My wife and I were in the valley from December 23 - January 2. Here are some random thoughts about our dining experiences.
Some of the high-dollar places (Splendido, Grouse Mountain, Sweet Basil) were slammed. Difficult, but not impossible, to get a table unless you had reserved well in advance. Sweet Basil was packed at both dinner and lunch.
The less-glitzy places (Mountain Standard, Dish, Cafe 163, Fiesta's, Hooked, Mirador) were busy but not packed.
A La Car was running about an hour on Monday, December 23.
We did a fair amount of cooking at home: beef chili, a couple of soups, steaks, burgers. Also had a home-smoked ham and a Greenberg Smoked Turkey for sandwiches and soups.
Splendido -- Zinfandel Braised Angus Short Rib with sunflower seed risotto, turnips and caramelized salsify.
Cafe 163 -- Gyro.
Sweet Basil -- Wild Mushroom Risotto with short rib marmalade, toasted hazelnuts and blue cheese espuma.
Mirador -- Mac and Cheese with green chilies, house made chorizo and pepper jack cheese.
Ti Amo (via A La Car) -- Pollo Scarpariello and Medagliioni di Maiale.
All of these places were on their game this trip. Most highly recommended:
Not-so-Upscale: Mountain Standard (forgot to mention the smoked olives, pine nuts and raisins at this place.