Best Of: Calamari |

Best Of: Calamari

Alexie CatalanoUp the Creek's calamari is tender, not rubbery.

It’s hard to say what’s better: the view of Gore Creek or the food. Luckily, nobody’s choosing sides at Vail’s Up the Creek: It’s one smooth operation. The calamari appetizer is popular for good reason. “It’s a calamari steak instead of a tube,” says executive chef Matthew Wadding. “It comes in an 8-ounce steak that I julienne, then marinate in buttermilk for 24 hours.” The marinating tenderizes it; there’s nothing rubbery about it. A 30-second flash fry is the finishing touch. It’s crisp and savory, especially with the dipping sauces.

At Mezzaluna in Lionshead, the crisp calamari is served in strips with a spicy chili sauce on the side. The restaurant, located right on the snow, dishes out great pizzas, too.

Also in Lionshead is Billy’s Island Grill, offering a little tropical warmth both summer and winter. The calamari isn’t fried but sauteed, and it comes with a pungent cilantro sauce.

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