Last day of the ski season, Vail mountain

Quite the party at the top of Vail mountain last week.  Sorry for the wait for the pictures, but we are still recovering from all the parties, concerts, pond skimming, etc.  Here are some pictures from Vail mountain on the last day. Chris R.

The masses at the top

Until next year

Coffee Fix

While the Antlers at Vail offers many complimentary amenities, some of which include free underground parking and Internet access one of the most crucial of them is the complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby. We know how important a pick up can be for an early morning powder day or after a long few days of enjoying the outdoors. Not getting that pick-me-up can leave most of us a little out of sorts.

Once we’ve had our coffee we can begin our day or in some cases continue on.

Of course some times there is the possibility of over doing it!

Next time you are in Vail remember there is still such a thing as a free cup of coffee! And we don’t mind if you over do it a little.

Katie Nelson

Blue Sky Grilling, Having a brat up at Blue Sky

One of the best kept secrets (although no one is trying to keep it a secret) is to do some grilling up at Blue Sky Basin for lunch.   They have a couple of grills for everyone to use, free of charge I might add.  Load up a back-back with some brews, your choice of meat, buns and chips and you have yourself a fantastic lunch at 11,000+ feet.   It was a warm one today.  The snow is melting fast.  Closing day for Vail mountain is coming up this Sunday.  Chris R.
Here is Mark Ulmschneider and “CJ” from the Antlers at Vail

Mark having a beer on vacation

Tom, Elaina, Mark, Fausto, Cristina, Chris  and  CJ

Antlers at Vail  guests Fausto and Cristina visiting from Italy

Recipe of the Week from Chef Angelee Aurillo

Chef Angelee Aurillo

We are still not sure if winter has ended and spring has begun.  One day it is blue skies and 50* and the next day it snows a foot and a half!  This soup is perfect for one of those gray, in between days.  These recipes are no question favorites of everyone who eats them.   They are extremely simple and extremely satisfying.  They are perfect for a hearty lunch or for a light dinner.  You can serve this cheesy bread with just about anything, but if you do, expect to be asked for the recipe!  I think a nice Pilsner or ESB is the perfect complement to the meal.   Bon appétit! 

Bean and Bacon Soup with Cheesy Onion Bread

 (Serves 4)

Bean and Bacon Soup

8 slices of bacon, diced into bite sized pieces, 2T (cooked) reserved for garnish

1 ½ Large Yellow Onion, finely diced

2 Medium Carrots, peeled and finely diced

3 Cans Cannellini or Great Northern Beans, with liquid

Salt to taste (Taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly.  I usually do not add much salt considering how much bacon there is in this recipe…  It is bean with bacon, after all…)

Freshly cracked pepper at the table (I do not use black pepper in most of my recipes…I would rather it be offered at the table)

Cheesy Onion Bread

1/3 c Mayonnaise

1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, finely minced

1 c grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/8 t Cayenne Pepper

1/4 t Salt

4 thick slices of French bread (If you wish to use sliced baguette, allow 2 slices per person)

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the oil and then the bacon.  Cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove with slotted spoon and reserve.  Add the onion and cook until just soft, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes until soft.   Add the beans and mix well.  Let it cook on medium , stirring often for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, but keeping your eye on it.  (Due to all of the natural starch in the beans, the soup will stick if not stirred often or if the heat is too high.  If it becomes too thick, add a small amount of water.)  We like the soup on the thicker side, but if you prefer it thinner, cook it for less time and do not let it reduce as much.  Mine usually cooks for about 15 minutes.  Add the cooked bacon reserving 2T bacon for garnish.   

 Preheat the oven to 350*.  Begin the cheesy bread while the soup is cooking… In a bowl, mix the first five ingredients.  Spread generously on the sliced bread and put onto a baking sheet.   Bake the bread for 15 minutes or until the tops have browned.  Serve the bread with a hot bowl of soup and a cold beer.  Enjoy!

What Surrounds 2 Dozen Picnic Tables at 11,000 Feet?

What I saw were 15 restaurants and their chef’s cooking on their own grills. Chardonnay chilling in piles of snow. Bottles of Stella in buckets of ice. A few 100 people dressed in street clothes or ski gear holding small plates of samplers from each of the vendors. And a ton of Colorado blue sky.

On Saturday it was the annual Taste of Vail Mountain Top Picnic held just above Eagles Nest. Lets talk about a festive atmosphere.

We arrived at the picnic after attempting to make a few runs on the front side before the sun had time to “soften” things up a bit (Chris R has the perfect analogy; “It’s like skiing on corral”). Mr. Sun was only shinning on the back and we chose not to venture that way with the risk of not getting our fair share of grouper fish tacos, cherry bbq ribs, craw fish pie, lemon seared quail, and a few other delectables I don’t remember because of all we tasted to wash it down with. If it all wasn’t so perfect, I would call it decadent. Or maybe it was almost perfect with a little sprinkle of decadence.

We behaved enough though, and rather than ride the gondola the wrong way down, we decided to ski in what was now soft snow. So much fun we did it again. A little warm up for things to come. I can’t wait for the “Mother-In-Law Picnic” coming to a ski area near you soon.

Stephanie and Randi chow down……But where is Greg?

Ahhhh….All the comforts of home.

……..And ……Relax.

Taste of Vail

The 20th annual Taste of Vail got under way on Thursday, April 8th with several events including the Lamb Cook-Off and Apres Ski Tasting.  Local chefs were quite creative in their lamb dishes and participating wineries showcased an assortment of wines.  The weather was perfect and quite a crowd attended.

The 2nd Place winner was a lamb tamale topped with jicama slaw and green chili from the restaurant Ocotillo located in the Vail Marriott. The sample margarita was sweet and tangy. (I really wished it was full sized.)

Festivities continue today with several seminars and with the popular Mountain Top Picnic.  Saturday is the final day ending the food feast. The big daddy of food and wine tasting is the Grand Tasting and Dinner Dance at the Vail Mountain Marriott Saturday night. This main event features all Taste of Vail restaurants, wineries, and guest chefs. For a complete schedule of events and ticket information please call 970-926-5665 or visit

– Darci

Vail Mountain expands its terrain for Closing Week

Can you believe it?! Vail Resorts sent out a press release yesterday reporting that portions of China Bowl, Tea Cup Bowl and Blue Sky Basin will remain open through closing day, Sunday, April 18th. The additional lifts open: Sun Up Lift (#17), Tea Cup Express Lift (#36) and Skyline Express Lift (#37). More than 3,600 acres of skiable terrain will be available beginning Monday, April 12th so what are you waiting for? Call the Antlers at Vail and book your stay with our “Snowball Special“.

Vail Mountain Powder (Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts)