Whether you are attending the sold out FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, going there for one of the many parties, or just taking a summer break, the town offers many dining options.
One person who makes it her job to know the dining scene in Aspen and many other places is Dana Cowin, FOOD & WINE Editor in Chief, who celebrates her 20th anniversary at the helm of the magazine this year. Because she eats out at least three meals a day while in Aspen, we asked Ms. Cowin to share her itinerary with us -from breakfast to late night.
Main Street Bakery: My breakfast spot. Go there for the glazed donuts. My favorites are the chocolate caramel and plain. When I resist the donuts, I really enjoy the granola. I tried already this year.
ink! Coffee: Ink seems to draw the best crowd. There are always really interesting people in line, and often you'll find people who stayed out all night. If you are starving, order a breakfast burrito. I get the latte but mostly go to bump into people, see people from my team who were out late the night before.
Peaches: They have great salads for lunch. At breakfast, order the eggs - "the usual suspects." It is a gigantic breakfast that is a foundation for being at the festival. There's sausage that help soak up anything from the night before and delicious potatoes that are a great foundation for whatever else you are doing later in the day.
Ajax Tavern: If you took a poll of every FOOD & WINE staffer, everyone's go to meal in Aspen would be truffle fries, a burger and a Bloody Mary. Plus, you have the beautiful back-drop of Aspen Mountain while you sit there. I had the burger this year already-- it's satisfying- thin patties, cheese. I like the double decker. I'll be honest, I cut it in half and only had half of it but with the double decker, that is a full burger.
Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE: Of course! The fourth season of Chefs Club with a new roster of Best New Chefs starting on Thursday. My meal there this year included a spectacular halibut with spring peas and morels and - not to go t4oo crazy on the peas- but I also had a pea soup. I also had a spectacular trio of desserts. The pistachio cake with berries was great and the apricot sundae was amazing-- I could do a facial with that-- an apricot sundae facial!
J Bar: Get Manhattans and the J-Bar burger.
Paradise Bakery: It's just the perfect ice cream spot.
Butcher's Block: Pick up sandwiches for a picnic. Order the meatloaf sandwich. I like to rent a bike next door, and pick up a picnic lunch from the Butcher's Block.
Honeybee Juice Bar: Fresh cold press juices and chia seed pudding.
Element 47 at The Little Nell: Deep and extraordinary wine list. It's on my list to try the menu from chef Bryan Moscatello.
Cache Cache: There is a superb wine list. And a fun French menu. I like the escargot.
And last, go to Justice Snow and Jimmy's for cocktails.
Element 47 [Photo: Courtesy of The Little Nell]