At Bol Vail, the cuisine is the main attraction | VailDaily.com

At Bol Vail, the cuisine is the main attraction

Kari Mohr
EAT Magazine

Since first coming onto the scene a decade ago, Bol’s chic yet fun approach to fine dining and entertainment have made it the lively heart of Vail’s social scene.

By day, passersby are naturally drawn to its wide green lawn in Solaris plaza, which Bol enlivens with games like corn hole, ping pong and space enough to kick around a soccer ball. Their lawn-side Grab-n-Go serves up delicious offerings like a Sicilian pizza as well as a bar, which parents will especially appreciate as they sit back and watch the kids play.

At 4 p.m., the main restaurant, bar and bowling alley opens its doors for the evening. And it’s a stunning entrance. The long arc of the white-topped bar leads guests inside, and is usually populated with a Colorado-approved mix of those just in from a day on the mountain and those dressed to impress for a night on the town.

Executive Chef Paula Turner, a resident of the Vail Valley for 20-plus years, approaches the fine dine offerings with a healthy dose of light-hearted wit. “We are a bowling alley after all,” she says with a grin.

With that in mind, the menu features a robust selection of shareables that are familiar and yet a far cry from your father’s bowling league fare. From Lamb Lolipops and Crispy Confit Chicken wings, to the Tennessee Hot Sliders and the Fungus Among Us Flat Bread, these mouth-watering dishes are easy to eat between turns bowling or at a lively table in the main restaurant.

One of the most popular main dishes is the Whole Pan-Roasted Branzino, which premiered on the menu this last winter. Served with the full table-side deboning treatment, in summer the fish is stuffed with local herbs and a colorful side of seasonal veggies and a wilted spinach salad. Keep an eye out for the beef dishes on the menu, with meat sourced from Eaton Ranch just down the road in Edwards. The ranch is a part of the storied history of the Vail Valley, run by the family of Vail co-founder Earl Eaton.

Save room for dessert because you don’t want to miss one of Pastry Chef Ryan Walker’s brilliant creations. Born and bred in the Vail Valley, Walker worked in renowned restaurants like Nomad in New York City and in kitchens across Europe before making his way back home to put his immense talents to work at Bol. His Chocolate Sphere Bol-ing Ball is a show-stopping standout. The hollow dark chocolate sphere is filled with chocolate cake, candied walnuts, pastry cream and raspberries then doused with hot caramel sauce at your table in a decadent revelation.

At Bol you can’t help but get swept up in the delightful dichotomies: elegant yet approachable, high-end yet fun. It’s a can’t-miss stop for any visit to Vail.