Friday, May, 24, 2013
Perched at the top of Gondola One on Vale Mountain, The 10th offers not just beautiful views but also amazing gluten-free fare! This is the most swoon-worthy stop I’ve made in a long while.
Image Courtesy of Vail.com
I’m an avid snow skier but rarely eat at on-hill restaurants. First, there’s rarely anything I can eat and second, the restaurants aren’t usually spaces in which I’d like to take a break from skiing. Vail is the exception to this, I’ve enjoyed on-hill food several times and The 10th is a great addition to their offerings. The 10th was newly opened in the 2012/13 ski season.
All of that said, I didn’t visit The 10th mid-day while skiing. My favorite fella surprised me with a nighttime visit to The 10th to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Back when I was still eating gluten, one of my very favorite things to do was to have wine and dessert out. Not a full meal, just a glass of wine, maybe even a shared dessert. That doesn’t happen often now, especially when there is only one restaurant in my home city where I can indulge in dessert. What a sweet surprise!
On a lovely evening stroll through Vail Village, my fella steered me toward the gondola and suggested we go for a ride. What?!? Well, ok…
We were tucked in a gondola with cozy blankets and spent about 8 minutes watching Vail Village slip away…
At the top of the gondola, this fella greeted us and took us on a quick Snow Cat ride to The 10th.
Inside The 10th, it is warm and welcoming. Exposed timbers and stonework create a space that feels both rustic and elegant. A large fireplace consumes one wall of the lounge area. Comfy seating is in abundance. The dining area looked beautiful, but we were there for dessert and drinks and found our way to the lounge area.
A gluten-free menu awaited us. Wow! Lots to choose from for meals AND desserts. Pizzas, sandwiches, soups, all were available gluten-free. This statement appears on the menu: “WE ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR OUR GUESTS WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE ALERT YOUR SERVER TO ANY ALLERGIES OR SENSITIVITIES WE MAY ACCOMMODATE.” And accommodate they did. I had no fewer than four desserts to choose from.
We ordered drinks from the bar:
We indulged in the Baked Alaska:
And the Vanilla Pot de Creme with bruleed bananas:
Of all of the places I have dined gluten-free, The 10th is one of the few with a profound attitude of ease when it comes to gluten-free. Every question I asked was answered knowledgeably and without hesitation. Surely there’s a more verbose way for me to describe it, but easy is what comes to mind. Wouldn’t it be great if more restaurants made dining out gluten-free safe and easy? If I had to take a gondola up a mountain to reach such restaurants, I would gladly do it!
The 10th is located at the base of Look Ma run at Mid-Vail. Beginners may ski into The 10th using Meadows from Chair 3 or 4, or using Over Easy from Chair 2. Beginners may ski out of The 10th by accessing Chair 3 or 4, by using Git-a-long road to ski to Chair 2 or the bottom, or by downloading on the new gondola at Mid Vail. Foot passenger traffic for dinner is free up Gondola One, but for lunch a scenic ride ticket is required. The 10th is open for breakfast (coffee, hot chocolate and pastries fireside), lunch and dinner. I would suggest a reservation for lunch or dinner, 970-754-1010.
Eat With: Very Minimal Caution. A gluten-free menu is available and the staff I encountered were very knowledgeable.
Johnna’s I Ate Here series is not intended as a restaurant review, rather a summary of Johnna’s experience dining out. You may or may not have a similar experience. Menu prices, items and ingredients featured were current at the time of writing. Please read the menu carefully and ask your server for assistance in ordering if you have dietary restrictions. It’s a good idea to call ahead and let the restaurant know of your food needs.
Saturday, February, 16, 2013
I took a few days off recently to go snow skiing. I’ve been skiing for 20+ years, but my favorite fella is relatively new to skiing. Skiing on a gentler area of the mountain with him gave me lots of opportunity to observe kids and adults in ski school.
Maybe it was the thin air above 10,000 feet making me loopy, but in watching kids as young as 3 learn to ski, I learned a few lessons. Not lessons that apply just to skiing, but lessons that apply to life and more specifically, to the challenges of eating healthier foods or eating with a dietary restriction.
I saw this ski instructor loading a 3 year old up on a chair lift. Chair lifts can be scary, but apparently not to 3 year olds. Well, at least not until you get to the top of the mountain. Then sometimes you need a little assistance. A handy loop on the back of this cutie’s jacket made it easy for the instructor to pick her right up and set her down on her skis at the top of the lift.
Sometimes, I need a loop on the back of my jacket, too, for those moments when I reach the really challenging part of any task and need a little support or encouragement. I’m grateful for those around me who don’t hesitate to grab me by the back of my jacket and firmly place my feet beneath me. When I get discouraged that eating healthy doesn’t make me as thin as I wish or that eating gluten-free isn’t always easy, I’m thankful for that loop on the back of my jacket.
From the chair lift, I saw another little kid, surely under 5, in a group class. The instructor was waiting just a bit down the mountain. First, the kiddo was skiing great, facing forward, yet very quickly got turned around backwards. Rather effortlessly, he was gliding down the hill backwards. The entire class, kids and the instructor, kept cheering him on! “You’ve got it, keep coming this way!”
Boy, did I recognize this position. Sometimes I’m moving the right direction, down the mountain or toward the finish line, yet I’m looking the opposite direction. And there’s my tribe, my wonderful group of encouragers, keeping me on task, cheering for me, directing me to my goal. I think this may be the most critical element in making dietary changes, having folks who will cheer you on even when you are looking the opposite direction.
And then there were the tumbles. People learning to ski, and even more so, people learning to snowboard, fall A LOT. The little kids on the slopes rebound quickly, pop right back up and head on down the mountain. Some folks are a little less reluctant to try again, maybe they’ve already fallen 50 times that day, maybe snowboarding isn’t coming naturally to them. But the important thing is that they get back up.
I’ve tumbled, stumbled and fallen a lot in my quest for health and on my weight loss journey. Some days, I pop back up like those little kids learning to ski and get right back to it. Other times, I’ve taken much longer to get back on track. I’ve considered trudging down the ski slope in clunky boots instead of learning to ski. Guess which method is more effective?
The last little tidbit I learned came on the very last day of our ski trip. My favorite fella doesn’t really dig snow skiing. It’s getting easier for him and he falls a lot less these days, but I’m never certain he enjoys it as much as he tolerates it because I enjoy it. So on the final day of our trip, he said, “I’m gonna learn to snowboard today.” WHAT?!? It’s hard, many folks spend their first 3 days falling and falling and falling some more. How much could he learn in half a day and how frustrating would it be?
I went skiing by myself for awhile and after a few hours, skied over to where he was taking a class.
Imagine my surprise–he was upright. He was making smooth turns and it was obvious he was actually enjoying it! So after three years of trying to ski and not really digging it, he tried something slightly different and found his nitch.
I know about this. I’ve tried and tried to stick with eating plans that were overly restrictive but promised to make me healthier, tried the current trendy “lose weight fast” plan and struggled. It wasn’t easy, wasn’t enjoyable, didn’t work for me. Not that everything has to be easy or enjoyable, but I know now that I’m much more likely to stick with a plan if it is. The lesson, in short, if you are doing something that isn’t really working for you, change it up!
So that’s it on my deep thoughts from ski school. I’ve returned to lower elevation and am all set to put some of the lessons into play. And the next time I’m in the mountains, I may just learn to snowboard…