No matter when you plan to visit Aspen, Colorado — winter, spring, summer or fall — plan to spend some time and money on dining. You won’t regret it.
Before we visited this winter, I had no idea Aspen was such a foodie town, and I’m not kidding when I suggest that you should go there and eat all the things. Seriously, forget about the diet and don’t cry over carbs, just eat everything and be happy.
While nothing in Aspen is cheap, the bar is set high for good food in this resort town, and it’s nearly impossible to have a bad meal here.
Of course, when at Meat & Cheese, a restaurant and farm shop, you must order the Meat & Cheese board, which serves two, and follow it up with one of the restaurant’s creative entrees such as coffee chocolate rubbed short ribs or the rotisserie chicken (the best I’ve ever had).
Dining here is a true foodie experience. We relied heavily on the staff for information about what we were eating and Parker, the manager on duty, knew the menu inside and out, including the fantastic craft beer selection.
For a quick pick-me-up, drop into Aspen Overeasy for a freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice concoction. I met up here with my friend Jillian Livingston of AspenRealLife.com. I ordered the Super Sunrise which had pineapple, strawberry, orange, and grape, and Jillian went with the Avocado Dreamboat, a coconut water infused green drink filled with good-for-you stuff.
If you’re looking for a swanky après ski destination in Aspen, but don’t want to break the bank, check out BB’s bar. BB’s restaurant serves up delicious items like antelope steak ($42), and the bar keeps the creative spin going, but has more affordable bites.
I highly recommend the pork belly steamed buns ($16). Great for sharing, add a side of kale and Brussel sprouts and you’ve got a high-end meal for a reasonable price. In addition to après ski, the bar at BB’s is a fun Aspen late night destination.
Bloody Marys are a big deal in Aspen. I saw them on every menu in town, and if you google “best Bloody Mary in Aspen, Colorado” a ton of lists come up, but the place that makes every list is the St. Regis. In fact, their Bloody Mary is so popular that they have a free Bloody Mary tasting every day at 11:15 a.m., which just so happened to be when I stumbled in.
The Regis Hotel in New York, is said to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. Originally called “The Red Snapper,” it was invented by a bartender working there in the early 1920s.
At the St. Regis in Aspen, you can sample this hotel’s unique recipe, the “Downhill Snapper,” and order from their Bloody Mary menu that includes versions from their hotels around the world.
I ordered the “Downhill Snapper,” which is made with Woody Creek Vodka and muddled dill and basil. It was well-worth the $18 price tag, although, at that price, I didn’t order more than one.
My last Aspen dining tip is Home Team BBQ. If all this gourmet fare has you longing for down home grub, this brand new Aspen restaurant is the place to go, especially for those who love Carolina style barbecue.
Located in the Inn at Aspen, at the base of Buttermilk, this is a family-friendly dining option. Everything here was quite tasty, although the southern style mac ‘n’ cheese was my favorite. On a tip from a server, I added a little Home Team Death Relish to my mac ‘n’ cheese, a habanero salsa — and my life was complete.
Thank you to the Aspen Chamber for hosting us on this trip and to the various restaurants that invited us to dine with them while we were in town. We can’t wait to dine in Aspen again!
Ryan and I hadn’t been out in the big city since the fall, so when we read that the Colorado Symphony was playing Beethoven, we decided it was time for a Denver date night.
We used to frequent the Colorado Symphony quite often. In fact, for several years we bought concert packages to the CSO, giving us an excuse for a Denver date night every month. The Colorado Symphony has all sorts of subscription packages available, making it easy to pick and choose the number of symphonies you want to attend and which shows.
We started our Denver date night at TAG Restaurant on Larimer Street, an eight minute walk from Boettcher Concert Hall. This restaurant has been on my radar for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
The food scene in downtown Denver has come a long way since we lived in the Mile High City in the early 2000s.
Chef Troy Guard, who opened TAG in 2009, is a big part of the city’s culinary expansion. He has opened a number of restaurants since, and there are still more in the works. Guard’s restaurants elevate food, while still making it approachable, and I think this is why he’s so well-loved by Denver foodies. Continue reading
Considering a holiday getaway this month? Fort Collins is an excellent Colorado Christmas town. Downtown sparkles with thousands of lights and from Old Town Square to Oak Street Plaza Park, the atmosphere is merry.
This past weekend, we did one-night getaway in Fort Collins to experience the city’s holiday offerings. Before exploring the festive scene we checked into the Fernweh Inn & Hostel on Mulberry, just blocks from the excitement of downtown Fort Collins.
Some people, including my husband, Ryan, have an aversion to any place with hostel in the name. The word makes him worried that he’s going to have to share a bathroom or wash dishes to earn his keep.
Fernweh is a modern-day, American hostel which offers private rooms as well as bunk rooms. Our private room, “The Loft,” was a virtual suite because the space occupied the entire upstairs of this historic, Victorian home. There was a full bathroom in the room complete with large, soaking bathtub and multiple beds, making it perfect for a family or friends. Continue reading
Jessup Farm was a working farm built at the turn of the century. In 2011, the Campana family of Bellisimo Inc. rehabilitated the property and repurposed the buildings to house modern-day businesses scattered around like a village. Today the property is home to multiple small businesses, a flock of chickens and a large garden.
According to Steven Sorensen, a Campana family member and part of Bellisimo Inc., when the family first conceived of the plan for Artisan Village, they didn’t visualize it as a destination for anyone other than those who lived in surrounding neighborhoods. Continue reading
Winter Park fits Ryan and I like an old glove. I think this is true for many Coloradans; especially Coloradans like Ryan who grew up skiing at Winter Park Resort.
I’ve been visiting for 16 years, and the town’s got a comfortable, familiar ambiance that I love.
However, if you’re anything like us, when you get comfortable with a destination you tend to visit the same places on each visit. For instance, for us, a trip to Winter Park isn’t complete without a visit to Hernando’s Pizza Pub. That’s why, on our most recent trip to this well-loved Colorado resort town, we decided to mix things up a bit and add some new locations and activities to our agenda. Continue reading
I’ll be the first to admit that I used this title as click bait. I knew that those of you with favorite taco shops around Colorado were going to click the link, and if you didn’t see your favorite taco listed you would school me on taco greatness.
Here’s the thing. “Best of” lists about food are crap and I can say that because I’ve written one in the past. Everyone has a different set of taste buds, not to mention we are influenced by things ambiance and the people we were dining with.
With that being said, I shall reveal three of the most memorable tacos I’ve eaten in Colorado. I’m sure I’ve had other delicious tacos, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind, and whether that makes them the “best” or not, I refuse to be the judge. Continue reading
We all know the number one reason to visit Black Hawk, Colorado is to gamble, but did you know that Ameristar Casino Resort offers several additional experiences?
When the Ameristar Casino Resort was first built I thought, “Now this place really looks like Vegas.” It’s not brand new anymore, but still retains that modern look of new Vegas. From the faux sky ceiling to the large, modern guest rooms, Ameristar is the top-notch hotel in Black Hawk.
This past week I finally got to experience a stay at this resort casino and it didn’t disappoint.
The Ara Spa at Ameristar Black Hawk
In the past year or so I’ve had the great pleasure of being pampered at some really fantastic Colorado spas and Ameristar’s Ara Spa rivals the best of them. It has a contemporary Colorado ambiance, and the interior design incorporates a calming combination of wood, stone and water. Continue reading
Gluttony, it’s not something to be proud of, so it’s a good thing that we ran a 5K while we were in Alamosa, Colorado, because the rest of the time we were eating. You may think I’m exaggerating, but we hit no less than seven restaurants (two of them twice) during our two- night say in this Southern Colorado city of 10,000.
We were in town for the Rio Frio Ice Fest and Rio Frio 5K. The festival theme was Star Wars and I hope that explains some of the photos in this post.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon and soon found ourselves at San Luis Brewing Company, maker of our favorite chile beer, the Valle Caliente. We ordered a couple pints along with a platter of sausages to tide us over until dinner.
Later that night, after the Rio Frio Fest’s opening party, we headed to The Rubi Slipper. This diner/bar and has about 100 hamburgers on the menu. Okay, maybe not 100, but the most I’ve ever seen, so of course, we ordered hamburgers. Continue reading
Nothing gets people more excited than soliciting their opinions about where to find the best pizza. I asked the question on Twitter and got five immediate responses. Responses were still trickling in a day later.
The fact is that we all have very different opinions about what makes a great pizza and I think a lot of this depends on the region where we grew up.
With that in mind, here are my picks for the best pizza in Colorado. Granted, I’m no pizza professional and I would love to hear your picks too.
Colorado Boy Pizzeria & Brewery, Montrose
Colorado Boy’s Rustica is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It features garlic oil, cheese, artichokes, roasted peppers, capicola ham and gorgonzola.
I recommend sitting at the back bar and watching the pizza makers put these delicious creations together. Everything that goes into this pizza is fresh, fresh, fresh.
Pair your dinner with one of Colorado Boy’s award winning beers and life is good, very good.
High Mountain Pies, Leadville
This tiny restaurant seats eight, maybe, but there’s a big backyard for summertime guest to enjoy.
Pizza here is awesome and you can create pretty much anything you want. Love extra jalapenos? Be careful what you ask for, they don’t skimp on toppings here.
Even if you can’t find a seat and the weather outside is frightful, get a pie to go. You will not be disappointed.
Poppy’s Pizza & Grill, Estes Park
Poppy’s makes a pizza that has had me coming back for several years. It’s the Rocky Mountain and it features smoked trout, capers, cream cheese, red onions and mozzarella. It may sound a bit odd, but I’m telling you that this combination is divine.
Always busy, I’m definitely not the only one who loves Poppy’s.
Hernando’s Pizza Pub, Winter Park
I’ve left a lot of dollar bills on the walls at this place. A longtime favorite of many Coloradans who grew up skiing in Winter Park, Hernado’s Pizza Pub is a must-stop anytime we’re in town.
I couldn’t finish this piece without including an honorable mention category. We stumbled into Pablo’s Pizza in Grand Junction a couple of years ago. Their pizza was so good that I still remember how pleased we were with our lunch there.
If you enjoy New York Style pizza, you’ve got to go to Antonio’s Real New York Pizza in Estes Park. The Godfather will make you a New York style devotee.
I love this time of year. Farmers’ markets overflowing with colorful produce, folks find ways to preserve the flavors of summer and harvest dinners blossom on tables throughout the country.
One such dinner is happening at Margarita at Pine Creek in Colorado Springs at the end of the month. A friend who attended this dinner last year said the Colorado Farm & Art Harvest Dinner was the best meal she has ever eaten.
Margarita’s executive chef Eric Viedt will create an incredible meal from produce donated by CFAM vendors and the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers. Lamb, goat and pork will be from Venetucci Farm and Frost Farm, and beef will be provided by Sangres Best.
From September 22 through the 26th, Margarita on the Pine will be offering their diners an all-Colorado menu. The Harvest Dinner will cap on this Colorado Proud week of dining.
Chef Viedt’s menu remains a secret until the evening of the event, but here’s a glimpse of last year’s menu.
Wine tasting is part of the CFAM Harvest Dinner with wine provided by Sette Dolori Winery and other Colorado’s wineries. Beer will also be available from a local brewery (still to be determined).
Guests are invited to take part in bidding in a silent auction throughout the evening.
The dinner raises money to support the market’s SNAP program. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is commonly known as “food stamps.”
Bonnie Simon, marketing director of the Colorado Farm & Art Market, believes that their market may be one of the only in the country that doubles SNAP bucks. In other words, if an individual has $10 in SNAP dollars, the CFAM gives them another $10 to use at the market.
Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner
September 27, 2015
3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Margarita at Pine Creek
$65/ticket, two for $125
To purchase tickets to the Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner go to FarmandArtMarket.com.