Explore Colorado / Travel Tastes

Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil was one of Vail’s food pioneers. This legendary restaurant just celebrated its 40th birthday “cookin’ up something good” since 1977. This swanky spot is a must on a visit to Vail. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. The vibe is mountain cool and the food is creative, modern, and really, really good.

Since Sweet Basil has the rightfully earned reputation of being one of the most iconic restaurants in Vail Valley. You might think that would make it stuffy or pretentious but not at all. Yes, there might be a wait and reservations are recommended for dinner, but this forward-thinking restaurant is cool and comfy enough for the ultra-outdoors lover and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies…which you’ll likely see both and everything in between while you’re there.

I recently got to snag a table on terrace at Sweet Basil with a couple of friends during the GoPro Mountain Games. First up…a cocktail. It wasn’t Sunday but I wanted something light and refreshing so I went for the Lazy Sunday. It’s Ketel One Vodka, aperol, St. Germain, sparkling wine, grapefruit, and soda. It was like sunshine in a glass!

For food we started with Crispy Shrimp and Calamari. It’s one of Sweet Basil’s signature appetizers. The lightly fried shrimp and calamari also includes thin green beans, sweet potato strips, jalapeños, and a couple of onion rings that are to die for. The sweet chili sauce is the perfect blend and sweet and spicy hot.

We also split the Sweet Corn Bruschetta. The combination of blistered tomatoes, sweet corn and ricotta on a grilled piece of salted sourdough bread was simply devine. We all savored every bite.

We all went for appetizers for our lunch entrees. Both Sally and Christy went for the Corn Chowder. The creamy soup was served warmed, not hot, which was perfect on a warm summer day. It’s topped with lime crema, black lime corn nuts, and cilantro. Sally and Christy nearly licked their bowls clean the soup was that good.

I had the Gnocchi Pomodoro with fresh tomato, burrata, roasted baby corn, and tarragon. It was light and bursting with flavor. I loved it, especially with a glass of Sauv Blanc.

Our server Ede originally from Romania was an absolute delight. He was so helpful in making suggestions…including a dessert one. Sweet Basil’s Sticky Toffee Pudding is a mega diet buster, but if you share with the table it means you don’t have to log so many more miles on the trail. It’s served with brown sugar rum ice cream and peanut brittle. My friend Christy who never eats dessert ate several bites and raved about. It’s one of those rave worthy desserts you tell friends when they’re going to a restaurant that they must try.