Openings and Closings

Mountain Standard opens in Vail, near sibling Sweet Basil

While restaurateurs in Denver are scrambling to open new spots before the end of the year -- and the end of all that holiday business -- the founders of 35-year-old Sweet Basil in Vail just opened Mountain Standard today.

Mountain Standard -- which is around the corner from Sweet Basil in a space once occupied by a fly-fishing store and Blu's, a defunct restaurant -- features a more rustic, relaxed tavern atmosphere than Sweet Basil, with a wood-burning grill and rotisserie as centerpieces. See also: - Vail celebrates 50th anniversary by projecting films and photos on the Logan Ice Theater - Ski porn pioneer Roger Cotton Brown on fifty years of filming at Vail - Vail Valley's popular Eat+Drink is opening in Denver on Platte Street

"Dining, as a whole, has become more casual," says Kevin Clair, co-owner. "We wanted to capitalize on the success of Sweet Basil but provide our guests with a more casual atmosphere and dining experience with Mountain Standard. We believe the two restaurants are a great compliment to one another."

Paul Anders, Sweet Basil's executive chef, has been promoted to oversee the menu and execution at both restaurants; Sweet Basil's former chef de cuisine, Brian Brouillard, is heading the kitchen at Mountain Standard. "You get pure flavor when cooking over fire," he says. "We offer menu selections that are simply prepared-- sometimes with only three or four ingredients. We plan to keep the menu simple and straightforward, which is really the way I love to cook."

Mountain Standard is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week; for more information, call 970-476-0123 or go to

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.