Summer Brings New Dining Spots to Aspen
It’s high summer, so along with heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn, it’s time for another crop of new restaurants in Aspen.
In addition to the spots highlighted here, a bakery-café called Bear Den Aspen is slated to eventually open at the corner of Hopkins and Monarch (in the former Cottage space), while the former Cooking School of Aspen space will turn into Joonas, a wine and tapas bar. And a few blocks away in the Dancing Bear’s Mountainside building, the long-delayed Almresi, a sister restaurant to one of the same name in Vail, promises to put the leder back in your hosen sometime later this year.
308 E Hopkins Ave
What a Concept: A casual, all-day bistro with a Santa Fe-meets-Mexico vibe and gentler prices than some of its Restaurant Row neighbors. Colorful touches include buffalo-themed artwork and a lively blue-and-white-patterned bar.
Aspen Connection: Owner Alan Giaquinto co-founded Ink! Coffee; Executive Chef James Mazzio (a former Food & Wine Best New Chef) recently cooked at Bouche in Santa Fe, run by legendary Aspen chef Charles Dale.
On the Menu: Breakfast is a big deal here. Count on chicken-fried steak with pepper gravy and some killer Mexican egg dishes.
Due Date: Open now
Living Room and 39°
709 E Durant Ave
What a Concept: The sleek new W hotel, next to The Little Nell, brings a chalet-goes-downtown vibe along with its house restaurant and an “ultralounge,” open to locals as well as hotel guests.
Aspen Connection: Local developer John Sarpa, along with financial partners, led the project. Aspen-based architects Rowland and Broughton designed the building.
On the Menu: Small plates, classic and cutting-edge cocktails, and XXL drinks called Playful Sharables make for casual noshing in both venues. Must try: green curry meatballs with coconut and lime.
Due Date: End of July
216 S Monarch St
What a Concept: The two restaurant vets running this place, Luigi Giordani and Gretchen Leary, also helm the bustling Acquolina on Main Street. Here they’ll trend a bit more upscale in both décor and food.
Aspen Connection: Formerly home to longtime eatery Rustique, the building was recently purchased by Aspen native Jimmy Marcus and partners.
On the Menu: Adding seafood and other coastal cuisine to Acquolina’s pastas should bring some less-common dishes to town.
Due Date: TBD
Park 90 + Chef Tom Coohill
315 E Dean St
What a Concept: This summer’s Chefs Club pop-up at the St. Regis pairs Denver’s Tom and Diane Coohill with Singapore’s Park90 wine lounge. The room has been warmed up with tables hewn from wine barrels and a flower-laden decanting station.
Aspen Connection: When a Michelin Guide rep visiting their Denver eatery loved the Coohills’ line of high-performance chef’s clothing (Ikonic), he introduced the couple to the owners of the Singapore Park90 and the St. Regis Aspen. They, in turn, invited the Coohills to partner on this restaurant.
On the Menu: In addition to wine-list fireworks like a 23-year vertical of Château Lafite Rothschild, the lineup includes many reasonably priced bottles. Among the French-accented dishes, don’t miss the Beaumanière potatoes or compressed apricot bread pudding.
Due Date: Open through September 28
Kirby Ice House powered by Bumble
307 S Mill St
What a Concept: By day (and early evening), this pop-up of the Houston-based Ice House offers a casual vibe and lots of room for stand-up drinking. Starting at 9 p.m., the Bumble tribe, fans of the popular networking and dating app where the women control the matchups, convenes.
Aspen Connection: Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and her husband, Michael, have a house in Aspen.
On the Menu: At Ice House, burgers meet fish tacos meet salads. Later in the evening, palomas and rosé take over as Bumblers meet their right swipes.
Due Date: Open through at least the summer