Dining and Nightlife

DINING, Dining and Nightlife

From Scratch

Though Dotsero is a few thousand miles from where many believe the best rum in the world is crafted, that geographic logistic hasn’t stopped owners Jim Benson and Max Vogelman from making a super-smooth liquor. Indeed, Stoneyard Distillery is giving people a reason to get off at Exit 133 on I-70. “It’s not in town so it’s like an adventure to go,” said Gypsum resident Kristin Anderson. Anderson visited the distillery for a Gypsum Chamber Mixer event. “It’s a really cool setup outside. They have a great fire pit and it’s really scenic; they’re right next to the river.” Using beet sugar trucked in 40,000 pound increments from Fort Morgan, Colo., and water from the Eagle River, Stoneyard Distillery makes five varieties of rum: Silver, Barrel Aged (in barrels from Laws Whiskey House and Breckenridge Distillery), Cinnamon Fire, Lucky-Oh Horchata and the most recent addition, Colorado Coffee, added to the […]

ACTIVITIES, DINING, Dining and Nightlife

Sleigh and Play

If you want to enjoy a truly unique Colorado experience why not hitch a ride on a sleigh or snowcat? Why not get cozy under a couple of blankets and let the star filled night sky light your way to a delicious meal? It’s a wonderful way to enjoy the kind of tranquil evening that you can only find in the mountains. The snow glistens. Stars so bright, it’s breathtaking. And if you listen closely you might even hear the distant cry of a coyote. If you sleigh ride during the day, keep your eyes open for wildlife. You never know what’s just around the bend. Eagle Ranch About 20 miles west of Vail, 4 Eagle Ranch, in Wolcott, is the best choice for those looking for an authentic Western experience. Centered around the historic Nelson Cabin (ca.1890), and far from any city lights, the stargazing from the ranch’s horse-drawn […]

Culture in the Vail Valley, Dining and Nightlife

Evening Melodies

So much energy encompasses daytime activities in the Vail Valley that it often seems that nothing could follow a day of on-mountain action found throughout the area. And while the après ski scene in Vail, Beaver Creek, and the surrounding area remains a beloved rite of passage for locals and visitors alike – there are plenty of outlets for night owls to hit the town. Just lose the ski boots and continue the daytime revelry with an evening at some of the area’s most iconic spots for food, drink and music. Piano bars in particular are some of the most classic ways to take in the area’s jazz vibes, and plenty of local acts makes for an exciting winter line up throughout the Vail Valley. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a valley so full of jazz and summer concert series is just as musically inclined in the winter […]

Blog, DINING, Dining and Nightlife

Dinner & a Movie at Mirabelle Restaurant

Dinner and a movie at Mirabelle’s was an evening to remember. Alysa and Jonathan Rotella hosted an evening of fine food, wine, and film. Belgian Master Chef Daniel Joly prepared a three course dinner. Hollywood screenwriter and Sonoma vitner, Robert Mark Kamen, featured his film A Walk in the Clouds and shared his award winning Kamen Estate wines with dinner. Dinner was a three course meal, starting off with a baby pumpkin fall salad served with Kamen’s Sauvignon Blanc. Second course was a lobster ravioli served with a cabernet sauvignon. Third course was Colorado grilled lamb chops with Kamen’s kashmir cabernet sauvignon. Finally, desert was a pistachio macaroon with strawberry and black cherry sorbet. The atmosphere was delightful and the food and wine was divine. After food was served everyone made themselves at home and enjoyed A Walk in the Clouds. This was a special night and the incredible way […]

DINING, Dining and Nightlife, Featured Stories, Healthy Living

Eat Your Veggies

Back in the day, talk of someone being a vegetarian conjured up visions of an emaciated, pale looking person who probably lived in or was from California, of course, and didn’t know anything about eating properly. We were all happily eating our deep fried chicken, country-fried steaks and ball-park hot dogs. Winds up that those hippies were right on. Researchers have finally gotten us to understand that veggies are filled with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that keep us healthier in every way. And, who can say “no” to that? In fact, trend watchers say that vegetables are emerging as “center of plate,” with celebrated chefs focusing on “veg-centric” cuisine. And this is no passing fancy. Food service operations of all kinds are creating veg-centric selections to accommodate their customers. Fine restaurants are featuring vegetable entrees that are diverse, creative and flavor-filled. According to Gordon Food Service, the nation’s largest foodservice distributor, chefs are calling the veg-centric cuisine “root-to-stem” cooking – “an […]

DINING, Dining and Nightlife, Featured Stories

Farm to Table in the Vail Valley

During the peak of summer, Executive Chef David Gutowski and his staff clip fresh greens twice a week from Grouse Mountain Grill’s garden plot in the EagleVail Community Garden. They fill two huge garbage bags and return to the Beaver Creek restaurant to wash and spin the mix of organic lettuces. Just a few hours later, lucky diners taste the peak of summer on their plates, experiencing one of the freshest, most local salads in town. Gutowski represents a growing trend of chefs who are taking the quality of their product into their own hands, literally, by growing their own vegetables in restaurant gardens and on patios. Most of those chefs work in places like the Front Range or in California, where climate and a longer growing season reward a larger bounty for more months of the year. Gutowski, on the other hand, along with a handful of other Vail Valley chefs, brave the infamous high altitude gardening conditions: a short 50-day season, hot days and cold nights. Tomatoes shudder at the thought. So why are they taking the time […]

Chef Profile, DINING, Dining and Nightlife

Chef Profile with Fernando Ocampo or Ristorante Ti Amo

Ask Chef Fernando Ocampo for a recipe and he will give it to you, but don’t be surprised when the dish you make doesn’t taste like it did when you were dining in his restaurant. “The last ingredient I put in is 100-percent love,” shares Ocampo. And that’s Ti Amo — an Italian “I love you” that always tastes so good. This year marks two decades of Ocampo in the Ti Amo kitchen. He just celebrated his 40th birthday, and this summer he becomes part-owner of the establishment. Ocampo’s childhood was spent in Buenavista de Cuellar, Guerrero, Mexico, and he moved to the United States in 1993 at age 16. He started in Chicago, then California, before landing in Colorado in 1995, and his work at Ti Amo began in May of 1996. The restaurant’s original owner, Vincenzo Perucchini, hired Ocampo to prep food in the kitchen under the guidance of chef Rafael Ortiz. Ocampo soon moved into the sauté station, and after two years under the […]

Culture in the Vail Valley, Dining and Nightlife

Greensky Bluegrass/Winter Wondergrass

Having one of its members go over the side of a cliff on Vail Mountain, winding up in the emergency room (yet rallying to perform) and then having its tour bus get stuck in the snow on the side of a hill did not deter Greensky Bluegrass from bringing down the house at Winter Wondergrass. And the band is slated to perform, once more, at this year’s festival to be held February 18 through 21, 2016, in Avon’s Nottingham Park – hopefully, without any obstacles! It’s the group’s third appearance at the festival, which features bluegrass and acoustic roots music. “There’s this great duality to our band,” reflects Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist, vocalist and songwriter, Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once; we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band. We’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.” “We play acoustic instruments,” adds dobro player Anders Beck, “but […]