Our Team's Favorite Dishes in Aspen

Posted on August 18, 2022 by Chris Klug

It is no secret that Aspen has some incredible culinary experiences that complement the attractions that made this town famous such as skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, etc. At this point, the food scene is as much a part of the list of attractions as anything else. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to fit the best meals in during a short trip. Please enjoy the list below of some the best dishes in town according to our team of three long-time locals!

White House Tavern – Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Don’t just take it from our mouths – anyone who has spent a decent amount of time in town will recommend the crispy chicken sandwich from White House Tavern as a must-have! It is seriously impressive how many of these the kitchen cranks out on any given day. When seated, take a look around. It is almost a guarantee that each table will have at least one of these in front of them. Every ingredient could stand on its own from the house-made torta to the spicy slaw to the aioli. Each bite is better than the last.

The Monarch – Table Side Caesar

If presentation, along with taste, is important to your dining experience then look no further than the table side caesar salad at The Monarch. You could write a book on the atmosphere alone, but we’re talking dishes here. With fresh ground anchovies, freshly picked romaine and a sharp but smooth parmesan, this salad is one of the best in town.

BOSQ – 7-Course Meal

The special thing about BOSQ, aside from the exquisite dishes, is that it’s one of the last chef-owned restaurants in Aspen. Chef Barcley Dodge and his wife, Molly, have owned BOSQ since 2016 and welcome their guests as if BOSQ is an extension of their home. They include local ingredients from farms and foraging and the menu is constantly changing to reflect the best this valley has to offer. My last meal there included mushrooms hand-picked from up Independence Pass. How cool! We won’t recommend just one dish here as they are all delicious. Go for the 7-course meal and let them curate the experience for you. The drink pairings are also worth exploring.

Ellina – Halibut & Wine List

Ellina is a contemporary Italian-American restaurant with meals for everyone and an award winning wine cellar. I recently had the Alaskan Halibut and it was one of the most flavorful yet subtly complex pieces of whitefish I’ve ever tasted. To us, Ellina is a must while in Aspen. Ask to sit in the lower level. The atmosphere is intoxicating. We would also recommend letting the expertly trained staff pair your food and wine. What an experience!

J-Bar or Ajax Tavern – Burger

No Aspen foodie list would be complete without mentioning the best burgers in town at the Hotel Jerome’s J-Bar or The Little Nell’s Ajax Tavern. It’s hard to say which one is better. We go back and forth. You’ll just have to decide for yourself. What we can say, however, is don’t miss out on the truffle fries if you go to Ajax Tavern. They pair perfectly with the burger. Also, try sitting at the bar at J-Bar and ask to see “the drawer” and the history behind it. It’s a fun little piece of Aspen’s culture.

We could go on listing 100 more meals to try, but these are some of our favorites. For more recommendations, feel free to give us a shout. Happy to talk food, wine or real estate anytime! Enjoy the rest of August and we hope to see you out and about enjoying some of the best culinary experiences in the world.

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No Pass? No Problem! How to Enjoy Food & Wine Without a Pass

Posted on June 17, 2022 by Chris Klug

It’s officially one of the biggest weekends in the culinary and wine world as the Food & Wine Classic is underway in Aspen! When the most famous chefs and winemakers from around the globe commune in one location, scoring tickets is bound to be difficult. Passes have been sold out for weeks leading up to this weekend, but you don’t necessarily need a pass to enjoy town and get some delicious treats and drinks. Here are some ideas for how to spend your weekend.

The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) will be open all weekend featuring their new “Mountain/Time” exhibition exploring the ideas of re-mapping, migration, Indigenous geographies, storytelling and time in themes inspired by the intertwined histories and geographies of the mountains and their ecological systems. Grab a glass of wine from the rooftop café and explore the exhibit for your own personal, air-conditioned wine tasting event.

Kemo Sabe, the little hat store with a huge reputation, will be open all weekend offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres for those shopping and browsing their intimate western collection. If you don’t already have a branded Stetson from Kemo, this is a great weekend to stop in and get one as the sun will only continue to get hotter over the next month.

The Aspen Saturday Market will be open tomorrow morning starting at 8:30am. You may not be able to walk around with wine in-hand, but there is no shortage of food to be had. Our favorites are the pastries from Louis Swiss Bakery and the kettle corn stand!

Views and rooftops more your speed? Stop by the W rooftop for a delicious watermelon mojito and look over the Food and Wine tents as you laugh about having better views!

Lastly, depending on what kind of food you are looking for, almost every restaurant in town offers custom menus featuring fantastic wine pairings this weekend. Finding a table might be difficult at peak hours, but if you look for reservations between standard lunch and dinner times, you can probably find a seat and enjoy the specialty pairings while they last. However you spend your weekend, please be safe and enjoy the start of summer in our special mountain town!

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Hot Spots for Après in Aspen

Posted on January 28, 2022 by Chris Klug

If skiing is the first thing Aspen is known for, the second would certainly be the après ski and culinary scene. For some, après is of the utmost importance and a ski day is incomplete without it. It isn’t uncommon for locals and tourists alike to take a lap or two just to say they skied to have an excuse to take part. No judgement from us, though! With the array of options available in Aspen Snowmass, après is a must. Especially on a blue bird day. Keep reading for some of our top picks for enjoying a beverage and/or meal after a day on the slopes.

For The Energy

For those with energy left over from the slopes, a few places come to mind if you are looking to dance, mingle and be merry. Chica Aspen, just steps from the legendary Silver Queen Gondola, is always a high-energy, indoor/outdoor venue to carry over the good vibes from the mountain. On sunny days, they have a DJ stationed by the outside bar, where dancing might as well be a requirement for entry. We recommend their Hotty Toddy on colder days and a crisp Colorado Native beer on warmer days. Chica also has an incredible food menu featuring Peruvian inspired cuisine from celebrity chef Lorena Garcia, and although it is relatively new, Chica is already making a name for itself as an Aspen staple.

The Highlands Alehouse is another great spot for those looking to keep the energy high. With a wide assortment of beers, delicious food (you have to try the fried Oreos) and typically a younger crowd, the Alehouse is a well-trafficked après destination. If you are on Highlands and want an even higher-energy experience, try Cloud 9 on the mountain. What starts as a gourmet meal for the early Noon seating, soon turns into a proper Euro style champagne spraying, table dancing après party around 3 pm. Cloud 9 is one of the most iconic restaurants in Aspen and worth a reservation if you haven’t been.

For The Atmosphere

If sophisticated and chic speak more to your ideal après experience, you will want to frequent The Wine Bar at Little Nell, French Alpine Bistro and J-Bar at Hotel Jerome. New this season, The Wine Bar features an intimate seating area with an extensive list of wines to satisfy even the pickiest oenophile. French Alpine Bistro offers a refined après experience, serving up delicacies in a chalet setting. Enjoy hand-made cocktails, raclette and fondue for a European take on your typical après scene. Lastly, the J-Bar at Hotel Jerome is an iconic bar to enjoy vintage cocktails in a western setting. The history runs deep in this hotel as cowboys, miners, and Hunter S. Thompson used to regularly gather for drinks.

For The Food

While the places mentioned above all have incredible food, there are two après go-to’s that simply can’t be beat in the culinary field. If you ask a group of locals what the best après meal in town is, the majority will respond with the burger and truffle fries at Ajax Tavern. You simply will not find a more satisfying burger to replenish those calories burned on the slopes. The prime, sun-drenched location at the base of Ajax is the cherry on top!

If you are skiing Snowmass, you’ll want to try Aurum at Base Village. Every item on the menu is worth trying and the best part is they have some of the best happy hour prices in the Aspen Snowmass area! Sam’s Restaurant is some of the best Italian in the Roaring Fork Valley, but plan ahead as it is popular. The deck in springtime is a great outdoor venue as well.

Après is a massive part of the Aspen Snowmass ski culture! We hope this post helps you navigate it in a way that makes the most sense for you and your family/friends to have the greatest time on and off the mountain. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out for more recommendations or any real estate questions. This market is crazy right now, we can help you understand it! Happy après skiing!

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