By Land and Sea

Make Your Reservations Now at EMP Winter House and Betula

Two new restaurants from pros in the biz open with a splash this season.

By Cindy Hirschfeld November 21, 2018 Published in the Holiday 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner

Fondue at EMP Winter House

Image: Gary He

EMP Winter House
Such is Eleven Madison Park’s renown—thanks to its three Michelin stars—that it can set up an outpost 1,700 miles away from Manhattan at a completely different address and still be assured of drawing well-heeled diners. The more casual EMP Winter House (based on the Summer House, which created a buzz in the Hamptons the past two years) will pop up in the Chef’s Club space at the St. Regis Aspen Resort from December 15 to April 6.

Chef Daniel Humm’s dinner menu includes Alpine specialties like veal schnitzel, black truffle tart, and fondue. Après-ski (2–5 p.m.) offers shareable plates—charcuterie and caviar—and more. One unusual amenity: eight yurts outside that can be reserved by groups of four to eight each for cocktails or dining. Flash the string of holiday lights atop the yurt to summon a server, then order up a thermos of spiked hot chocolate or mulled wine.

There’s just one catch to the whole experience: Humm and business partner Will Guidara collaborated with American Express to open EMP Winter House, so you can pay for your meal in only two ways: with an AmEx card or with cash. 315 E Dean St

Betula’s milkfed pork confit with oriental sauerkraut, shiitake mushroom, and sweet and sour sauce

In 2016, restaurateur Juan Carlos Perez Febres and his wife, Aurélie, landed in Aspen for their honeymoon and found another love—the town itself. “This is St. Barts in the mountains,” says Perez Febres, referring to the chic island the couple calls home.

Perez Febres and chef Laurent Cantineaux started looking for a local spot for an eatery modeled after their successful Bonito St. Barth, which has been serving the island’s jet-set clientele for almost a decade. (The two previously partnered on restaurants in Venezuela and Miami.) When the upstairs space that used to house BB’s Kitchen became available, they signed a lease and immediately dove in with a concept (French and pan-American cuisine), a name (Betula is the genus that birch trees belong to), and an extensive remodel.

Perez Febres, a trained architect, oversaw the renovation, translating Bonito’s welcoming beach villa vibe into a look he calls “modern Victorian mountain cottage.” The large patio with in-your-face views of Aspen Mountain remains, with new fire pits and landscaping, and a former space that was awkwardly separated by a hallway is now an integrated lounge with a 10-person chef’s table.

When Betula opens in December, look forward to dishes that meld influences from France, South America, and the Caribbean: seared foie gras ravioli, striped bass wrapped in yuca (a.k.a. arrowroot), traditional Peruvian lomo saltado, and ceviche. The open kitchen will also turn out rotisserie fare like whole chickens, rack of lamb, and bone-in rib eye. Pastry chef Sylvain Bortolini’s dessert menu is just as thoughtfully composed.

The restaurant will server dinner nightly and eventually offer brunch, too. 525 E Cooper Ave,

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