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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2022 Ride for the Pass

Posted on May 20, 2022 by Chris Klug

We are just two days away from the 28th annual Ride for the Pass taking place at 10:00 am this Sunday, May 22nd. We are extremely proud to sponsor this event and support the work done by the Independence Pass Foundation. For decades, the foundation has been doing the important work of restoring and protecting the ecological, historical and aesthetic integrity of the Independence Pass corridor. Without foundations like these and without the support they receive from our community, so much of what we enjoy in this valley would not exist. We would like to give a big thanks to the foundation and everyone who has signed up to ride on Sunday. Keep reading for more information about the event.

If you haven’t already signed up, you still have time! However, there will be no day-of sign ins. So, be sure to sing up now and secure your spot. Registration costs $25 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. For timed riders, the race starts at 10:00 am and for recreational/e-bikers it starts at 10:10 am. There is parking available at the large pullout across from Difficult Campground, along highway 82 pullouts and very limited parking at the winter closure gate, which is where the race starts. There will be two finish lines: The first at Weller Lake turnout, just over two miles from the starting line for families and recreational riders, and the second at the traditional Independence ghost town site ten miles from the start (climbing 2,300 feet and topping out at 10,800’ in elevation). Winning times are usually around 40 minutes with most riders finishing under two hours. There will also be trucks taking your warm clothes to the appropriate finish lines. Just bring a bag labeled with your name and have it loaded by 9:45 am.

After the race, there will be a barbecue and raffle at the start gate. Enjoy some well-earned burgers, brats and beers and mingle with fellow racers in support of the Independence Pass Foundation. There will be no awards ceremony since riders will be finishing at different times, but preliminary results will be available just a few hours after the event with official results emailed to riders in 24 hours. This is going to be a great day for a great cause. We have always enjoyed participating in the race and look forward to seeing you out there!

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Picking the Right Mountain in Aspen Snowmass

Posted on March 17, 2022 by Chris Klug

Happy springtime from Klug Properties! Don’t let the sunny days and slushy streets fool you, we still have a few more weeks of great skiing/riding ahead of us. Having the luxury of four mountains at our fingertips means you can ski any terrain your heart desires but knowing where that terrain is can be tricky. Let us help you navigate Aspen Snowmass with this succinct guide to choosing the right mountain for you and your family or friends.

We of course start with the famed Ajax, also known as Aspen, Mountain. Ajax is located right in town about a 5-minute or less walk from any major hotel. This mountain features some of the most beautiful views and steepest terrain in Colorado, and its biggest perk is the top-to-bottom gondola (great for warming up on a chilly day). It’s location plus the gondola make it a highly desirable mountain, but beginners beware! There are no greens or bunny hills to practice on. Just blues, blacks and double blacks. As long as you aren’t a beginner, this is an amazing, convenient and cozy option being right in town and the best mountain for participating in the Après scene.

Very near town, about a 7-minute drive, is many locals’ favorite Aspen Highlands. This mountain has a wide array of options from some of the best groomers in the valley to the legendary Highlands Bowl, which is best enjoyed on a powder day if you have the determination to make the 45-minute hike with your skis/board strapped to your back. Beginners should also beware of Highlands, as it is almost as steep as Ajax with very few green runs.

Buttermilk is also near town, about a 10-minute drive, and is ideal for a wide array of ski enthusiasts from children to beginners to park enthusiasts to uphillers. This is the best mountain to learn how to ski if you never have before. It is also home to the Aspen Winter X Games, making it a park lover’s dream once the games are over and the features stick around. Finally, the fastest growing ski trend in the valley is uphilling and Buttermilk is one of the best mountains for it. Don’t miss out on Friday breakfast at the Cliffhouse every week. A great reward for earning your turns in the morning.

Last but certainly not least is Snowmass Mountain. This mountain truly has something for everyone and is the most family friendly of them all for multiple reasons including the European-style base village, multiple restaurants on the mountain, plenty of runs from greens to double blacks and several parks for those trying to push their limits. Hiking up longshot, about a 10 to 15-minute hike, is a great alternative for those who want untouched powder but aren’t willing to make the 45-minute trek on Highlands Bowl. This is also the largest mountain by a ‘long shot’ (see what we did there?) with over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain. You could spend a whole week in Snowmass without touching Aspen and experience new runs, restaurants and views everyday.

However you choose to enjoy our four world-class mountains, we hope you have a blast and make plenty of unforgettable memories along the way. We would love to make some turns with you. Reach out to us and we can show you some of our favorite ways to experience Aspen Snowmass from a local’s perspective.

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X Games 2022 - Schedule, Advice and Happenings

Posted on January 21, 2022 by Chris Klug

      X Games Aspen 2022 is officially underway and we couldn’t be more excited for this action packed weekend! Having so many people in town means there will be a lot to do, but it isn’t easy navigating this weekend without a little help. Continue reading for information on Covid safety, event scheduling, advice for attending the X Games, and some happenings in town.

Covid Safety

      X Games Aspen 2022 will welcome spectators back to competition viewing and X Fest areas with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and masks must be worn in all indoor X Games event areas except when eating or drinking. Fans 11 years old and under may attend without vaccination if accompanied by a vaccinated adult and must wear a form-fitting facemask at all times except when eating and drinking. For additional information, please visit the X Games COVID Policies Page. Buttermilk Mountain will be open to the public operating under Aspen Skiing Company guidelines and will not require proof of vaccination for skiing and snowboarding. 

Event Schedule

      Please visit the X Games Schedule Page for a full breakdown of events and results once the events happen.

Attendance Advice

      Attending the X Games, especially at night, is not for the faint of heart. If you think you are wearing enough layers, bring one more! You’ll want to dress warmer than if you were hitting the slopes yourself, as a lot of time spent at the events will be standing still in snow. Insulation on the upper body is a must! Think anything puffy. Thick wool socks, snow boots, and gloves will be your best friends. If you don’t have any of those, check out Ute Mountaineer in downtown for a great selection. They also carry hand and foot warmers, which are always helpful. You may want to bring a camelback with water if you plan on getting to the front row for the big events and don’t want to leave your spot for hydration. Overall, be sure to dress as warm as you can and be mindful of the attendees around you. Everyone is there to have a good time and witness some of the best athletes in the world compete. Let’s create an environment that will have visitors feeling warm and welcomed!

Happenings

      First off, no trip to Aspen is complete without some time on the slopes. Spend the first half of the day eating up some of the immense snowfall we experienced in late-December, early-February before attending the games or spending time in town. Want to ski Aspen Snowmass like a local? Try “The Dumps” on Ajax for steep trees and glades. The Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands offers some of the best inbounds, big-mountain terrain in North America. The bootpack up Highland Bowl is worth the effort! Find the “G Zones” off the summit or cut the hike short and drop in at “Fun Deck.” And if you venture past the roundabout and head to Snowmass look for “Sheer Bliss,” “Long Shot,” and “Sneaky’s” for long runs without crowds.

      Want to experience what outdoor activities Aspen has to offer other than skiing/riding? Try ice climbing with Aspen Expeditions. Snowmobiling with T-Lazy 7 Ranch or Blazing Adventures. Or snow/fat bike rentals with Ute City Cycles. There is no shortage of ways to get engaged with the beautiful landscape around us. We highly recommend these excursions as you will get to see a side of this unique ski town that not many people get to witness.

      When it comes to eating out and nightlife this weekend, it will be a challenge to find restaurants and clubs as open as they usually are. Reservations are almost a must if you want to experience Aspen in full form during X Games. However, there are still some restaurants and bars/clubs that you’ll be able to attend. As for quick eats in town that never require reservations, try: Silverpeak Grill (hamburgers, soups, salads), Big Wrap (burritos), CP Burger (gourmet burgers and ice skating), Grateful Deli (subs, paninis, salads), Highlands Taqueria (Mexican), and New York Pizza (by-the-slice pizza, subs, salads). For less exclusive bars/clubs in town where reservations aren’t essential, try: Eric’s Bar (billiards and cigar bar), Aspen Tap (local brewery with TVs), Escobar and/or 7908 (both dance clubs right across the street from one another), and Silver City Mountain Saloon (old-west themed bar with live music).

      However you decide to do it, we hope you enjoy one of the biggest weekends of the year in Aspen! As always, reach out to us with any questions, real estate or non-real estate related. We are always happy to help improve your Aspen Snowmass experience.

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A Local Take on Skiing Aspen Snowmass

Posted on December 10, 2021 by Chris Klug

            Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and stress-free! However, for the seasoned skier/snowboarder looking to crush the best terrain possible at a new resort, finding it can be a hassle. Given that we got over a foot of snow in the last 24 hours, we would love to help you get the most out of your time on our incredible mountains in Aspen Snowmass. We asked some of our dear friends and long-time locals to give their two cents on where they ski and why. Here is what they wrote:

            “By far my favorite runs on Ajax are Blazing Star and Buckhorn. I like Blazing Star because it goes right under the lift and there are multiple jumps in a row that everyone can see from the lift, so it is the perfect time to have some fun and strut your step in front of a crowd. I love Buckhorn because it is on the far skiers left side allowing beautiful views of Highlands ski area and it’s a great place to soak up the sun.”

-Alex Ferreira, 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist, Life-long Aspen Local

            "Although peak snow conditions are necessary for optimal riding, my all-time favorite run, Kessler’s, is found off the Deep Temerity lift on Aspen Highlands. The lengthy run gives a humbling perspective of fitness and offers such a diverse set of natural features for the most creative of skiers and riders to express themselves. When I’m not tearing up leftover pow on Kessler’s, you can find me laying trenches on Aspen’s classic downhill, Ruthie’s, on Ajax. Nothing better than starting your day with a high-speed groomer and an espresso from Gorsuch’s.”

- Erik Wehse, Expert Skier, Aspen Snowmass Ski Instructor, Long-time Aspen Local

            “For me, on a powder day, first tracks on Kessler’s to Deep Temerity is as good as it gets but it is best super early.  I agree with the above summation.  It features a variety of varying pitches that will work every level of your expert skiing ability.  For cut up powder, or crud, Sheer Bliss is amazing and stays solid for hours.  It is good for the advanced skier and the intermediate advanced.  Groomer skiing is best on Golden Horn and Thunderbowl.  It is fast and much less crowded than other great groomers like Ruthies.  The Highland Bowl is fantastic for powder/crud skiing.  Lastly, Aspen Mountain on a powder day, Bell, Dumps, Walsh’s, it is hard not to find amazing snow.”

- David Bach, Expert Skier, KNFO Radio Host, Long-time Aspen Local

            Talk about some incredible advice from trusted sources. How often do you get hometown skiing advice from a 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist? We hope you take what you read here and tear it up on the mountains! See you out there!

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