Fire is the central theme at Mountain Standard, a tavern and raw bar run by the owners of Sweet Basil (Vail’s decades-old landmark and perennial locals’ favorite). Stacked logs surround the hostess stand, and in the kitchen, wood-fed flames impart a smoky flavor to menu items, from the coal-roasted olives to the rotisserie chicken showcased in chef Paul Anders’s salads and sandwiches. “Cooking over a wood fire has a rustic, primeval appeal,” says Anders, who burns red oak and fruit tree boughs to impart milder nuances than the hickory and mesquite favored for traditional barbecue. “It’s like campfire cooking,” he adds. “We’re transferring an outdoorsy flavor to a restaurant setting.”
Ashley Davis Tilley
193 Gore Creek Dr.