Editor’s note: This story first ran as a paid feature in EAT magazine.
Any time from morning through evening is perfect for settling into a meal at Tavern on the Square in Lionshead Village. Located just steps from the Eagle Bahn Gondola in the Arrabelle at Vail Square, this casual-yet-refined restaurant is where you can watch people come and go from the mountain any time of day.
Tavern on the Square has an incredible breakfast buffet every morning, included for Arrabelle hotel guests, along with an extensive menu for lunch, afternoon après-ski and dinner. It all highlights what Executive Chef Paul Wade does best: alpine inspired cuisine with a sophisticated twist. The breakfast buffet runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and really has it all, from a made-to-order omelet bar, sides of hash browns and sausage, to a table full of pastries, fresh fruits and cereals. And like the rest of the Tavern menu, there are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. For lunch or après-ski, kick back and relax outside on the patio or in the warm comfort of the restaurant.
Start with a decadent and delicious starter of triple cream Brie en Croute — local camembert in a pastry puff alongside fruit conserve, pistachio puree and five-spiced Belgian waffle wedges. The table can also share a wild boar quesadilla with Peruvian red chili on top. The Noodle Bowl is a great way to unthaw from the inside out as bites of fresh veggies, noodles, a farm egg and broth can be spooned up or captured by the cloud of crispy rice sitting on top of the bowl. Lead Bartender Dan Cook has created an innovative cocktail list for the season.
The Smoky Nail, which Cook says is his favorite drink on the menu, is a truly unique play on a Rusty Nail. Rather than scotch, this cocktail uses a smoky mezcal and also includes an ice cube made from water infused with serrano peppers and orange. “The longer this drink sits, the more it changes,” he explains. “It’s getting spicier and spicier and spicier as you’re going. It’s an active drink, and really makes you sit and take your time while you’re drinking it.” It’s all about the details for Wade and his team, so whether you’ve dressed up or are coming right off the mountain, the Tavern is prepared to impress with a menu of dynamic flavors and a consistent offering of elite service.
If you go …
What: tavern on the square, a slopeside restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, après and dinner in an inviting, lively and upscale atmosphere.
Where: Lionshead Village
Cost: Breakfast Buffet: $34 per person; Starters and shared plates: $16-$28; Flatbreads, salads and sandwiches: $13-$24; Large plates: $25-$44.
Signature dish: Noodle Bowl with choice of meat or tofu, pea shoots, farm egg, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, jalapeño, roasted vegetable broth and a crispy nori cloud.
More information: 970.754.7704 | THEVAILCOLLECTION.COM/TAVERN-ON-THE-SQUARE.