Make a reservation at least a day in advance at Top Chef finalist Kelly Liken’s eponymous 65-seat restaurant. The Culinary Institute of America grad pairs seasonally rotating sides with hearty meat and seafood dishes, like elk carpaccio and her signature potato-crusted trout.
Sample three-ounce pours of more than 40 different varietals of wine from the enomatic dispenser at Vin48 (from $3)—Western Colorado vineyard Jack Rabbit Hill is a local favorite. Chef Charles Hay sources his produce, eggs, and chickens from the restaurant’s farm in nearby Gypsum.
Plan a date at Osaki, an intimate, 22-seat sushi bar in Vail Village (100 E. Meadow Dr.; 970-476-0977). Even in the off-season, the spot fills up quickly, so call at least a day in advance. Sit at the bar and go with whatever the chef is serving, which might include yellowtail sashimi or shrimp and shiitake spring rolls.
Start with house-cured meats and a fragrant Purkisset (gin, lemongrass, lychee, lime, and rosemary) by the fire-pit bar at chef Thomas Salamunovich’s two-year-old Avondale. Located at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, the restaurant combines valley views and market-driven, locally sourced mountain fare, like Summit Creek lamb and Jumping Goat chèvre.