Notes on recent meals in Eagle (mostly) County, Colorado:
Tennessee Pass Cafe -- Leadville
Friendly service - good food, some of it not found everywhere, such as the Melanzana Rolls, which are parmesan breaded eggplant rolled up around spinach, goat cheese, red peppers and basil pesto, then grilled. Huge sandwiches, including smoked turkey that was delicious. Good fish tacos, although not as good as Mango's (see below).
Mango's Mountain Grill -- Red Cliff
Great lunch spot - although not (IMO) as good as the old one. Located in a funky mountain village that is worth the drive up the mountain. Had some decent fish and chips, but stick with the fish tacos, which are the best anywhere. Also have good burgers. Friendly servers. Take a tour of the cemetery when you're done.
Restaurant Avondale -- Avon
Like this place and will definitely be back. But on this visit things just didn't work. Maybe because we were there for lunch on July 4, the day after their big fireworks night the day before. Ordered the farm veggies starter, caesar with grilled chicken and cuban sandwich mains. Two servers brought the two mains before the starter and looked at each other like they blamed each other. We took the mains and were about halfway through when they brought the starter. Service was generally poor on this visit, but since we have been there many times and have had excellent food and service, we're chalking this one up to just a bad day. As preciously said, won't let one bad experience stop us from going back.
Avon Bakery and Deli -- Avon
Picked up sandwiches for a picnic along the Colorado River Road north of Walcott. Excellent tuna on whole grain and Italian on ciabatta. They also have a great breakfast burrito that is perfect in the winter to fuel up for skiing.
Spruce Saddle -- on Beaver Creek Mountain
The most expensive burger in the valley! Lift ticket is $22. Mountain Epic Burger is $13.75 -- with no fries or chips. Chicken sandwich called Osprey is $13 with no accompaniments. Regular fries, pasta salad, other sides and 20 oz. water are $4 each. Good food, but a "little" steep.
Moe's Original Barbecue -- Eagle
Good pulled pork sandwiches, slaw and potato salad. Was disappointed they don't do beef brisket and, thus, no chopped beef (with ends) sandwiches. Nice, quick lunch.
Golden Eagle Inn -- Beaver Creek
Still one of our favorites. Great friendly service. Trout was excellent, as was the slow-roasted lamb. Apps weren't memorable, since I can't remember them a week later!
Zino's II -- Edwards
The original Zino's closed seven years ago. Glad it's back. Beautiful room and also good al fresco dining, which we opted for. An arugula with strawberries salad and an eggplant with goat cheese salad were both good. Sauteed halibut and lobster risotto were excellent. (Lobster risotto was $18; a couple nights later the same dish at Larkspur was $36.50.) Hope Zino's does well. Very reasonable prices for this area.
Splendido at the Chateau -- Beaver Creek
Beautiful room, outstanding service and delicious food. Wife had the special of wood-roasted lobster mixed and stuffed with Yukon gold potatoes and I had the Berkshire pork tenderloin. All was excellent.
Larkspur -- Vail
Nothing has changed my opinion that this is the best restaurant in the valley. That is, of course, only my opinion -- your experience may be different. Wife had a Scottish Salmon dish that was delicious. My beef combo of Wagyu New York Strip and braised short rib was ethereal. Apps of fried green tomatoes and yellowtail tartare were also excellent. Great service.
Grouse Mountain Grill -- Beaver Creek
Another great meal at Grouse Mountain. Spinach salad and heirloom tomato salad were fine starters. Pretzel-crusted pork chops were, as usual, excellent. Ribeye steak was cooked perfectly and was lucious. Great service.
Sweet Basil -- Vail
We have always liked it a lot for lunch, but have tried and tried to enjoy dinner here. I hope we have finally gotten past that. Spending over $300 for a frustrating and disappointing meal is just too much? It started when the waiter, after my wife had ordered a bottle of wine priced at $114, tried to convince her she really wanted one that was $340. Later, he insisted we needed ice cream in addition to the dessert we ordered, more than doubling the price. My wife's entree looked as if it had been under the warmer too long and was mediocre salmon. My walleye was tasty, but the corn pudding accompaniment was so salty as to be inedible. Don't let me do this again.
Foxnut -- Beaver Creek
Good sushi and Japanese fusion. We had a Spicy Crab Roll, some other kind of roll and a Squid Salad. All of it was good. Service was good. Nothing fancy, but an excellent place for a reasonably priced (for Beaver Creek) meal.
Grouse Mountain Grill
141 Scotthill Road, Avon, CO 81620
193 E Gore Creek Dr Ste 201, Vail, CO 81657
45 Thomas Place, Avon, CO 81620
Tennessee Pass Cafe
222 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461
126 Riverfront Lane, Avon, CO 81620
Mango's Mountain Grill
PO Box 266, Red Cliff, CO 81649
Golden Eagle Inn
118 Beaver Creek Plz, Avon, CO 81620