Root & Flower in Vail Village offers extensive wine list, eclectic cocktails, ever-changing food menu
Special to the Daily
If you go …
What: Root & Flower.
When: 1 p.m. to close, seven days a week.
Where: 225 Wall Street, Unit 103A, Vail Village.
More information: Call 970-763-5101, visit rootandflowervail.com or find Root & Flower on Facebook.
January class schedule
2 p.m. Jan. 5 — Same But Different, Pinot Noir: Try some alternatives to this popular varietal, $60.
2 p.m. Jan. 12 — Breaking Beer: Beer 101, $40.
2 p.m. Jan. 19 — Art of Tasting: Learn how to taste wine like a professional, $45.
2 p.m. Jan. 26 — Drunken History Part 1: Taste through a small portion of the history of wine, liquor, and beer, $55.
Pricing is per person and includes gratuity, as well as light food pairings. Tax not included. RSVP is required for each class. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Word on the street says there’s a new wine bar in Vail Village. While “wine bar” might be a limited descriptor for a place that touches on nearly every aspect of high-quality food and drink, the light twinkling through the window beyond the lettering of Root & Flower in the newly renovated space on Wall Street confirms the speculation.
The product of locals Samantha Biszantz and Jeremy Campbell, Root & Flower offers a comprehensive wine-by-the-glass menu, a creative and eclectic mix of cocktails, liquors and spirits and an ever-changing food list that serves as a reason to visit in its own right.
Biszantz said the idea behind Root & Flower was to create a continuum between the caliber of restaurants and the bar scene in town and offer a place for drinks and small plates that was on par with Vail’s fine-dining establishments.
“We wanted to create a place that people could come for drinks that matched the level of dining in Vail,” Biszantz said. “We realized there was a need for that in town that we could fill.”
Offering a new niche of pre- and post-dinner drinks, along with apres and late night, the new wine and cocktail spot has been impressing customers with its approachable attitude to high-quality food, service and libations.
Matty Pauls, who has been the wine director at the likes of Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard, can now be found behind the bar and on the floor at Root & Flower and finds that the new spot matches the standard of dining in Vail, but on its own terms.
“We bring a fine-dining professionalism to a casual atmosphere,” he said.
Similarly, chef Matt Limbaugh’s evolving food menu finds a delicious balance between fine dining and more approachable fare, with lighter bar snacks as menu staples and nightly specials, such as foie gras and caviar, occasionally making appearances.
While Root & Flower appeases the palates of those looking for higher-end wines, cocktails and food, the bar is a spot for less seasoned wine drinkers to enjoy a tasty beverage, as well. The wine-by-the-glass menu is organized by flavor profile and structure, so guests can expect to see about five wines per category that might be described as “bright and polished” or “crisp and clean,” among others.
Roughly divided by varietal, with a few exceptions, the menu also gives a brief description of which profile drinkers might enjoy, and at least one sommelier is on the floor at all times to answer questions for both experienced and less seasoned wine drinkers.
“We wanted to create an experience for anyone that comes here,” said Campbell, who is also an Advanced Sommelier, a distinction bestowed by the Court of Master Sommeliers that sits just below the top tier of Master Sommelier.
“The idea to have a knowledgeable staff and a sommelier behind the bar and on the floor works with the idea that we can point someone in that right direction who might not know much about wine or suggest a great bottle for a frequent wine drinker.”
The new spot similarly hopes to bring together groups for a Root & Flower experience at one if its weekly tasting classes. Offering a broad range of tasting opportunities, the classes are a great option for those looking to take a break from the hill and aim to provide information on the art of tasting, along with giving participants the chance to sample some unique wines and spirits.
The faces behind the bar and in the kitchen might seem familiar to those who have restaurant hopped around Vail Village, as most of the staff, and both the owners, were long-time employees at Restaurant Kelly Liken. Travis Kale, who worked with much of the crew as a server at Restaurant Kelly Liken, said the team at Root & Flower hasn’t skipped a beat since coming back together.
“We’re a tight-knit squad, and we’re meshing effortlessly now that we’ve started working together again,” he said.
While the new spot shares much of same principles of high quality food and drink as the now closed Kelly Liken, Root & Flower is distinctly its own and hopes to keep Vail Village’s bar scene interesting for years to come.