Attention to Detail

The Finer Points

The new White House Tavern on Hopkins Avenue.

By Merrilyn Tuma July 1, 2013 Published in the Midsummer/Fall 2013 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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Attention to detail can elevate many things. Case in point: the new White House Tavern on Hopkins Avenue. Its owners, the Hillstone Group, spent months meticulously restoring its confines, a sleepy miner’s cottage that dates to the late 1800s. Gothic-influenced carpentry adds attention-grabbing detail everywhere; the interior, caped in warm wood accented with art from modern Americana, is impeccable. Booths are intimate but not cramped; outdoor tables rest in the lush summer grass.

White House’s menu is almost comically compact: five à la carte sandwiches and a salad as the mains; six dishes, including fries and tabbouleh, as the sides. But order any one of them, and you’ll seriously wonder if it’s not the best you’ve ever eaten of its type. The Gulf Coast fish sandwich—grouper fried golden crisp, topped with a citrusy slaw and Thousand Island—is utter perfection. Ding’s crispy chicken sandwich turns authentically Southern fried fowl into a mouthwatering handful.

What may be White House’s most refreshing accomplishment, though, is the professionalism it brings to the service side of Aspen dining. The Hillstone Group runs dozens of restaurants around the country, including in New York City and LA, and staff has thus far found the sweet spot of attentive but not intrusive. It’s a detail you’ll definitely notice.

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