Campo de Fiori: Best Italian in town, with an expert selection of cheeses and cured meats, as well as an impressive Italian-focused wine list. The food—housemade pasta, free-range veal done Italian-style—is fresh, authentic and unfussy. At 100 E. Meadow Dr.; 970-476-8994; campodefiori.net.
Restaurant Kelly Liken: Seasonal American cuisine from one of the best chefs in the Southwest. A carefully edited wine list and an attention to ingredients you won’t find elsewhere (elk carpaccio, Colorado lamb loin) have put this place at the top of everyone’s list. At 12 Vail Rd.; 970-479-0175; kellyliken.com.
Sweet Basil: A hometown favorite since 1977, the restaurant and the New American menu never feel stale, with food and service up to big-city standards. Always packed, especially in high season. At 193 E. Gore Creek Dr.; 970-476-0125; sweetbasilvail.com.
Mountain Standard: New from the Sweet Basil crew. Steaks, chops and fresh produce are cooked over an open flame with a less-is-more approach. Also open for lunch. At 193 E. Gore Creek Dr.; 970-476-0123; mtnstandard.com.
The Left Bank: Old-world French charm with a new, younger chef who is branching out from the traditional menu. The predominantly French wine cellar boasts more than 300 labels. At 183 E. Gore Creek Dr.; 970-476-3696; leftbankvail.com.