We randomly stumbled upon the rstaurant while walking to our hotel from the slopes one day and based on the initial impression made a reservation for a dinner few nights later. We couldn't have been happier with our choice !
Ambiance - the place has a great buzz about it. It's just the right size to feel both cozy and buzzing at the same time. The noise level allows for a pleasant dinner conversation. The main dining area has a view of the open kitchen where chef and the cooks go about their business, allowing diners to take a peek.
Drinks - restaurant has a great selection of wines from around the world (by the bottle - which you can take with you if unfinished - and by the glass) as well as beer. Many beers come from artisanal microbreweries in Colorado, allowing the visitors to get a taste of and feel connected to the region
Food - EXCELLENT ! Menu relies on the staples of the modern American cuisine and allows the ingredients to shine. Daily, three types of oysters from East and West Coast are on the menu as well as number of other appetizers - we tasted bone marrow and charred octopus and both were delicious. Entrees vary between mountain trout, rottiserrie chicken, salmon and lamb among others. My husband ordered rottiserrie chicken (twice !) and I had a trout. Both were executed to perfection without being too "busy." On a separate occasion, I tasted lobster pot pie which hit the spot on a particularly cold December day.
Service - We couldn't have been happier with our server, John, who was attentive and knowledgeable without being too obtrusive. The menu also lets buy a "six-pack" for the cooks in the kitchen, which we gladly did.
Overall experience - After our first visit we loved the place so much we went back for long leisurly lunch few days later. Without the doubt Montain Standard stood up among its peers in Vail.