The key to a romantic getaway is not having to think twice about choices. And at French Alpine Bistro Creperie du Village (400 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-1566, lacreperieduvillage.com), you need only glance at the crêpe portion of the menu once to know you’ve struck gold. The beloved Schokoladepalatschinke (chocolate, caramel, and strawberries) might tempt, but we prefer the decadence of the Midnight in Paris, with layers of crème brûlée custard and torched sugar.
At Ellina (430 E. Hyman Ave. #3, 970-925-2976, ellinaaspen.com), an Italian influence hangs loosely over the menu. If there’s a seat, settle in at the horseshoe-shape bar and order from its menu, most notably the braised artichoke-heart crostini (the kitchen harvests each heart by hand) or any of Ellina's handmade pastas.
Wine lovers will want to seek out Cache Cache (205 S. Mill St., 970-925-3835, cachecache.com) for its extensive cellar. With a list that runs more than 100 pages, even the most dedicated vinophiles might want to call sommelier Alex Harvier to the table for guidance. He can also help recommend dishes, like the often-overlooked rotisserie chicken with pommes frites, which exceeds expectations every time.
The appeal of Steakhouse No. 316 (316 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-920-1893, steakhouse316.com) isn’t just the classic fare (don’t miss the prime cowboy rib eye), but also the plush décor—rich red booths, black walls, gilded mirrors—that envelops diners in old-world elegance.
The Ultimate Progressive Meal
Who says dinner has to be eaten all in one place? Our choose-your-own-adventure would look like this:
Sip craft cocktails like the eponymous signature drink at the brand-new Bad Harriet (330 E. Main St., 970-429-7674, hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com/dining) cocktail lounge beneath the Hotel Jerome.
Beam when the silver tray bearing Monarch’s (411 S. Monarch St., 970-925-2838, monarchaspen.com) caviar service arrives at the table. There are options, but the Siberian Osetra reigns supreme.
Create your own perfect bite by placing sultry pieces of Bosq’s (312 S. Mill St., 970-710-7299, bosqaspen.com) Peking duck inside a moo shu pancake. Add plum sauce and slivers of cucumber and leek. Take a bite. Repeat. (Tip: If you really want the duck, which sometimes sells out, call and order it ahead of time.)
Crack open Element 47’s (685 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-6334, thelittlenell.com/dining) perfect Valrhona chocolate sphere to reveal decadent buttermilk chocolate cake inside.
Roll with it at the Grotto (515 E. Hopkins Ave., grottoaspen.com), Aspen’s newest nightclub. Cocktails are created nightly based on the season and the theme. Sip whatever comes your way, then hit the dance floor.