The 10th lives on at Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – 10th Mountain Division World War II veteran Dick Dirkes was the only original Camp Hale member who made it to Thursday’s celebration at the new Vail Mountain restaurant The 10th, and he got there via his skis.
Dirkes, 87, was elated by the beautiful new restaurant at Mid-Vail named after the 10th Mountain Division. He’ll be able to enjoy it fairly often, too, as he got 98 ski days in last season and plans to keep up the pace this season.
Dirkes, who lives in Edwards, is also humbled that he and the other veterans continue to be honored.
“I’m sometimes embarrassed because of the presence of the 10th in this state, the license plates and all things like that, you know, and I kid about it – you’d think we won the war for God sake,” Dirkes said with a chuckle.
The naming of Vail’s newest sit-down restaurant was a no-brainer, though, said Vail Resorts co-president John Garnsey. He said a lot of different ideas for naming the restaurant were brought up, but nothing seemed more fitting than honoring the 10th Mountain Division members, some of whom founded Vail Mountain.
“We thought it was pretty obvious, that it really needed to tie the name back to the roots of Vail,” Garnsey said as he spoke about the restaurant to those invited to a special grand opening party Thursday afternoon. “I think most of you know that the 10th Mountain Division – those passionate skiers, those amazing mountaineers, those passionate outdoorsmen – when they came back from the war, World War II, they played an integral role in the development of skiing in our country.”
As for the skiing at Vail, those men truly created it. Sarge Brown, Pete Seibert and Bob Parker were some of the names mentioned Thursday – they were “just a few of (Vail’s) founders and visionaries critical to where we are today,” Garnsey said.
Pete Seibert Jr. was there to celebrate Thursday, and he couldn’t help but wonder what his father would have thought about the place. He knows one thing’s for sure – his dad would have loved some of the food on the menu, especially the elk bolognese.
Seibert joked that some of the founders who have passed away just might live on at The 10th.
“I wonder who’s here after hours, late at night,” he said.
Seibert is happy to see something that honors all of the 10th Mountain Division and not just the select few guys who started Vail Mountain.
“(My father’s) mark is all over the mountain, but this also recognizes the other guys and that’s really important, not just here, but all over the country.”
And for Seibert’s father and the rest of Vail’s visionaries, to have a place named after them on the mountain means they’ll always be remembered, Seibert said.
The restaurant is modern and elegant, yet cozy and inviting enough that you don’t feel out of place walking around in your ski attire. The cuisine is “modern alpine,” and it fits in perfectly with the backdrop of the Gore Range that is seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
There are items like caramelized onion soup with brie, spicy lamb chili and wood roasted mussels on the appetizer menu, which ranges in price from $7 for a cup of soup to $18 for the mussels.
Brick oven pizzas can be made with whole wheat flax seed, gluten free or traditional European crust and are $14 to $15.
Salads, or “green plates,” include a traditional Cobb or Caesar, or a port-poached pear with hot house lettuces and blue cheese, or a Nicoise with seared tuna, green beans, olives and anchovies. Salads range from $15 to $22, and chicken, salmon or crispy tofu can be added on for about $20 more.
Sandwiches include a certified Angus burger, a grilled sharp cheddar on house-made Brioche with tomato soup and a French dip with hand-cured market steak. They range from $16 to $18.
And entrees get fancier, with items like veal meatloaf, Nantucket scallops, a “pot au feu” beef with veal short ribs and lamb sausage. There’s also an elk bolognese pasta dish and a pheasant and heritage chicken pot pie. Entrees range from $19 to $26.
The restaurant is open to the public and accepts reservations, which General Manager George Bigley says may fill up during the next couple of weeks. The bar and lounge area, however, as well as the patio seating, are always first come, first served.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.