Christmas in Vail: Belly up to a holiday feast at valley restaurants
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for many restaurants in the Vail Valley, it’s business as usual for Christmas, as they entertain flocks of holiday visitors from around the globe with seasonal menus and Rocky Mountain hospitality. But there are some places that have trotted out special meals and menu items for the holiday, and we’ve rounded them up here. We’ve also included lists of restaurants that will be closed Christmas Day, so you can plan your destination.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Call ahead to ensure any restaurant not listed here is open. Inclusion in this article is not a guarantee of availability, and pricing and menu items are subject to change.
The following Avon restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday: Agave, Chronic Tacos (closing early Christmas Eve), Gondola Pizza (also closed Christmas Eve), Kiwi International Delight and Coffee and Loaded Joe’s restaurant (bar will open at 8 p.m.).
• Green Elephant Juicery (150 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., 970-470-4042) will have all locations open for Christmas Day and will be serving a special home made, cold-brewed spiced cider for $5.95. The stores also will be selling 100 percent organic holiday gift baskets, with choice of three juices and two snacks or fruit and five snacks for $50.
• Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria in The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa (126 Riverfront Lane, 970-790-5500) is serving a special Christmas Brunch on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festive menu includes a variety of Santa’s starters and Christmas classics, such as honey ginger-glazed lamb, herb-roasted prime rib and stuffed French toast, plus a reindeer treats dessert buffet. The price is $42 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 to 12. The Westin Riverfront offers complimentary on-site valet parking for Maya diners, if available. Reservations highly recommended.
• Montana’s Smokehouse (82 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., 970-949-7019) will have breakfast, lunch and dinner service on Christmas Day, plus a traditional turkey dinner for $19 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations recommended, but not required, for parties of five or more.
• Northside Coffee & Kitchen (20 Nottingham Road, 970-949-1423) will be serving a special menu for Christmas Eve, with homemade bread and Caesar salad, followed by roasted turkey (substitute prime rib for an additional $6) and gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, homemade stuffing, cranberries and fresh vegetables. Finish up with a choice of homemade pumpkin or apple pie. Price is $24.95 per person, and all wine bottles are 20 percent off. Seatings run from 2 to 10 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended. Northside will be closed on Christmas Day.
• The Blue Plate (48 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., 970-845-2252) will be serving its regular menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus a three-course menu for $49. The coursed menu begins with a chanterelle mushroom soup, followed by choice of pan-seared duck breast or surf and turf, and concludes with tiramisu for dessert. All items are also available a la carte and all are gluten free, with the exception of the tiramisu, which can be substituted with a flourless chocolate cake. The Blue Plate opens for happy hour both days at 4:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 5 p.m. Reservations recommended.
• Vin48 (48 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., 970-748-9463) will be open on Christmas Eve, with dining specials including fresh fish a day out of the water and local Colorado beef. Seatings are from 5 to 10 p.m.; reservations recommended.
• 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill in the Park Hyatt (50 W. Thomas Place, 970-827-6600) will be serving a special Christmas Day buffet from 3:30 to 10 p.m. The four-course buffet selection includes lobster bisque, yellowfin crudo or roasted baby vegetable salad, for starters, followed by Alaskan king crab, Berkshire ham, leg of lamb or lump crab crouquette for the main course. Dessert includes a yule log, sticky toffee pudding and peppermint chocolate religuese. A special children’s buffet also will be available, with dishes such as mac ’n’ cheese and breaded chicken tenders. Adults are $125, and children ages 6 to 12 are $45. Reservations recommended.
• Allie’s Cabin, Beano’s Cabin and Zach’s Cabin at Beaver Creek Resort are completely booked for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day reservations.
• Black Diamond Bistro in the Charter Hotel (120 Offerson Road, 970-845-3198) will be serving a Christmas Day special of a 16-ounce Angus New York steak with gratin potatoes for $39, in addition to its regular menu. Reservations recommended.
• Buffalo’s in The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch (130 Daybreak Ridge Road, 970-748-6200) will be offering a special holiday meal for Christmas Eve, complete with seared apricot-glazed duck breast alongside sweet potato fondant, braised beet tops, beet fluid jell and a chocolate-raspberry yule log with red velvet ice cream for dessert. Price is $42, and seatings start at 5 p.m. On Christmas Day, starting at 4:30 p.m., the restaurant will offer a holiday buffet with salads, soups and bread, seafood, hot entrees, carving station, sides and desserts, plus a few kids’ items, that’s $95 for adults and $45 for children. Reservations recommended.
• Fireside Grill in The Osprey at Beaver Creek (10 Elk Track Road, 970-429-5042) will be serving a special prime rib buffet on Christmas Eve, with seatings from 5 to 9 p.m. Price is $95 for adults and $55 for children. The restaurant will be serving its regular menu on Christmas Day. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made through http://www.opentable.com.
• SaddleRidge Restaurant (44 Meadow Lane, 970-754-5450) will be offering a special Colorado lamb dish for $44 in addition to its regular menu on Christmas Day.
• Wyld in The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch (130 Daybreak Ridge Road, 970-748-6200) will be serving Christmas Day a la carte specials starting at 5 p.m., including seared scallops ($21), warm bread salad ($18) and classic Wagyu tartare (priced per ounce) for starters; elk osso bucco ($52), pan-seared date and walnut-stuffed quail ($38) and butter-poached sturgeon ($44) as the mains; and a caramel-fig tart served with honey walnut ice cream for dessert ($14). Reservations recommended.
The following downvalley restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day: Creek Side Grill (closing at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve), El Pariente Taqueria will close at 6 p.m. (closing at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve), Expert Burger, Grand Avenue Grill (also closed Christmas Eve), Moe’s Original BBQ (closing at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve), Dusty Boot Roadhouse (closing at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve), Pazzo’s Pizzeria, Red Canyon Cafe (also closed Christmas Eve) and Yeti’s Grind.
• Pastatively (94 Market Drive, 970-328-7324) will serve a few special dishes on Christmas Eve from 5 to 8 p.m., including lamb shank, Atlantic cod and seafood manicotti, each served with soup or salad and traditional Italian accompaniments. Call to get your name on the list. The restaurant will be closed Christmas Day.
• Ristorante Ti Amo (40928 U.S. Highway 6, 970-845-8153) will be serving its regular menu with a few special dishes and likely won’t be taking reservations on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day due to the high volume of reservations.
• The kitchen at Route 6 Cafe (40801 U.S. Highway 6, 970-949-6393) will close at 3 p.m. and the bar will close at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. The restaurant is open with regular hours on Christmas Day.
The following Edwards restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25: Belmont Deli, Delite & Bowl, Eat! Drink! (closing at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve), e|town, Fiestas Cafe & Cantina (closing at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve), Larkburger (closing at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve), Main Street Grill (closed during the day and opening at 4 p.m.), Marko’s Pizzeria (closing at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve), Smiling Moose Deli (closing at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve), closing at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve), The Rose and TimberHearth at The Club at Cordillera (Christmas Eve dining is members only).
• Cafe 163 (105 Edwards Village Blvd., 970-926-1163) is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving festive holiday drinks such as a vanilla-Cinnabon latte for $9, peppermint latte for $4.50, peppermint hot chocolate for $4.50 and rum eggnog for $8.
• Cafe Milano (429 Edwards Access Road, 970-926-4455) will be serving its regular menu with a few special editions on Christmas Eve and throughout the holiday season. Items include a braised lamb shank for $25, basil-crusted Rocky Mountain red ruby trout for $21 and veal scallopini for $27. The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day.
• Juniper Restaurant (97 Main St., 970-926-7001) will be serving its regular menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus seasonal specials including Penn Cove oysters, crispy shishito peppers, New Zealand venison loin and dark chocolate framboise mouse Napoleon for dessert. Dinner service starts at 5:30 p.m. both days, and reservations are recommended.
• The Bookworm of Edwards Cafe (295 Main St., 970-926-7323) will be open until 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, serving a pair of specialty holiday drinks, including a tiramisu latte for $4.50 and Christmas in a cup, a gingerbread cider, also $4.50. The bookstore and café are closed on Christmas Day.
• The Gashouse (34185 U.S. Highway 6, 970-926-3613) will serve its regular menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus a three-course prix fixe menu of mushroom and pancetta-stuffed quail with a baby arugula salad and champagne vinaigrette; herb-crusted boneless rack of Colorado lamb with Madeira wine sauce, potatoes au gratin and roasted winter vegetable hash; and flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries for dessert, all for $59.85. The items also are available a la carte. Reservations recommended.
The following Minturn restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday: Kirby Cosmo’s, Magusto’s, Minturn Country Club, Sticky Fingers Cafe & Bakery and The Minturn Saloon.
The following Vail restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day, Sunday: La Bottega, La Cantina (closing at 5 p.m. Christmas Day), Nudoru Ramen Bar, The Little Diner, Vail Ale House (opening at 2 p.m. Christmas Day), Westside Cafe & Market and Yellowbelly (closing at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve).
• Alpenrose Restaurant & Bakery (100 E. Meadow Drive, No. 25, 970-476-8899) will be doing a cheese fondue special for $38 for four people for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days. Reservations recommended.
• Altitude Bar & Grill in the Evergreen Lodge (250 South Frontage Road W., 970-476-7810) will host an ugly sweater Christmas party on Christmas Eve, with $3 16-ounce cans of PBR and $3.50 surprise shot specials. The bar opens at 4 p.m. Christmas Day.
• Crespelle (278 Hanson Ranch Road, 970-470-4028) is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and from 8 a.m. to noon, get a medium coffee and any crepe for $10.
• Flame in the Four Seasons Vail (1 Vail Road, 970-477-8650) will be serving a buffet dinner on Christmas Day, starting with a hot toddy tower and raw bar complete with snow crab claws and ceviche. Next up is the salad bar, plus charcuterie, Colorado crostini, risotto and tartare action stations and house made soup such as the Maine lobster bisque or smoked butternut squash. The carving station offers bourbon and honey-glazed suckling pig, steamed red snapper, buffalo steamship round and whole roasted goose and Granny’s Casserole Station features baked oyster, duck noodle and green bean casseroles. Dessert options include buche de Noel, Noel gingercake trifles, s’mores cheesecake, peppermint pot de creme and a cauldron of haute chocolate. Seatings run from 2 to 9 p.m., and price is $110 for adults and $35 for children. Reservations recommended.
• Ludwig’s at the Sonnenalp Hotel (20 Vail Road, 970-476-5656) will be serving a five-course holiday dinner on today and Sunday, featuring a choice of entree. The price is $145 for adults and $60 for children 12 or younger, and vegetarian option and children’s menu are available. Seatings run from 5 to 10 p.m. both nights, and reservations are required.
• Tavern on the Square (675 Lionshead Place, 970-754-7704) will serve a Christmas Day feast buffet from 2 to 7 p.m., with items including baked potato and chestnut soup, winter fruit and chicory salad, grilled asparagus salad, iced prawns cocktail, a selection of country-style pates and a European and domestic cheese display. There also will be a carving station with Broken Arrow Ranch red deer loin, baked Virginia ham and prime New York strip loin, plus additional entrees such as La Bella Farms duck breast and sugar plum-stuffed Berkshire pork loin. The spread concludes with desserts like maple-cranberry cannoli and milk chocolate pudding cake. Price is $68 for adults and $24 for children. Reservations recommended.
• The Remedy in the Four Seasons Resort Vail (1 Vail Road, 970-477-8600) is offering a three-course menu on Christmas Day starting with an arugula and duck confit. For the main course, choose from the bourbon and honey-glazed suckling pig, buffalo steamship round or roasted goose, complemented by festive sides including sweet potato puree, roasted root vegetables, cornbread stuffing, turkey gravy and caramelized Brussels sprouts. Dinner concludes with s’mores cheesecake. The meal is $65 per person, and seatings are from 2 to 9 p.m. Reservations recommended.
• Up the Creek Bar & Grill (223 Gore Creek Drive, No. 103, 970-476-8141) will be open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving a revolving list of special appetizers, like mussels, and entrees, such as goose done two ways and buffalo tenderloin, to supplement the regular menu throughout the holidays. Dishes are subject to availability. Reservations recommended.
• Vintage (12 Vail Road, 970-479-0175) will be serving brunch from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For dinner, the restaurant will offer its regular menu, plus a selection of premium items, which may include lobster-citrus salad, foie gras PB&J, Saltspring Island mussels and Japanese A5 rib eye. Fresh black truffles also will be available to add to any steak or the tartare. Reservations recommended.
• White Bison (223 Gore Creek Drive, 970-763-5470) will be serving its regular menu Christmas Eve, with two entree additions and holiday desserts. Special dishes include Colorado elk tenderloin with glazed Thumbelina carrots, potatoes boulangere, Italian black truffles and sauce bordelaise and seared Atlantic scallops with vadouvan puree, romanesco, red mustard greens and Sturia Osetra caviar. For dessert, there’s the coffee panna cotta with hazelnut mousse, vanilla bean meringue and candied hazelnuts or the pumpkin tart with candied pumpkin seeds, brown-butter frill and whipped cream. Reservations recommended.