Free entrees for cops, firefighters, paramedics |

Free entrees for cops, firefighters, paramedics

Matt Zalaznick

Sept. 11, of course, made Americans more appreciative of the often arduous jobs emergency workers have in and outside ground zero.

To continue and bolster that sentiment, a Vail restaurant, Terra Bistro, is serving free dinners-for-two to Vail Valley police officers, firefighters and paramedics every night this week.

“I was thinking about the tragedy and thinking Sept. 11 this year is going to be a pretty profound day,” Executive Chef Kevin Nelson says. “I wanted to contribute to the community and recognize the first anniversary.”

Police officers from Vail, Avon and Minturn; firefighters from the Vail and Eagle River fire departments; paramedics and Vail Valley Medical Center emergency workers have been invited to Terra Bistro Sunday through Friday for free dinners-for-two, Nelson says.

“There is a lot of emergency personnel between Vail and Edwards and we wanted to include everybody,” Nelson says. “We wanted to thank them for everything they do that they usually don’t get thanked for until it hits somebody personally.”

About 200 emergency workers and their dining companions will get free entrees when they show up at the Terra Bistro, in the Vail Mountain Lodge in Vail Village.

“We want to give everyone the opportunity to take advantage of this,” Nelson says. “Hopefully, everyone has a day or night off during the week and they can all come in and enjoy it.”

Among of the specialties emergency workers will get to try at Terra Bistro are ahi steaks wrapped with toasted rice, pepper-crusted beef tenderloin and salmon seared crispy with hash-browns.

Terra Bistro is also well known for its vegetarian menu, Nelson says.

“Another purpose this serves is we want Terra Bistro be recognized as part of the Vail community, and establish a community feel in the Vail Valley and galvanize everybody’s bond with each other,” Nelson says. “This seemed to be most effective way to approach something like that.

“Even though we’re so far away from ground zero, we’re all touched by it in one way or another,” Nelson says.

He says the response to the restaurant’s offer has been excellent and he expects many firefighters, police officers and paramedics to show up for dinner.

“We thought this would be a good way to commemorate all the heroic efforts that went on surrounding Sept. 11,” Nelson says. “We want to serve local emergency personnel for all they do and for being there when we need them, especially this summer, with all the fires, when everybody has been under a lot of pressure this summer.”

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at

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