So many restaurants, so little time |

So many restaurants, so little time

Cassie Pence
Bret Hartman / Vail DailyLa Tour chef Paul Ferzacca puts the finishing touches on an entree.

VAIL – It’s rare you leave a restaurant in Vail with both your pocket book and stomach full, but for the next two weeks, 18 of the town’s restaurants are offering three-course dinner menus at $15 and $30 price points. Vail Resorts created “Dine Around Vail” to try and attract more visitors and locals alike back to the village and surrounding areas Lionshead, Cascade Village and West Vail. “We wanted something that would be exciting for guests in the early part of the season. We figured that Vail has an incredible culinary theme. So let’s highlight it. And hopefully locals will appreciate it as well,” said Christian Knapp, Vail Resorts senior marketing manager.It’s the first year for Dine Around Vail, but Knapp intends it to bookend Taste of Vail, April 6-9, the annual three-day celebration of food and wine that features more than 35 restaurants and 56 wineries from all over the world. Since it just started Wednesday, the program’s verdict is still pending among restaurant owners and employees, but all are wishful thinking that it’s going to help fill reservation books for the next two weeks. “I’m hoping it brings in some business because the village is pretty dead right now. It’s a good idea, so we’ll see how it plays out,” said Bill Banwart, a bartender at Blu’s restaurant in Vail Village across from the Gore Creek.Blu’s, serving American cuisine, is one of the only restaurants participating in both the $15 and $30 price points. For $15, guests receive soup or salad, fried chicken dinner and a glass of wine or dessert. $30 buys you soup, salad or appetizer, entree and dessert or wine.Vail Resorts didn’t give restaurants very specific guidelines on what they could offer, said Manager of Lord Gore Andre Boesel, so how each restaurant participates in Dine Around Vail may be slightly different. Lord Gore, located in Manor Vail Resort at Golden Peak, is serving up three courses for $30, plus a complimentary glass of wine. Patrons can choose from the whole menu, excluding the rack of Colorado lamb, chateaubriand and elk.Westside Cafe located in West Vail is plating a house salad, dessert and its nightly special for $15.”Some nights it might be a pasta dish, some nights it might be meatloaf and mash potatoes. You can categorize us as comfort food,” said co-owner Mike Dennis, who said he was happy to participate in the program.

At Montauk Seafood Grill in Lionshead, you can choose from six appetizers, five entrees and four desserts for $30. It’s not the free run of the menu, owner Gary Boris said, but it’s a nice selection.”One of the items that were offering, which I think is a pretty good deal, is our signature ahi (tuna) dish, which is pretty amazing,” Boris said.Boris wants the program to succeed, but said it’s unfortunate that during this time of year there’s no one really in town.”I would like to see some dollars go toward marketing to get people back into town like they used to do in year’s past,” said Boris.Sample the tastes of Vail for $30 and $15 until Wednesday, Dec. 15. For more information, visit or call the Vail Activities Desk at 476-9090.Culinary highlights$30 menu:Wildflower, Vail Village, 476-5011Larkspur, Golden Peak, 479-8050Left Bank, Vail Village, 476-3696

Sapphire, Vail Village, 476-2828Montauk Seafood Grill, Lionshead, 476-2601La Tour, Vail Village, 476-4403Chap’s, Cascade Village, 476-7111Russell’s, Vail Village, 476-6700Lord Gore, Vail Village, 476-4959Ludwig’s, Vail Village, 476-5656The Mountain Grill, Lionshead, 476-4444Cucina Rustica, Vail Village, 476-5011

$15 menu:Bully Ranch, Vail Village, 476-5656Blu’s, Vail Village, 476-3113 The Tap Room, Vail Village, 479-0500Los Amigos, Vail Village, 476-5847Bull Crab’s, West Vail, 477-2722West Side Cafe, West Vail, 476-7890Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail Colorado

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