A Vail Dining Institution Kicks it Up a Notch
Sweet Basil is a Vail institution. Originally opened in 1977 and located in the heart of Vail Village, the restaurant has long been a hit with locals and visiting skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. In summer, diners can eat at tables overlooking Gore Creek, while in the winter, the low-lit dining room and bar feel welcoming and cozy. The seasonal, locally-inspired food has always been good, but in 2014 it went from good to great thanks to the creativity and talent of chefs Blake Edmunds and Chris Schmidt. Former alum of Denver's popular Squeaky Bean, the duo have brought bolder flavors to the menu and smart twists on some of Sweet Basil's signature dishes. The winter 2014 menu was featuring dishes such as crispy veal sweetbreads with roasted Brussels sprouts, shaved bear, basil, and truffle vinaigrette and quail a la planca with date puree, pomegranate, chestnuts, sage, and pickled quail egg. The popular pan roasted duck breast is still on the entree list, alongside newer dishes such as a seed-crusted monkfish with charred octopus escabeche, baby carrot, radish, and mole Coloradito (photo). Save room for dessert. The crowd-pleasing hot sticky toffee pudding is now even better with the addition of peanut brittle and ice cream.