Pepi’s Bar and Restaurant features wraparound patio, European charm | VailDaily.com

Pepi’s Bar and Restaurant features wraparound patio, European charm

Kimberly Nicoletti
EAT Magazine
Heirloom tomato salad with burrata cheese, marinated tomatoe wedges, Burrata cheese, spiced sunflower seed, baby arugula, broken vinaigrette.
Dominique Taylor Photography
Appetizers: $18 Dinner Entrées: $22-$42 Signature dish Weinerschnitzel and Jägerschnitzel

Immerse yourself in European charm as you relax on Pepi’s wraparound deck, set against the green terrain of Vail Mountain; sip on a light hibiscus and rose-infused mule or knock back a spicy, house-infused Bloody Mary as you listen to live music in Pepi’s open-air bar; or settle into a cozy dinner featuring traditional Weinerschnitzel or trendy salads inside Pepi’s warm, Austrian-themed dining room. However you choose to experience Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant, you’re sure to create lasting memories in Vail’s iconic restaurant.

Pepi’s retains a certain allure, which echoes back to Vail’s authentic roots, when Austrian ski racer Pepi Gramshammer fell in love with the budding mountain town and got married to Sheika. The couple opened their European-inspired hotel and restaurant in 1964. Since then, Pepi and Sheika have been infusing their restaurant with a welcoming Austrian spirit and homemade international cuisine.

While long-time chefs Helmut Kaschitz (executive) and Richard Fraser (sous) will always keep traditional European favorites like the veal and pork bratwurst, beef stroganoff, jägerschnitzel with wild mushroom sauce and wienerschnitzel with braised red cabbage on the menu, they’re also rolling out lighter salads and gluten-free entrées.

Eight fresh lunch salads include the favorite Israel couscous with salmon, the rich heirloom tomato with burrata cheese and the hugely popular cobb salad with chicken, while house-made trout tacos, crab cakes, burgers and sandwiches like Pepi’s twist on the Reuben (made with pastrami) round out the menu.

Dinner features soups and salads, as well as boneless trout in a lemon caper butter sauce; pan-seared salmon served with a flavorful quinoa, butternut squash, spinach and walnut blend; short-braised ribs with a creamy Yukon Gold potato puree; and free-range chicken Florentine with couscous, mint and Feta cheese. And, for even heartier appetites: the rack of caribou or pepper steak Madagascar.

This summer, Chef Richard focuses on fish dishes, like bass, as well as modern, sear-blistered vegetables, sauces full of fresh herbs and appetizers that “keep it simple,” from Bünder Teller (air-dried, raw sirloin steak, traditionally eaten with rye bread), crispy, coconut-curry crab cakes and escargot.

Pepi’s bar comes alive with bands every day from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The bar is known for its great German (and domestic) beers and its top-notch spirits, wines and infused cocktails.

And don’t forget dessert: Helmut takes pride in the traditional apple strudel, served as a modern art piece upon the plate, with vanilla custard and ice cream. Then there’s the crème brulée, Black Forest berry cake, chocolate mousse, and, Sheika’s favorite: Heisse Liebe (meaning “hot love” in German and comprised of ice cream and a berry sauce).

With Pepi’s rich ambience, varied cuisine, international drinks, live entertainment and Bavarian-dressed, friendly wait staff, it’s no wonder the establishment has thrived for over 40 years in a village where others come and go.