A Bite-Size Preview of Aspen's New Restaurants and Bars
415 E. Hyman Ave.
The Team: Renaissance man Roger Wilson—he’s acted (Mickey in Porky’s), written screenplays, worked for NYC restaurateur Keith McNally, directed wellness programs—and natural gas magnate Charif Souki
Back of House: Named for Aspen’s elevation. “If you can name a place with a word, that’s really good,” says Wilson. “If you can do it with a number, that’s platinum. This says ‘Aspen’ in four numbers.”
The Menu: Comfort food with a gourmet twist: veggie board with house-made ricotta, mushroom confit, and garlic crackers; Colorado lamb loin with Greek marinade, zucchini fritters, smoked tomato jus, and tzatziki
The Vibe: Buzzy supper club with DJs and live music. Alpine-chic interiors by local designer Kristin Dittmar. Wilson aims to recapture Aspen’s glory days, when the ultra-wealthy and ski bums rubbed elbows: “Catering to the locals is a huge priority.”
Aspen Public House
328 E. Hyman Avenue
The Team: Bill Johnson (formerly Highlands Ale House and currently Capitol Creek Brewery in Basalt) with Executive Chef Robbie Kostrba (formerly of Rustique)
Back of House: Johnson handles design elements himself. To complement the Wheeler, the space is, he says, “a little bit Victorian and a little bit Colonial, with a splash of the Great Gatsby. It’ll feel like it’s been here forever.”
The Menu: Upscale gastropub—high-quality-beef burgers, salads, sandwiches, fried chicken, plus classic American breakfast. “I’m looking to fill the void left by Main Street Bakery and Over Easy closing,” says Johnson.
The Vibe: Convivial all-day gathering place—think the former Bentley’s without the dive bar persona. Counter-height tables in the main-level bar, including a couple of community tables that seat 14. Late-night kitchen.
310 E. Main St.
The Team: Hotel Jerome, next-door
Back of House: Named for the wife of hotel founder Jerome B. Wheeler
The Menu: Craft cocktails accompanied by a modest à la carte menu and, likely, complimentary passed small bites
The Vibe: High-end historic with a sultry note. Underground location in the meticulously renovated former Aspen Times building. “We want guests to feel as if they’re at a cocktail party with neighborhood friends,” says a hotel spokeswoman.
Chefs Club X Mathew Accarrino
315 Dean St.
The Team: Matthew Accarrino, who helms the kitchen at Italian-inspired (and Michelin-starred) SPQR in San Francisco, starts a three-month residency in Aspen June 1.
Back of House: A one-time aspiring pro cyclist, Accarrino rode his bike from Leadville to Aspen—over Independence Pass—to collect his Food & Wine Best New Chef award in 2014.
The Menu: Multicourse prix fixe ($69) showcases the chef’s seasonal, source-driven approach. Sample dishes: burnt-flour pasta with asparagus, lamb, fresh ricotta, and mint; sea bass with charred vegetable sauce and blistered peppers.
The Vibe: A subtle interior refresh with new chairs, art from NYC–based Curtis Kulig and his "Love Me" series, and—oh so Aspen—Patagonia uniforms for servers
517 E. Hyman Ave.
The Team: Texas restaurateurs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman, who own seven restaurants in Austin ranging from fine dining to Vietnamese to barbecue
Back of House: McGuire’s longtime girlfriend, Tyler Haney, is CEO of fitness wear brand Outdoor Voices, which has a storefront down the block—the new “cool kids” power couple of Hyman Ave.?
The Menu: Seafood heavy—West and East Coast oysters, fresh fish, lobster rolls, a variety of caviar and roe, plus salads and pan-roasted cheeseburgers with shoestring fries
The Vibe: Casual oyster bar—like its Austin namesake—in the space formerly occupied by local mainstay Little Annie’s