Spending less than 24 hours in Vail made for quite a whirlwind trip, especially coming from the Eastern Time Zone, but any time that I can spend in Colorado is more than ok with me. As I mentioned in my Flashback to Vail post, Alex and I traveled to Vail this weekend to attend the wedding of some college friends. The trip was wonderful, and I have two fantastic Vail recommendations to share with you!
Mountain Standard is a Modern American restaurant in Vail Village that delivers a truly outstanding experience. The second restaurant by the owners of Sweet Basil (also in Vail), the food is cooked over a live and open wood fire and ingredients are fresh and flavorful. Every facet of our meal was perfect and the service was exceptional. Never did our water glasses or bread plate go empty.
As for what to order for drinks, Mountain Standard has a great selection of local Colorado beers. I had the Epic Brewing Company Escape to Colorado IPA (actually from Utah) and Alex had the Elevation Beer Company 8 Second Kolsch. The bread that is brought out is soft and doughy with a crunchy crust dusted with sea salt. Superb. For a starter, we shared the White Rascal Steamed Mussels. The mussels are cooked with linguica (like a chorizo) and charred fennel in a flavorful sofrito sauce. It was out of this world. Definitely some of the best mussels I have ever had. For our mains, I got the Mixed Baby Greens salad. Normally, I’m not one to order a salad while dining out, but I am so glad I did. I have never tasted a salad quite like this before. On top of the greens were tangerines, fennel, avocado, spicy candied pumpkin seeds, and everything was tossed in a key lime dressing. It was so flavorful, even eliciting a comment that this would win any Top Chef salad competition. I can’t wait to try to recreate it myself! Alex had the Angus Short Rib Melt which I had a bite of and was also delicious!
Next time we visit Vail, we will absolutely return to Mountain Standard! (Shout-out to our newly married friends Finn and Laura for the great recommendation.)
STAY: (as noted, all photos are borrowed from The Lodge at Vail’s website)
We stayed at The Lodge at Vail, a RockResort, in Vail Village. The first thing to say about it is that I really wish we were staying there longer! The Lodge is beautiful, has great amenities, and is very conveniently located in Vail Village. We stayed in a Lodge room since it was just the two of us for one night, but a bigger group might be interested in one of the suites or chalets. Each room contains a personal humidifier, hair dryer, Keurig coffeemaker, thick terry robes, and slippers. Note: The Lodge at Vail is undergoing renovations this fall. Click here for details.
In terms of amenities, one of the highlights of The Lodge at Vail is the spa, which features steam rooms, saunas, treatment rooms, a fitness center, and more. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to really take advantage of it, but we walked around and looked at everything. The locker rooms are spacious with a few sauna and steam rooms and several showers. It would be a perfect place to relax after a day of skiing or hiking. The spa also has a large fitness center and offers group exercise classes.
The Lodge at Vail has two restaurants: Elway’s and Cucina. Elway’s is a fancier fine dining experience, while Cucina is more contemporary and offers breakfast and apres ski. We took advantage of the free hot chocolate, apple cider, and fresh-baked donut holes while listening to live music. There is also a fire pit outside on the terrace where you can enjoy drink specials and small bites.
Overall, the service and experience at The Lodge were excellent and I hope to stay there next time we visit Vail!
And before we recap, I’ll leave you with this beautiful photo that I took leaving the mountains on our way back to the Denver airport. Just magical, right?
Eat: Mountain Standard, 193 Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO, 81657
Stay: The Lodge at Vail, 174 East Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO, 81657