Home Cooking

Three New Restaurants Bring Fresh Flavors to Carbondale

Several longtime restaurateurs and chefs introduce a trio of eateries that merit a trip downvalley.

By Tom Passavant July 26, 2018 Published in the Midsummer/Fall 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Flip Wise, Lacy Hughes, and Kade Gianinetti stand in front of their new restaurant, The Way Home. 

Image: Ross Kribbs

After a couple years of languishing in the restaurant doldrums, Carbondale is feeling a fresh breeze, as three new dining spots are slated to open this summer on Main Street. Even better, all three venues have deeply local roots.

The two-story Craftsman house at the corner of Seventh and Main, which once housed the beloved Restaurant Six89, is now seriously spiffed up and about to be reborn (by late summer) as The Way Home. Hometown boy turned Denver restaurateur Kade Gianinetti has partnered with dining veterans Lacy Hughes, of Carbondale’s casually hip Silo, and Flip Wise, who most recently cooked at Basalt’s Free Range Kitchen and Wine Bar and at Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop in Aspen. 

The Way Home will debut with a dinner menu that skews toward “clean, simple, thoughtful” dishes based on local ingredients, says Hughes. “We want to be both a restaurant and a community gathering place,” she adds, with some dishes that nod toward the many pioneering families who arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley from the mountains of northern Italy. Late-night service, with both dinner and a bar menu, will fill a deep hole in the downtown dining scene. Two renovated and expanded patios, plus two new hotel suites upstairs, will be icing on the cake.

A few blocks up Main, the space at number 348 and that once housed Town will soon bustle again as Roosters. Hatched by the folks from Aspen’s now-shuttered breakfast/brunch/lunch specialist Over Easy, with an assist from former Grey Lady chef Kyle Raymond, the restaurant will offer a morning menu featuring multiple variations on eggs Benedict, plus fresh juices and other favorites imported from upvalley.

“Dinner will feature a lot of rotisserie items beyond just chicken,” says co-owner Mladen Todorovic, “and we’re excited about offering lots of side dishes using the area’s produce.” Bonedalians are also pleased that the takeout counter up front, laden with pastries and snacks, is back in action, as is the big patio, with its afternoon shade and evening fire pit.

And finally comes the much-anticipated transformation of the long-vacant space at 225 Main (previously Russets) into Izakaya Carbondale, an offshoot of Kenichi, one of Aspen’s best high-end Japanese restaurants. True to Carbondale’s more casual vibe, Izakaya combines Kenichi’s sushi and sashimi with home-style offerings such as ramen, rice bowls, and curries.  “For many years now, our master sushi chef, Kiyomi Sano, has been treating the staff to family-style dishes at the end of the evening, and they’re superb,” says Kenichi owner Brent Reed. “It’s these kinds of shared plates that we want to offer at Izakaya, at Carbondale prices.”

After an extensive renovation by architect Kim Raymond, the big room now feels both lively and intimate, the space delineated by sturdy wood posts and beams recycled from Amish barns in the Midwest. And like the other two Carbondale newcomers, Izakaya has retained its spacious sheltered patio, the perfect place for a sake nightcap

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