Photo by Jack Affleck
Photo by Jack Affleck
Where's the Wine Blog
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The Finest Dining Experience on Vail Mountain

The Game Creek Club Restaurant

Game Creek Club Vail, CO Photo by Kimberly Gavin


If you are a “foodie” living in, or visiting the mountain resort of Vail, Colorado, sometimes you just want to “elevate” your dining game. There are a myriad of dining options in Vail, as there would be in any modern resort. Most choices will be casual to semi-formal, and you will find your favorites in Vail Village or Lionshead. Sometimes you just want to escape the hustle of the village streets, especially during peak weeks. I have been visiting Vail for nearly 30 years, and living there for the last 6, but there are still a few restaurants I have not tried. Recently I was attending a trade-tasting event and made some new acquaintances. One of these industry professionals suggested that I try the Game Creek Club at the top of Vail mountain. This idea really intrigued me and a few days later, I find myself (and my husband) heading up the Eagle Bahn Gondola towards our dinner reservation. 

We choose an early dinner reservation to savor the last daylight moments of a January evening. It had been a cloudless day, what we call “bluebird” in this mountain town. We were greeted at the bottom of the gondola by a host, offering us a plush blanket for the ride up. On the short ride up to Eagle’s Nest we watched the sky change. To the east was the surreal color gradient of pink to lavender to indigo over the Gore Range. To the west the sun setting beyond the hills turning them to the color of glowing embers of a campfire.


At the top of the gondola is another greeter helping to connect you to your snow cat driver for your short ride to the restaurant. The lodge is nicely appointed and warm. At the entrance to the bar and dining area you will be greeted by someone offering to take your coat, before being greeted again by your hostess. What struck me about each of these touch points was how excited each person was for us to have this experience. I know you can train people to do this, but clearly each was authentic and shaped by the happy diners that have left the Club in the past.

Game Creek Club Vail, CO Photo by Jack Affleck

The club is consistent with the Bavarian architecture of the Village below. Lots of pale wood with artistic carvings. You can just picture yourself in a European mountain village. Every staff member is committed to your enjoyment. I was immediately aware of what a relaxing evening I would be having, once I put our happiness in their hands. Typically I have a “job” to do when we go out to eat. I am usually the one that peruses the menu and then attempts to predict the best food and wine pairings. This is more challenging, the more diners I am trying to please. But, on this night, we had the expertise of sommelier, Josh MacLean, to curate our meal. Josh has taken this wine program to the level of being awarded Wine Spectator’s “Best Of” Award of Excellence for the last three years in a row.


Not only did we leave the meal to the Chef and his team, we left the wine pairings to the sommelier. I think this sommelier has such a rewarding job, he touches every table and almost every guest, having the opportunity to enhance each of their evenings. He knows the menu and has selected wine options for each course. If you choose the sommelier’s wine pairings, you will most certainly be introduced to wines you may not have selected for yourself. If you have a preference for a different wine, you will be accommodated graciously. The wines available by-the-glass is extensive, with a focus on selections from France. If you are a food and wine enthusiast, this is the way to go. 

As a dining experience, this one was flawless. I would expect that a 5-course meal with amuse-bouche would take all evening, but the flow of service and the attentiveness of the staff was perfect.


A few facts of which to be aware-

  • Game Creek Club is at 10,300 foot elevation. It is best to save your reservation until you are acclimated to the altitude. I guarantee you will enjoy it more.
  • There are a limited number of seatings each night, make reservations well in-advance.
  • I recommend a reservation that will put you at the restaurant before dark. This will allow you to enjoy the stunning views of the Mount of the Holy Cross and the valley below.
  • There are short walks that may involve snow or dirt. This is not the place for your best stilettos. 
  • This is a fine dining venue, but you can be comfortable in your nicest jeans.
  • The Game Creek Club is a private club during the day, during the ski season.
  • The opening and closing dates for the summer and winter season is dependent on the seasonal snow fall. It is a floating schedule each year.
  • You should arrive hungry. There are only two prix fix dining options; 4 courses or 5 courses. Mind you, they are not large portions, and you will be able to clean every plate (at least, we did). Go online to preview the menus and the pricing. You can also make your reservations online.
  • Disclaimer- All of the opinions expressed are our own. This is not a sponsored or affiliate posting. We did accept the invitation to dinner at no charge to us. 
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