Zino Ristorante in Edwards draws from owners Italian experience | VailDaily.com

Zino Ristorante in Edwards draws from owners Italian experience

Melanie Grangaard
Special to the Weekly
Risotto di Mare with mussels, clams, shrimp and heirloom tomatoes.
Dominique Taylor/Dominique Taylor Photography | Dominique Taylor | Special to th

If you go ...

What: ZINO RISTORANTE, an upscale Italian restaurant with a warm winter welcome.

Where: Riverwalk at Edwards, 27 MAIN ST., EDWARDS.

Cost: Appetizers and salads $11-$15; pizzas, pastas and entrees $16-$35.

Signature dish: Quaglia (citrus-marinated quail), Fonduta, Porchetta Pizza, Rigatoni (with elk sausage), Tagliolini (wild boar sugo) and Short Rib Bollito.

More information: Call 970-926-0777 or visit http://www.ZINORISTORANTE.COM.

Editor’s note: This article was previously published as a paid feature in EAT, a compendium of restaurant snapshots featuring the best in Vail Valley dining. Look for it on newsstands everywhere.

Armed with only a simple set of silverware, guests at Zino Ristorante in Edwards are outfitted to experience memorable and contemporary — not to mention beautiful — Italian food any day of the week. Located at the west end of the Riverwalk at Edwards, Zino is known for its welcoming atmosphere, which incorporates a comfortable bar area as well as sit-down dining downstairs and, in the summer, an expansive patio that overlooks the Eagle River.

Offering its regular happy hour specials as well as Tuesday night Mussel Madness, Zino has developed a loyal following among locals. The eatery is designed to be comfortable for all who are hoping to enjoy a good meal, whether guests are coming in for a beer and pizza while watching sports at the bar or planning on purchasing a bottle or two of wine over an extended dinner with friends.

Inspired Cuisine

Chef and Co-owner Nick Haley, who moved to Italy right after high school, draws from his experiences of authentic cuisine as well as his professional training to fuel his creative spins on classic Italian fare. Take pizza, for example. Though the staple Margherita, as well as the Funghi, featuring wild mushrooms and truffle oil, are ever-present on the menu, guests can also find the Pere e Proscuitto, studded with pears, prosciutto and sage. Another winner — and a new addition for the winter menu — is the Porchetta, topped with thinly sliced Tuscan pork roast, clams, roasted bell peppers, scallions and lemon mascarpone.

But to really experience the application of the chef’s creativity, guests at Zino should consider the homemade pasta options. Smoked Colorado elk sausage, pecorino, caramelized onions and rapini can be found in the Rigatoni alla Checca, a marriage of flavors perfect for the after-skiing palate. The Ravioli, which features roasted beets, goat cheese, grilled artichokes, fennel, tarragon, arugula and brown butter, is one of the numerous vegetarian options to be found on the menu, and its purple-hued filling is as rich to the eye as it is to the mouth.

If you enjoy the visual aspect of eating well-crafted food, however, consider the Risotto di Mare. This dish is artistic in its design of Carnaroli risotto, which is aged and prized as a “higher rice” by Chef Haley. Clams, mussels, shrimp, and heirloom cherry tomatoes complete the assemblage.

While the bright colors, and generous portions of the delicious dishes are certain to leave satisfied guests, it’s also the overall convivial atmosphere that brings people through the door — both ways — with a smile. General Manager and Co-owner Giuseppe Bosco brings genuine warmth and hospitality to his guests, that, true to his Italian heritage, includes a passion for food and wine, but also emphasizes enjoyment of the moment. Visit Zino, and sate your hungry spirit.

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