Vail restaurants appeal to romantic couples with an appetite for good food and welcoming surroundings. Since few activities work up as much of an appetite and burn as many calories as skiing, chefs have leeway in creating substantial meals as well as indulgent desserts and cocktails for couples to linger over. Savor this sampling of restaurants recommended by the Zagat guide and others for romantic travelers.
A recipient of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, La Tour charms romantics with its contemporary French fare. Start with a drink from the trendy bar menu, then savor dover sole meunière, chef/owner Paul Ferzacca’s signature dish.
Savor an all-natural Lark Burger (rated no. 1 in Vail) at Larkspur at the base of Vail Mountain. Its sophisticated fare can be complemented by a good American wine from its 2,000-bottle selection. Considering a mountain marriage? The restaurant is experienced in hosting them for groups of 10 to 500 in all seasons.
Voted most popular restaurant in Colorado in Zagat’s Top Restaurant National Survey, Sweet Basil has been satisfying guests for decades. Warm hospitality and creative American cuisine inspired by Mediterranean, Italian, and Asian influences keep romantics returning to this grown-up spot. And leave room for dessert; the restaurant suggests spirited pairings for its Sweet Basil sweets.
It's a long way from the mountains to the sea, yet that doesn't discourage discriminating diners from coming to Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's nouvelle-sushi eatery within the Solaris development. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a stone fireplace enchant and warm customers and outside fire pits are an ideal spot to wait your turn or kick back with an after-dinner drink.
Located within the Vail Mountain Lodge, health-conscious Terra Bistro uses free-range meat, poultry, and organic products from local farmers in a creative menu influenced by Southwest, Mediterranean and Asian cultures.
Warm, woodsy, and casual, La Bottega is an upscale pizza parlor that serves Italian comfort food. It also boasts the best tiramisu in Vail. To avoid dueling forks, romantic couples are advised to each order their own portion.
If you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Ludwig's award-winning Bavarian-style breakfast buffet makes getting up early worthwhile. In the Sonnenalp hotel, Ludwig's also serves dinner and provides the setting for holiday meals (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve) away from home.
This wine bar/restaurant could more accurately be called Root & Flower & Vine, as it's a favorite with oenophiles; one of the owners serves as the restaurant's Advanced Sommelier. Go late, though; it's a favorite with families (the noise!) as well as couples. Favorite dishes from the limited menu include the house meatballs with roasted fennel marinara, fresh basil, and shaved parmesan.