December 2011 Elways Opening Party

The opening party on December 9th at Elways Vail was A Happening (Elway's Vail, 174 East Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO 81657, tel. 970-754-7818, e-mail:, web:  I don't think we've ever been to an event quite like it. We were invited by friends who received an invitation. We thought it would be a limited, kind of exclusive event. The invitation said: "party attire".

We arrived at 6:30 p.m. and the entry hall was packed worse than a Beijing subway at rush hour. No one was checking guests names against a list of invitees. It was a total mob scene. And, in that tiny entry way, was also the buffet table for the extravagant seafood offering: oysters, crab legs, lobster. Worse still the plates were on the opposite side of the buffet table from where the people in the line were starting. Negotiating that space, required fortitude as well as a little experience living in New York City. The seafood was worth the effort. It was excellent.

Once we and our friends had our seafood plates we looked for (and incredibly found) a high bar table in the area of the restaurant called Cucina Rustica. We had 4 high chairs and a ring side seat to everyone coming and going through that room. In that room was also a long buffet table of meats and vegetables. There were bars in each room and roving waitpeople serving champagne and wine and anything else requested. There was also waitstaff serving appetizers--like sliders and crabcakes that were very good.

This room too became jam-packed with Everyone Who Was (Ever) Anyone in Vail--mayors, ex-mayors, the socially connected and the friends (like us) of the socially connected.  John Elway was there, Lindsey Vonn was there and hundreds of other people too.

Once we finished our seafood, we would, one at a time, leave our table to venture out into the main part of Elways new space. We were able to keep this well-located table all evening by doing that.There was one room with salads. The part of the restaurant that was Wildflower had another buffet table of meats and vegetables. That part of the restaurant had  booths and in the semi-circular window area, a buffet table of desserts.

The meat was butter tender and totally awesome. The vegetables were very good too. We ate absolutely everything, including the desserts and, by the end of the evening, felt like balloons ready to burst. We had a blast and think everyone else did too.

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