Over 190 served daily | VailDaily.com

Over 190 served daily

by Wren Wertin
AE Crab Cakes PU 7-7

Crab cakes and bloody marys and mimosas – oh my. Every Sunday during the Vail Farmers’ Market, La Tour throws open its patio and serves a steady stream of this tasty trinity to hungry shoppers and meandering browsers. With grilled cheese sandwiches and sodas for the kids, it’s a laid-back, family-friendly enterprise from one of Vail’s best restaurants.

Executive Chef Phil Oswalt dons a different apron and plays bartender while his crew mans the burners, pan searing the crab cakes to order. Made with Alaskan snow crab and lots of lemon and herbs, they’re topped with a crunchy slaw and served inside a soft roll. It’s easy to plow through two or three of the cakes, sipping a mimosa and watching people pass by. “These are definitely the best crab cakes at the farmers’ market,” Chef Oswalt said, shaking a bloody mary while keeping an eye on the sizzling cakes.

The enterprise has been a hit for the restaurant that usually only serves dinner. At first, the patio was filled with husbands happily eating and drinking as their wives shopped in the market. Lately, couples and families have filled the seats, which are cordoned off from the sidewalk with flowers. No matter who’s soaking up the sunshine, it’s a hot spot of lip smacking and and toasting. For those who haven’t experienced the particular delight of dining at the contemporary French-American restaurant, it’s a great introduction. La Tour begins serving the $4-crab cakes at 11 a.m. (and sometimes a bit earlier) every Sunday. For more information call the restaurant at 476-4403.

Vail, Colorado

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