I normally don't eat out a whole lot and when I do it is in Edwards (12 miles west of Vail where I live).  Edwards, by the way, has some very good restaurants.  Anyway, I have had family and friends in town the past couple of weeks which means a lot of good eating out elsewhere!  One of my new favorite restaurants is Splendido in Beaver Creek.  Truly elegant in ambiance, I had the best crab cake and filet I have ever had.  Really.  The service was excellent and wine wonderful.  I would definitely recommend it if you have some money to spend, and you will need a lot, but it is well worth it! 

A few nights ago I had a chance to revisit an old favorite - Beano's Cabin.  This is what you would term a culinary "experience".  Guests are taken up to the Cabin high on Beaver Creek mountain in a snowcat-pulled sleigh.  Yes, it is cold, but the friendly sleigh hosts wrap you in warm, hooded Beano's blankets and its quite lovely.  The gorgeous stars and views make the cold bearable!  My only advice is not to sit in the far back - that's where most of the snow kicked up by the snowcat ends up.  Once at the Cabin, expect a delicious 5-course dinner with everything from game to fish to meat.  I would highly recommend the lamb chop which is the chef's signature entree.  Again, this is pricey, but well worth the experience.

For cheaper eats that are really yummy, Chili Willy's in Minturn is another restaurant my family always has to go to.  Great salsa, great queso, great fish tacos (I think they are the best in the Valley), great margaritas...just great everything.  Be sure to read about Minturn's history on the menu, it's been around for a while and even used to have its own little ski resort. 

I realize I have not mentioned one thing about Vail dining, but we'll get there some other time.  Vail has renowned restaurants of its own - in fact, we had a wonderful lunch at La Bottega a few days ago.  And melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork at Moe's Original Barbeque last week.  Think it might be time for me to stop eating out...