecker, clay original, Claggett/Rey Gallery.
Courtesy image

“One particular day he was having a really hard time. I said to my sister-in-law, ‘we are going to get out of here, go for a walk.’ There was a guy walking 11 dogs. We are both dog lovers. It was a much-needed release for us. It really lifted our spirits,” DeDecker said. “That’s the theme of my work, transcending the darkness. I did some creative purging pieces during Covid. It was a heavy time. These new pieces are about gratitude and lifting the spirit.”

Switzer, who grew up in a musical family and played the violin professionally for many years, works in an entirely different medium, focusing on entirely different subjects. Nonetheless, she charges her work with similar problem-solving focus. However, her approach involves more of a scientific rather than an emotional dynamic.

“I’m always attempting some idea that is a bit beyond my capabilities. I have to acquire the ability to achieve the results I want,” Switzer said. “I have been using reflective and transparent objects in simple constructions to get at transitions of large swaths of color and at the same time, break the surface down into pieces of paint that give off the same qualities as the objects themselves. The cans are especially excellent for this enterprise.”

“Bowls,” by Nancy Switzer, oil on canvas, 48″ x 24″, Claggett/Rey Gallery.
Courtesy image

Switzer continues to use similar objects in her work because she feels there is always something more – a tinge of light, a stabilizing curve – to capture.

“This process knocks me on my rear again and again,” she said. “But over time, I get closer to what I am going after, although I’m never satisfied. That’s the difficulty and the beauty of it … and why I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Artist Nancy Switzer in her studio.
Courtesy image
Artist Jane DeDecker in her studio.
Courtesy image

Claggett/Rey Gallery owner Bill Rey describes the combination of DeDecker and Switzer’s work “the perfect pairing.” He believes each artist strikes with their respective mediums with a resounding confidence and boldness he equates to a multi-piece musical performance. 

“When I look at their work over the years, I would say that each are the conductors and creators of their own symphonies. There will be the deep, confident bass all the way through to the delicacies of a piccolo, where one plays off the other, but overall adds to the whole,” Rey said. “If you give yourself the freedom to observe and enjoy, they just might change your life for the better. There is nothing like living with the resonance of truly fine art.”

Artists Reception

Meet the artists Jane DeDecker & Nancy Switzer

March 11, 5 to 8 p.m.

Claggett/Rey Gallery
216 Main Street, Suite C-100
Edwards, Colorado 81632

Lemon Rock offers personalized sommelier service in Vail

How do you take a catered party, special dinner at home or festive apres event to the next level? Bring in personalized sommelier service, of course.

Jason Hunter, a certified sommelier with a career in fine dining, has filled a niche in the Vail Valley with his recent venture Lemon Rock. And he’s a featured guest at the upcoming Taste of Vail festival next month, April 5-8.

“I like to think of myself as a sommelier in slippers,” he said, laughing.

His services are wide ranging, but they all center around wine and other beverages, from helping curate bottles for a private collection to pairing wines from clients’ own cellars that will accompany a special meal. Parties might be large-scale events, educational tasting seminars or something more intimate such as a romantic dinner for two.

“People come to Vail from all over the world to vacation here,” he said. “And they want to engage with all of those wonderful things we offer.”

And he’s part of that good life.

Lemon Rock offerings include wine cellar curating, educational private tastings, personalized dinner service and more.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

Après Soirées: Champagne Powder Day

Whether you’re pushing powder around or crushing groomers, bubbles await your return from the slopes with our signature caviar service of black caviar, creme fraiche and Ruffles.

“A sommelier will arrive before the guests, to prepare caviar service ahead of their arrival,” Hunter said. “Everyone is greeted with a glass of choice Champagne, which can segue into any of our bespoke offerings.”

Those offerings include experiences such as Rosé and Steak Tartare, or Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with cheese and charcuterie.

Chef-to-Table Experiences

Lemon Rock partners with restaurants and private chefs, bringing fine dining experiences to the dinner table at home. Using a bevy of private chefs — and of course having exclusive access to some of the Vail Valley’s restaurants — Lemon Rock sommeliers will pick up and prepare dinner for service, pair and procure the wines, and provide what Hunter describes as “our seamless sommelier service” throughout the dining experience.

Sommelier Service for Private Events

“Imagine hosting a dinner party and not having to think about what wine to serve, if it’s good enough, where to get it, if it’s at the right temperature, whether to decant it or not and for how long, if a wine is flawed, what stemware to use — are there enough stems? — when to serve what wine, how to pour it, why you paired it with your food, where your guests can find more of it, and any number of questions your guests might have about the wine itself,” he says.

Of course, Lemon Rock sommeliers answer all of these questions. For more information visit LemonRockWines.com.

Taste of Vail

April 5-8, 2023
Locations throughout Vail Village and Vail Mountain
For schedule of events visit tasteofvail.com

Fresh new look, same solid menu at Marko’s in Edwards

Things look different at Marko’s. Freshly painted walls, bricked counter and walls, new art. Cleaner, more contemporary and slightly dramatic. But despite the massive facelift the locals joint recently received, it’s still the same classic pizza and pasta restaurant, buzzing with regulars starting with lunch and straight through until dinner. And proprietor Mark Esteppe is usually in the middle of it all, working the register, introducing people to one another or simply shooting the breeze. He’s been there for 28 years, and over the years, the formula hasn’t changed much: fresh ingredients, dough made daily, house-made sauces and dressings, and plenty of libations. It’s a winning combination.

Recently completed renovations expanding the bar and updated furniture has created a welcoming and new vibe for Marko’s Pizzeria.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

Esteppe claims the best Caesar salad around, the dressing zippy with a touch of anchovy and a little hot sauce. Those who want a more substantial starter can go for a famous Marko’s Meatball or Juan’s Spicy Shrimp — but it’s hard to beat the buttery garlic knots.

Hot subs, calzones and pastas are in ample supply, but the pizza remains the number-one favorite. Though the house dough is a chewy delight, there’s a gluten-free option too. The menu includes some original combinations and names,  it’s hard to beat the decadent, loaded supreme with pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, onion, green pepper, black olives and mozzarella.

“It’s the best pizza in this town,” Esteppe said. “Best crust, best staff. Members of our kitchen staff have been here 20 years, 11 years, 8 years. We keep it in the family.”

Garlic knots at Marko’s in Edwards.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

He’s got a point with the crust — just chewy enough and nicely browned on the bottom. It makes a great foil for the inventive pizzas. The Moontime Pie is named for the owner of Moontime Cyclery, who always ordered a basic margherita jazzed up with feta and sausage in addition to the classic tomato and basil. The Sweet Border includes pepperoni, pineapple, jalapeño, cilantro and mozzarella — some like to sub out the classic sauce for barbecue.

“It’s really not just the food, it’s the atmosphere, the welcoming invitation that we’re all a family,” Esteppe said.

The family-friendly restaurant welcomes soccer teams, and has become a beacon for those who want to eat later as they serve until 10 p.m. daily. With plenty of beer on tap and in bottles, plus a menu that’s full of Italian wines, it’s an easy place to stop and stay for a while. It’s a winning combination. And so is the brand new look. 

Marko’s Pizza

57 Edwards Access road #7
Edwards, CO


Starters: $4.99 and up
Pasta: $12.99 and up
Pizza $9.99 and up

Local, family-style pizzeria

Signature dishes
Pizza and pasta

At Raitman Art Galleries in Vail, ‘beautiful imperfection’

“Starlight Dreams,” by Rolinda Stotts, oil on canvas with wooden frame, 60″ x 46″, Raitman Art Galleries.
Courtesy image, Raitman Art Galleries

For Rolinda Stotts, beauty lies in imperfection. That’s why she describes her pieces as bella rotta, Italian for “beautifully imperfect.”

Within the concept of bella rotta dwells Stotts’ brilliance. While traveling in Italy as a 22-year-old with her husband, she noticed that most of the revered works of art, from paintings to architecture, are cracked.

“It spoke to my whole passion and love with this sense of old and aging,” she said, explaining how she grew up on a dairy farm in Eastern Oregon in a peeling, old farmhouse regularly visiting older neighbors, all of whom her parents encouraged her to relate to as grandparents. “We’ve created age to be a bad thing, a fearful thing, but the reality is we are designed to age. We are designed to crack and get wrinkles, and the more we run from it, the scarier and harder it gets, but we also (revere) aged wine and even balsamic vinegar. (In the art world), what gives us comfort are these masters that have been preserved and have held up. Because it’s history, it grounds us, it gives us purpose, it makes sense. It helps us understand that we are so much more than our stories.”

Stotts’ practice of generating bella rotta previously involved breaking her completed paintings to create cracks, but now she fractures her bare canvases first, then secures them to wooden panels before applying oil paints — the medium in which she found her soul, she says. She then applies a seal that reveals the cracks, making the painting safe, and inviting, to physically touch and admire.

“The concept comes from a very emotional place. I feel broken, just like all of us do. It’s this philosophy that when we have the right support, we feel safe, and that’s what makes it beautiful,” she says, explaining her 10-step process, which includes cutting each canvas into custom sizes and shapes to match the box she creates to hold the canvas. “The canvas is fragile and will disintegrate, or fall apart, if not cared for and put into a wood box, or platform. I like to remind people that we are the canvas; when we’re in unsafe places, we fall apart, but when we have the backup and love and support of friends and family and community, we are beautiful because we can survive and thrive.”

“Party Hat,” by Rolinda Stotts, oil on canvas with wooden frame, 18″ x 11″, Raitman Art Galleries.
Courtesy image, Raitman Art Galleries

Once the canvas and box become one, she adds an additional element, which also makes her paintings incredibly unique: She creates a “crust,” or an outer edge of the painting, through various mediums. The innovative “wooden crust” becomes yet another measure of protection for the canvas.

“Her process of incorporating wood into her work and tearing apart the (piece) to give the painting a fractured appearance has this earthy and imperfect element to it that speaks so well to what we see in the natural world,” says Brian Raitman, co-owner of Raitman Art Galleries. “She’s an impressionist with a technique that is entirely her own. Those elements combine to give her art a sense of timelessness while also feeling completely fresh and new. The unique quality of her art grabs you, and it doesn’t let go, like a great dream. Her paintings are imbued with the same lovely energy that she possesses as a human, too. They’re fun. They’re beautiful. And they’re different.” 

Raitman first saw Stotts’ work over a decade ago.

“The painting that caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks was of a wintery forest partially hidden in the clouds,” he recalls. “The colors and composition were great. The subject matter spoke to me. It was clear she loves painting landscapes. Her approach to doing so really stands out. She has an uncanny ability to make her paintings dreamlike.”

Nature acts as Stotts’ muse, from ski runs, mountain peaks and aspens in Vail and surrounding areas to orchids and other florals, or even game fish.

“I’m smitten by what Mother Nature and the world gives us,” she said.

She also finds inspiration in people, specifically those who commission pieces. Her ultimate satisfaction stems from making something for others, as she collaboratively works with homeowners and businesses to fill entire walls, or just create one special piece.

“It’s this process of listening to someone’s needs and their dreams and desires, and really, their requirements, if they have a big wall to fill, and doing it in a way that is them. They become my art teacher. That sounds funny to say, but I’m always learning from them because people will have very specific needs, like the color of the snow in the shadows or a specific mountain,” she says. “The painting becomes a legacy, a true expression of love — something that represents this family or this company. We talk about their passions, their loves and use their photos for reference, or they’ll pick a mountain or sky from my paintings (to incorporate). They get to create. They get to play with the ideas. As I listen to all of that, the painting takes on a life of its own. I call it this whole co-creative adventure.”

In this way, she leads clients on a four-phase, co-creative cycle, which includes: getting inspired, observing, acting on that which we must translate into art, and, finally, sharing, or distributing that art.

“When we step into the creative process, we feel alive. (When we distribute art), we inspire, and we might even inspire ourselves,” she says. “Sharing expands the creative process. To me, a painting isn’t finished until it finds a home.”

Learning about, and talking to people, as well as exploring “the adventure of what’s around the corner is what keeps me going,” she said.

Ultimately, she aims to instill a sense of peace through her paintings.

“I work really hard to get into a Zen state of peacefulness, because I feel I have an obligation to gift that to the world,” she said.

And, indeed, her work conveys not only rich layers, colors and textures, but also that deep sense of calm and connection to all things “imperfectly” beautiful.

Meet the Artist

Rolinda Stotts
Chat with the artist and watch her paint live
March 10-11, throughout the day
223 Gore Creek Dr,
Vail, CO 81657

Vail’s original Mexican restaurant, Los Amigos

Chips with guacamole, queso, jalapeño bean dip and salsa.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

Los Amigos — it’s not just a restaurant. Sure, it’s a taqueria and bar, with one of the most coveted locations Vail Village. But it’s also an energy, and it’s on the move. Owner Drew Riley has spent the past year dialing in the restaurant’s signature margarita, and now it can come to you. Los Amigos now delivers its margaritas — and more — in both Vail and Lionshead Villages, thanks to a trusty fat tire Blix delivery bike and some changes to local liquor laws. At the moment, the margaritas are available in half- and full-liter options. But in the not-too-distant future, they’ll also be available in cans, just begging to be enjoyed in hot tubs, on hikes or even at home as a vacation souvenir.

And as for that delivery bike, imagine kicking back in the condo after a long day on the slopes and just ordering in, no shoes required. Tacos, burritos, chile rellenos — you get the picture. But back to those margaritas…

“Our Mi Amigo is our flagship margarita,” said Riley. “And we’re still making iterations on that. The more we try things, the better everything is going to come out. I want to finalize the menu and margarita by the end of the winter, and then go into canning.”

Each ingredient in the Mi Amigo has been tried, tweaked and evaluated, not simply on its own but as part of the whole. For consistency’s sake, everything has to be available year-round, meaning no seasonal fruits.

“Pineapple and grapefruit juice are where we’re at, and orange juice and lime juice are already in there,” he said. “Patron Citron, Triple Sec, Cointreau — we’re dialing in the right amount of sweetness.”

And then there’s the spice. They’ve discovered their customers want the merest hint of spice, more as an accent to make the other flavors bloom. And for that, there’s nothing better than Colorado green chiles, giving the Mexican cocktail a local Colorado connection.

“It’s not so much that the Mi Amigo has changed, we’re really just refining what we’re doing,” Riley says. And that goes for the whole operation. No big menu overhauls, no expansive redesigns, but a commitment to simply making it the best, most customer-friendly experience for people.

Fajitas with chicken, steak, shrimp and veggies.
Dominique Taylor/EAT Magazine

It’s still a high-energy hotspot, with views of Bridge Street on the front side and Pepi’s Face out the back. The menu includes classic Mexican-American standards — shrimp enchiladas, carnitas burritos, fajitas — as well as lighter, more contemporary street tacos — mango chicken, lobster, carne asada. Of course shareables like guacamole, queso and nachos work as traditional appetizers or simply apres ski snacks. And a couple of sandwiches, whether it’s the Mexican torta or an American burger, round it out.

Just as important as the food, though, is the service. And that’s where Riley’s engineer’s brain kicks into high gear, plotting efficiencies to make it a better experience for the guest. And so he’s added a shortcut for diners, should they want it. A fairly new father, he’s discovered what parents everywhere discover: When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. When a server brings the check, diners have the option to scan a QR code and pay from their phone.

“We know our customer, we know who we’re catering to,” Riley said. “There are a lot of people who want to just have drinks, be in and out.” And Los Amigos aims to please.  

Los Amigos

400 Bridge Street
Vail, CO
970-476-5847 losamigosvail.com

A la carte street tacos start at $5; apps and entrées from $4.50 – $19.75

Energetic bar and taqueria in the heart of Vail Village

Signature dish
Street tacos;
Mi Amigo margarita

Vista at Arrowhead’s tried-and-true approach

Walk into Vista and you can immediately tell who’s been there before. They’ve requested a table in view of Micky Poage, “Vail’s Piano Man,” and will happily nod along to all sorts of songs while eating, drinking and having an excellent time in general. Micky’s following is pretty passionate, and keeps people heading to the restaurant in Arrowhead from up and down the valley.

The musician’s draw is real, but Vista’s staying power comes from getting it so right across the board. There’s the easy hospitality that comes from a neighborhood restaurant used to hosting visitors from around the globe. The friendly bar that beckons for a nibble and nosh with a glass of wine or cocktail. The newly refreshed dining room, the view outside and the longevity of the staff. And, at the heart of it all, Restauranteur Daryl DeYoung and Chef Dave Collins, a dynamic duo of a team that lives and breathes dining and hospitality.

Vista’s tuna poke is a veritable tower with seaweed salad, avocado, mango aioli and taro chips.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

Collins manages to write a menu that seems absolutely abundant with options — both new and the tried-and-true — without being overwhelming. First courses run the gamut from crisp salads to garlicky, brothy mussels to veal and pork meatballs with eggplant caponata. The tuna poke tower is a stunner, piled high with seaweed salad, avocado, mango aioli and taro chips. And the panzenella salad is a zippy affair, with chunks of Italian bread tossed with olives, tomatoes and mozzarella in a balsamic vinaigrette.

The entrée list is packed with winners, such as seafood cioppino, a 14-oz. brined Duroc pork chop with maple baby carrots and a twice-baked potato, and an amazingly tender braised Rocky Mountain lamb shank with mushroom risotto and brussels sprouts. A vegetarian tower of various grilled, roasted and pureed veggies with a tomato sauce is a real showstopper. But the sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna is probably the Vista’s “most signature” of dishes, seared rare and served with jasmine rice, stir-fried veggies and both wasabi crema and soy-ginger butter sauce.

Vista’s butternut squash agnolotti shines with sage and brown butter and crushed hazelnuts.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

But guests who prefer to call the shots will love the customer-composed entrée section. Pick a protein — any of the above entrée items, in addition to Colorado steaks and short ribs, duck, fish and seafood — before pairing it with a homemade sauce like fresh horseradish cream, lemon picatta or red wine demi-glace. Accessorize with sides — the vegetable options are deep — and the resulting plate is a completely customized culinary adventure. 

Vista has been employing this mix-and-match style for several years, allowing guests to employ their creativity (and address any dietary restrictions) while streamlining the magic in the kitchen.

House-made veal and pork meatballs include eggplant caponata and mozzarella.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

“We still wanted to have dishes that we’ve put together, but this gives guests the opportunity to choose exactly what they want,” DeYoung explained. End the evening with one of the house-made desserts or better yet, mini samplers for the table to share. And go for the suggested drink pairings — or skip right ahead to Daryl’s Sleepytime, with butterscotch schnapps and steamed milk.  

Vista at Arrowhead

Country Club of the Rockies Clubhouse
676 Sawatch Drive, Edwards

The magic of Vail’s Red Maple Catering

Instead of making reservations, let the restaurant come to you — chefs, servers, bartenders… and of course the dishwashers.

Jason Harrison and Fletcher Harrison’s Red Maple Catering is an entirely different catering group. The Red Maple crew has established itself as the sort of people who can throw a party anywhere: an expansive meadow, a private home, at the top of the chair lift — just name it. In other words, they do it all, and they do it really, really well.

Harrison came to Vail from Bellagio in Las Vegas, where a “big” event meant feeding 4,500 people. In love with cooking, eating and sharing, Vail’s discerning palates and educated clientele are a good fit for the talented chef. 

“We started out slow —  we focused on getting things right and wowing people, and that hasn’t changed. We’ve grown significantly, but we’ve kept our identity,” he said.

Red Maple has expanded to other markets too: Dallas and Park City. And though each place has its own culinary personality, the dedication to excellence is consistent. And bonus — when they have multiple large events simultaneously, they simply have their other chefs jet in and help.

Since launching, Red Maple Catering has created dining experiences for a diverse list of clients, from some of the world’s top CEOs, to athletes at the top of their game. And they’ve catered meals for celebrities in search of great food and privacy. 

Clients come to them for three reasons:

•   They want the best, and don’t want the stress of bringing their family and friends to a restaurant — or trying to get a reservation.

•   They want the details taken care of — and Red Maple has chefs, servers, a mixologist and even a sommelier on staff. 

• They want a true Colorado dining experience with ingredient-driven menus, and a real sense of location. 

Also, Chef Harrison is adept at conveying his passion for all things culinary in inspiring and innovative ways. His menus intrigue and delight. 

“Cooking to me is the greatest creative outlet there is,” he said. “It is both how I can express my creative side, and show my passion for ingredients at the same time.” 

And he agrees with Julia Child: 

People who love to eat are always the best people. 

So how does he keep it fresh?

“I like the challenge,” he said. “I love it when somebody calls and says, ‘I really like this particular dish, but nobody else can do it. Can you?’ And sometimes it’s completely random. But I’ve got staff that has worked at some of the best restaurants in the world — Mediterranean/Israeli food, Asian, you name it.”

And he also likes to stay immersed in all things food-related. “I stay inspired by talking to, working with and reading about food every day,” he said. “Ninety percent of my friends are chefs and some are within the best restaurants and hotels in the world. Keeping up with emerging dining trends is not easy, but with a strong network — and lots of food-focused travel — we keep pushing the boundaries.” 

Red Maple Catering

Located wherever you’d like

Price: Varies

Ambiance: At your discretion

Signature dish: What would you like?

Bringing East Coast deli style to Edwards Riverwalk

The Boardroom’s Riva Ridge Italian with capicola, roasted ham, genoa salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar on French bread with house-brewed iced tea.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

Want to know where the locals go for breakfast and lunch? At Boardroom Market & Deli, you’re likely to run into several longtime locals, a smattering of in-the-know visitors and perhaps even extreme skiing champ and hall-of-famer Chris Anthony.

Boardroom Deli’s made-to-order mentality elevates homemade to the next level, with a carefully curated selection of hand-crafted, freshly-carved meats, fresh-cut salads and small-bath, house-made soups.

Boardroom is a local staple that impresses even the most discriminating East Coast visitor’s tastes; owner and chef Brad Trumpower grew up in Ocean City, Maryland and then worked at Red Sky Ranch and Zach’s Cabin in the valley, so he knows how to create — and maintain — an outstanding deli. With Greek inspirations from his mom and Italian influences from family-owned Italian restaurants on the East Coast, Trumpower sources his fresh breads for their special “chew” factor and his meats for quality.

Sandwiches feature one of about six different fresh breads he brings in daily, like Pepi’s Face Meatball, oozing with provolone and house-made red sauce on French bread. (Gluten-free or wraps are also available, and since every sandwich is custom made to order, substitutes are no problem.)

Then come the outstanding meats: He imports top-tier pastramis, salamis and prosciuttos directly from Italy; roasts, slices and cooks his roast beef, turkey and chicken breast in house so there are no preservatives; and makes his super-fresh meatballs every morning around 10:30 a.m.

While any reputable deli starts with quality ingredients, Boardroom’s continued success also has to do with that friendly, neighborhood feel; Trumpower’s upbeat personality sets the tone for his employees. You’ll find him greeting regulars by name, chatting with newcomers and sometimes multitasking in the kitchen to deliver to-go and catering orders.

Speedy service lets you grab a “first chair breakfast,” from hearty eggs your way or heavenly French toast with sliced bananas and candied pecans to a healthy berry and acai smoothie or granola bowl with Greek yogurt and fruit. Selections from Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea pump you up for the day, while the mimosa, bloody Mary, screwdriver or greyhound offer a more mellow start.

Boardroom makes it easy — and affordable — to eat fresh your entire day on the mountain: From 7:30 a.m. on, you can order a grab-and-go cold sandwich, including turkey, BLTs, chicken, tuna, shrimp salad sandwiches and “steep and deep” roast beef.

Hot sandwiches warm your belly after a morning on the mountain with classics like the French dip, piled high with thinly-sliced, lean roast beef with provolone and a side of au jus; chicken wraps with a spicy kick; and prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and fig spread on French bread. Plus, Boardroom offers veggie delights, seared blue crab and a red tail lobster with citrus dressing on a roll.

The Boardroom’s Horiatiki Greek Salad with romaine, cherry tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, kalamata olives, feta, red wine vinaigrette.
Barry Eckhaus/EAT Magazine

Greek, Caesar, Italian antipasto and mixed green salads are made with fresh-cut greens, while small-batch soups created from scratch rotate daily. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, the bright mountain vibe welcomes early-mountain adventurers to fuel up for the day or unwind in the afternoon with draft beers, IPAs and stouts, hard ciders, wines, prosecco and cocktails like the Ocean City Orange Crush (made from fresh-squeezed OJ, lemon-lime soda, vodka and triple sec). Its inexpensive freshly-made breakfasts, lunches, to-go and catered options make it a favorite in the valley.

Boardroom Market & Deli

280 Main St., Riverwalk
Edwards, CO
970-855-0065 BoardroomDeli.com

$7-$16 lunch;
$7-$11 breakfast

Lively East Coast-style deli with an emphasis on fresh, house-made salads, soups and sandwiches with quality meats and breads

Signature Dish
Riva Ridge Italian