The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
All five senses go into the perfect day on the slopes: seeing a gorgeous bluebird day, smelling the tang of a freshly waxed board, feeling the breeze on your cheeks as you ride the lift, and listening to the chatter of friends beside you.
But tasting something delicious and fueling up after a full-send day on the mountain? That might be the most important of all.
That's only $1 per issue!
There’s no shortage of great restaurants near Vail and Beaver Creek, but the area’s dining scene continues to reinvent itself. Here are three new options in Eagle County for après-ski culinary enjoyment.
Located in the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Stoke & Rye is a new concept from restaurateur Richard Sandoval of Denver’s Toro and Tamayo. Pivoting away from contemporary Latin cuisine, Sandoval has created a Colorado-inspired modern American grill at Stoke & Rye, delivering traditional roasting, braising, and smoking techniques with extra flair.
Showmanship is prevalent on the menu: Several dishes are prepared tableside, including the al dente cacio e pepe pasta twirled in a round of fresh Pecorino cheese, and the 52-ounce tomahawk steak (yes, 52 ounces) arriving en flambé with moonshine and carved straight onto your plate. The taste of fire carries through to the appetizers and desserts, too. The smoked oysters are delivered on a bed of wood chips and pine boughs, and a smoked chocolate ganache in a Mason jar—layered with brownie crumbs, cacao nibs, and salted caramel ice cream—is served with the aromatic vapors pouring out of its vessel. If that last yard sale on the mountain wasn’t dramatic enough, this dinner will be. 126 Riverfront Ln., Avon, 970-790-5500
Five-year-old Craftsman Brew Co. has emerged as a butterfly, recently moving into larger digs in Edwards. The upscale, sandwich-and-craft-beer-focused eatery has taken advantage of the former Gore Range Brewery space (across the street from Craftsman’s original location) to further its attention to ingredients—and begin making its own brews.
“It made sense to build Craftsman in that direction and to start brewing our own beer and expand upon the menu,” chef and owner Chris Schmidt explained. “The old space got pretty crazy with the volume of business we were doing. It was a never-ending line—really long ticket times—and people were fighting for tables.” Craftsman now has plenty of space for seating, including stools at the bar where guests can peek into the open kitchen, but that doesn’t mean it lost its rustic vibe. “It’s a grown-up Craftsman,” Schmidt said with a laugh. “It’s more mature.”
The menu has matured, too. Guests will still find some of their favorite gourmet sandwiches on offer, but the expanded menu features starters and small plates (the duck croquettes and grits and greens are two new favorites). The addition of a wood-fired oven also allows Schmidt to serve new creations like bubbly queso dip or roasted gulf snapper tacos. And, as the name suggests, Craftsman is tapping its own IPAs now—the hazy New Noise is our go-to après indulgence. 105 Edwards Village Blvd., Edwards, 970-855-2718
It’s becoming just as popular to toast a stellar snow day with fresh oysters as it is with a frosty Coors Banquet—and Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar proves it. In the Edwards Riverwalk, this laid-back eatery founded by restaurateurs Brian Nolan (owner of Blue Moose Pizza in Lionshead and Beaver Creek) and Lily Doran has quickly become a renowned après location since opening last June. The happy hour special features $1.50 oysters as well as calamari, clam chowder, and deviled eggs, but it’s easy to linger past 5:30 p.m. (when the deals are done) to indulge in peel-and-eat shrimp, a slider sampler of lobster rolls (try Maine, Connecticut, and Colorado versions), or steamed Bang Island mussels. When the weather’s fine, Mountain Fish House swings open its garage door, freeing up space for semi-outdoor seating. 27 Main St., Suite C-106, Edwards, 970-845-0545