In the world of fine resort dining, there’s a lot more to longevity than a signature dish.

Kevin Clair opened Sweet Basil in June 1977 as a 47-seat restaurant in a location that had housed six different restaurants in six years. 193 Gore Creek Drive was also considered "off the beaten track" since it was not located on the main drag, Bridge Street. Still in the same location, now considered the heart of the Vail Village, Sweet Basil has seen ten remodels and expansions, hundreds of menu changes and has become known as an iconic restaurant in the Vail valley.

Sweet Basil can claim a lot of “firsts” among Vail eateries, from having been the first to serve bottled wines by the glass (when everyone else was pouring it from a box), to having been the first to go completely smoke-free. That record of innovation partly stems from the fact that Clair, a gourmand and frequent traveler, has always tried to measure the quality of Sweet Basil’s food and service not against the competition in Vail, but against the best establishments in great restaurant cities such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. It is that commitment to staying ahead of the curve that has earned the restaurant numerous awards and honors as well as prompted a New York Times reviewer to gush that his dinner “was one of the best meals” he had had in months.

So what's the secret to their successful longevity? A passion that has never wavered: to provide each and every guest with the most memorable experience possible. From the food, which is rooted in the finest seasonal creative American cuisine, to the genuine hospitality of the staff; Sweet Basil works to find one thing every day to make a better experience for their guest.

Sweet Basil accomplishes this mission through dedication, innovation and plain old hard work. It’s that commitment to quality and excellence that keeps them on top of all the surveys and ratings…even after 41 years!

Sweet Basil Circa 1982

Sweet Basil Circa 1982

Sweet Basil Bar 2012

...40+ years later