Starters and shared plates: $5-$22
Trendy bistro with full food-and-drink service ... bowling alley in the back
Colorado striped bass with red milled polenta and charred leeks,
topped with tomato saffron butter
141 East Meadow Dr #113 | Solaris | Vail |970.476.5300 | bolvail.com
Bowling alleys aren’t usually known for their food, but Bōl’s farm-fresh, bistro-style cuisine has raised the bar in Vail Village, pairing dynamic menus and crafty libations with scores of entertainment and late-night fun.
Executive Chef Julian Smith has been on site since the conception of this chic hangout, and he and chef Doug Klacik keep all of Bōl’s modern fare grounded in mountain flavors and high-end purveyors.
“I have been doing this since we opened, for six years, with Doug as my right-hand man, and I feel like the relationships with the farms, and the fish suppliers — everything on the menu — is honed,” Smith says. “We are really conscious and aware of where it all comes from, and how much we’re using, and how much goes in the garbage, and what’s the impact on the environment, and the town, and how we can make it all better, all the time.”
Eat and drink at the bar, in the dining room, or in the booths beside the bowling lanes, and Bōl has an outdoor seating space too — perfect for sunny a sun-drenched afternoon lunch or al fresco dinner.
Some of Bōl’s ingredients are about as local as you can get. All of burgers and steaks, for example, come from grass-fed cows raised at Eaton Ranch, just down the road in Edwards.
“These are cows that are raised drinking the same water and breathing the same air as we are,” Smith says.
Bōl’s summer tomatoes are very special, too — meaty slices of red, orange and yellow heirlooms. For a taste, try Bōl’s market tomato stack, sandwiched between leaves of basil and a buffalo mozzarella and a hint of barnyard … in a good way.
“It’s a caprese, but what sets it apart is the flavor of the tomatoes that we get from the farmers’ market out here, and from various sources in Colorado that will have amazing tomatoes this summer,” Smith says.
Summer inspiration stays very apparent throughout Bōl’s lunch and dinner menus this time of year, with a golden summer corn soup that’s served with lump crab, chives, cojita cheese and chorizo oil essence, and a marinated and char-marked octopus dish atop panzanella-style chopped veggies, crushed tomato dressing and grilled bread.
Bōl has their thin-crust pizza game dialed, meanwhile, and one winning curveball is The Fun Guy, a pie with San Marzano tomatoes, a touch of parmesan and mozzarella, forest mushrooms and black truffle, all topped with two eggs sunny-side-up. Wash it down with a Colorado draft, like the Hot Mess Blonde from Vail Brewing Company.
The must-have main dish this summer is the Colorado striped bass, a white bass from Alamosa Bōl’s kitchen cooks up for a plate of dynamic texture and flavor. The meaty fish falls onto a fork in gleaming flakes, paired alongside charred leaks and red milled polenta cake and coated with a tomato saffron butter.
Cocktail crafting is given the same attention as food at Bōl, and mixologist Tacy Rowland has plenty of award-winning concoctions on offer. For dessert, though, order the milkshake-style white Russian for a decadent nightcap. It might even make you bowl better.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.