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Deck, deck, goose: dining on Vail Valley decks

Kari CorbinVail CO, Colorado
EAT Up the Creek4 SM 6-21-07
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Everyone comes to Vail for the skiing, but they end up staying for the summers. This is partly due to the beautiful scenery and the many summer time activities but with the growing number of world renowned restaurants in the Vail valley outdoor dining needs to be added to the activity list. Here are a few of my favorites broken down into location as well as the critical components needed for a fabulous outdoor dining experience.Vail Village:Larkspur: Located in the Gold Peak Base Lodge Larkspur offers the biggest deck in the Village, with views of the Gore Range and Vail Mountain. They serve drinks and appetizers as well as a full dinner menu. because of its close proximity to Ford Amphitheater Larkspur is the perfect place to prime up for a Bravo concert or the Dance festival.. The Red Lion: a literal tourist destination in itself the Red Lion serves lunch and dinner. With live music nightly performed by local celebrity Phil Long. Or stop by for an order of nachos (a local staple) and watch the local flavor stroll by.Vendettas: A local favorite, Vendettas has a sunny back deck with a water feature newly landscaped on the other side. They serve their full lunch and dinner menu outside as well as their pizza menu. The Vail Ski Patrol calls Vendettas home, so stop by for a slice and a beer with them while you rehash your epic past powder days in the back bowls.Los Amigos: situated at the very top of Bridge Street with a view of Vail Mountain and Pirate Ship Park. This is the best family destination on the list. Set your children free to frolic at the park while Mommy and Daddy hang on the deck with a liter of Margaritas and an order of fish tacos. Los Amigos is open for Lunch as well as dinner. Sapphire: Serving Lunch and Diner on their deck overlooking Gore Creek and the Kayak park with a beautiful view down Valley. Sapphire is the place to watch the sun go down. Their fabulous wine list and raw bar are just a bonus.Up The Creek: Located right below Sapphire, Up the Creek has a nice wrap-around patio on the grassy banks of Gore Creek. The kids can splash around in the water while you sip wine and enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner listening to creek flow by.Pepis: A Vail Village Landmark, Pepis deck is the deck to see and be seen. This is it! With a View of the Gore Range to the East, beautiful landscaping, a wonderful lunch and dinner menu with an Austrian flair and world class people watching. Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer know how to show their guests a good time, They have had over 40 years of practice. Rod Powell performs for the dinner crowd and has people lining up and dancing in the street. At Pepis you do not have to worry about getting to chilly in the mountain air because most of their deck is heated.Lionshead: Bart & Yetis: Casual dinning and a favorite for the local crowd, Barts is a fun place to stop by before and after a trip up the mountain on your Bike or the Gondola. Burgers and Salads are the Lunch fair of choice and the friendly atmosphere and long time bartenders make this a pleasant stop. Garfinkles By far the sunniest and biggest deck in Lionshead, Garfinkles serves lunch, dinner and drinks. The atmosphere is always lively and with the long picnic tables seems ideal for a big group ready for a good time.MinturnThe Saloon: Great Margaritas and Mexican food can only get better when they are served up on a deck overlooking the Eagle River with a view of the Minturn water tower and the Lionshead rock overhead. Prices are reasonable and they have heaters on the deck if the temperature drops while your dining. Avon/Beaver CreekMirabelle: Their new patio is beautifully landscaped with mature trees, wildflowers and a stream running next to it. The perfect romantic outdoor dining spot as well as a great place to stop for a glass of wine and appetizer before heading up to Beaver Creek for a show at the Vilar.EdwardsBalata: Sit on the wrap-around deck overlooking the pool and golf course while you enjoy Balatas wonderful lunch and dinner menus. If natural beauty is more your cup of tea then raise your gaze to the East for views of Vails Back Bowls or look right across the valley where you can view the slopes of Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead.The Gore Range Brewery: With a huge patio and live music on Friday nights this is the FAC place to be in Edwards. They serve lunch and dinner on the patio daily and dont forget to try an infused Martini or one of their own microbrews.


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