A visit to Vail isn't complete without culinary indulgence. Here's the good news: Visitors (and locals alike) will find a plethora of Vail restaurants replete with delicious wines and Colorado-sourced menu items.
Here are four of my top picks for Vail restaurants to visit this spring and summer. (Hint: It never hurts to ask about off-season specials if it's before Memorial Day!)
1. La Tour Restaurant & Bar
122 E. Meadow Drive, Vail, Colorado
La Tour Restaurant & Bar is located in the heart of Vail Village and has been serving visitors and locals for two decades. Its menu changes seasonally and is designed with the foodie palate in mind. Patrons will enjoy digging into pages and pages of La Tour's curated wine list. Check out its rotating menu of seasonal cocktails as well. Dinner is served daily, and brunch is served on Sundays only during the summer. This spring try its Colorado lamb shank served with cauliflower gnocchi. Click here for menus.
La Tour additionally hosts a daily wine-tasting event from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in which participants learn about five wines.
Reservations are recommended for dinner and the wine-tasting class. Call (970) 476-4403 to reserve your spots today. Learn more by visiting latour-vail.com.
Photo: (above) La Tour's outdoor summer deck
2. Mountain Standard
193 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, Colorado
It's difficult to get a dinner reservation at Mountain Standard during peak season, and there's a reason for it. This Vail restaurant is scrumptious! (Please note: It's closed for the off-season until May 3, 2019.)
Mountain Standard was created by the originators of another beloved Vail restaurant, Sweet Basil. Its menu is simple and flavorful, focused on elevated comfort food like buttermilk sea salt biscuits, wood-roasted bone marrow, and shrimp and grits. It's also known for its seafood and steak entrees. Click here for the dinner menu.
Reservations are recommended. Call (970) 476-0123 to reserve your table. Visit mtnstandard.com to learn more.
333 Bridge Street, Vail, Colorado
Almresi's cuisine is a mix of German-Euro flair and Colorado ingredients. Patrons can expect favorites like fresh-baked German pretzels, cheese fondue and Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), along with seasonal offerings. Click here for the menu.
This Vail restaurant's interior is inspired by the Alps. Cowbells, antlers and leather decorate the dining room. Guests will enjoy the ambiance as well as the food.
Don't forget to make a reservation! Call (970) 470-4174 and visit almresi-vail.com to learn more. (Hint: It's closed until at least Memorial Day, so this is a summer spot for sure!)
4. Root & Flower Wine & Cocktails
225 Wall Street, Vail, Colorado
Root & Flower Wine & Cocktails serves an expansive wine menu and specialty cocktails from 2 p.m. to midnight. Its sister business, Two Arrows Coffee Company, serves breakfast and beverages during the day. I really enjoy this hot spot for coffee and cocktails (separately, of course). Both experiences are worth repeating. I've enjoyed the best glass of wine I've had in recent memory (and, no, I can't remember what it was), and I was introduced to the wonders of gluten-free oat milk.
From June 16 to October 6, Root & Flower will host an Art of Wine Tasting Class on Sundays at 4 p.m.