Here’s an introduction to three great restaurants worth exploring next time you’re in Vail Colorado: Sweet Basil, Terra Bistro and Alpenrose. My favorite of the three would have to be Sweet Basil, but largely because its menu style appealed to taste, their wine list is fabulous and I loved the outdoor patio area where you could people watch all day long. Alpenrose has a nice terrace for people watching as well.
Sweet Basil is a creative, modern American restaurant located in the heart of the Vail Village and their wine list features over 500 carefully chosen selections from around the world.
Their influences are a combined Mediterranean, Italian and Asian and they believe in the farm-to-table concept, so as much as they can, they try to use local ingredients from farmers in the area.
The owner passed by while we were eating on the patio and when I asked him what should I order that will blow my socks off (I often ask this question btw), he suggested the Black Truffle Deviled Eggs or the Pan Roasted Alaskan Cod. I probably should have ordered the eggs because quite honestly, how often do you see them on the menu served glazed with black truffle. Then again, so many choices.
My lunch companion Haley talked me into trying the crispy shrimp and calamari with a sweet dipping sauce. I tend not to order deep fried food regardless of how good it sounds since I often regret it later. But, try I did, and it was only lightly battered and most definitely delicious. And rather than go the traditional ice tea for lunch route, try the yummy lemonade drink.
After you have ordered the shrimp and calamari as an appetizer, dive into something a little more healthy like their Gold Canyon Beef Carpaccio, the whole leaf caesar salad or spring vegetable salad or the Salmon Ceviche. Yum!
Other dishes worth exploring include the Milk Ricotta Tortellini, the Saffron Steamed Black Mussels, the Grilled Ciabatta Sautéed Wild Gulf Shrimp, the Roasted Colorado Lamb Salad or if you’re not that hungry and it’s a lunch stop rather than a dinner one, try the Bob’s Pretzel Roll B.L.T.
The Terra Bistro, also conveniently located is ranked up there in the gourmet green movement. Their menus are 100% all – natural and their recipes utilize 85% to 100% certified organic ingredients. They care about where their food comes from; all seafood on the menu is Seafood Watch approved and/or a member of the CleanFish Alliance. So if you’re a green-conscious foodie, this is a great stop for you when in Vail.
They also have a wide range of dishes to choose from. The Blackened Cobia Tacos was out of this world; cucumber salad, marinated black beans, mashed avocado and cilantro aïoli.
Also try the honey Cumin BBQ Chicken Drumettes, the Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps as an appetizer, Mussels Steamed in Lemongrass Broth, their delicious sage butterSweet Potato Ravioli, the vegetarian Portobello Lettuce Wraps or the Sprouted Quinoa Lettuce Cups served in an avocado, tomato basil vinaigrette with basil aïoli. The chili garlic edamame btw is to die for. Really. Order it. They also give you a massive portion. I also ordered their signature salad, which is organic greens, raspberry vinaigrette, sun dried cherries, walnuts and smoked mozzarella. Yum!
The Alpenrose offers a more down-to-earth family style ambiance, European Alpine style. Known for their pastries, coffees and European cuisine, Chef Schmidt, who is originally from Mainz Germany, apprenticed in the hills of Wiesbaden along the Rhone River. He serves German and Austrian cuisine and their Belgian pastry chef Laurent Noel prepares apple strudels, black forest cakes, fruit tarts, and chocolate rasberry mousse tarts.
There were moments when I felt like I was in Austria walking through the restaurant.
A WBTW Thumbs Up for all three Vail restaurants. If you visit, let us know what you think. For more posts on Colorado, check out our Colorado page here.
Disclosure Note: I was hosted at these restaurants but my expressions and opinions are entirely my own.