This March, we had the fortunate privilege of accompanying a great friend and supporter of the Artisan’s Palate to her beautiful home in Aspen, CO. Our travel there provided amazing mountain views and beautiful quick peeks of the quaint ski towns Vail, Breckenridge and Snowmass.
As we came upon Aspen’s historic downtown, it was as picturesque as they come. We certainly understand why our friend comes here as a retreat. The relaxed atmosphere and nature’s beauty at every turn, along with the elevated food and drink, makes for a fantastic and magical getaway, especially for a chef and lover of all art forms. From the crafted cocktails, extraordinary wine selections and artfully prepared culinary delights, to the small art galleries studding the streets, we enjoyed every moment.
There are so many things about Aspen that we loved, but we wanted to highlight a few of our absolute favorites.
For starters, the après ski scene is truly a delight. Skiers seek to enjoy warmth, conversation and a few cocktails after a long day on the slopes, and in Aspen, there’s no better place to do just that than the Little Nell. There’s no need to shower and change, as it’s a dress down to warm up vibe. We warmed up with a signature Bloody Mary and some yummy beef carpaccio with truffle parmesan, and baby kale salad with perfectly seared salmon at Ajax Tavern (inside The Little Nell).
For a quick pick-me-up, we went where the locals go … ink! Coffee. A quick espresso in a very chill atmosphere is exactly what we needed.
For a fantastic dinner, our evening at Ellina immediately comes to mind. Tucked away downstairs in the heart of downtown Aspen, this restaurant absolutely impressed. With their contemporary American cuisine, award winning wine selection and hand-crafted cocktails, we had a delightful time. We started with the pan seared octopus with arugula and sherry vinegar, and the honey glazed pork belly with pickled carrots and fava beans. Both of these dishes were inspiring to say the least. We moved on and shared three entrées: Red Snapper, roasted baby beets, and fava with orange carrot reduction; Ahi Tuna, cucumber cherry tomato salad and garlic spinach with cilantro aioli; and Short Ribs, broccolini and parsnip puree with red wine. All of these entrees still have our mouths watering.
Finally, we couldn’t leave Apsen without venturing to J-Bar inside the historic Hotel Jerome. With it’s beautiful hotel and lobby, and the saloon-like bar décor, it’s another Aspen favorite. It’s a casual, come as you are spot with elevated pub fare and creative cocktails. It has a mountain cowboy feel, with leather stools and animal heads adorning the walls. It’s cozy yet plush, and a great place to hang out with friends.
If you’ve ever been to Aspen, we’d love to hear about your experience and what your favorite restaurants, bars and coffee shops are. Simply leave your comments in the reply box below! Oh, and to check out MORE PHOTOS from our trip, click here!