Aspen Restaurants: Insider Picks
This new spot in the St. Regis is F&W’s debut restaurant project in collaboration with Starwood, featuring dishes from former Best New Chefs George Mendes (Aldea, NYC), Sue Zemanick (Gautreau’s, New Orleans), Alex Seidel (Fruition, Denver) and James Lewis (Bettola, Birmingham, AL). stregisaspen.com.
Nobu Matsuhisa is often in town for the Classic. So going to his restaurant for stellar sushi is a great way to see him (plus other celebrity chefs who might be eating there, like Thomas Keller). You can also spot star winemakers like Randy Lewis of Napa’s Lewis Cellars, who brings incredible bottles from his collection. matsuhisaaspen.com.
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Aspen Restaurants: Breakfast and Lunch
Before the scheduled parties begin, F&W’s Kate Heddings likes to host an unofficial get-together with selections from The Cheese Shop, like Bellecombe Comté. (Cheese whiz Laura Werlin, a frequent Classic speaker, often checks out the selection, too.) Little Nell hotel alums Sarah and Andrew Helsley took over the shop last year. aspencheeseshop.com.
Devin Padgett, who produces the Classic, runs into Ink in the morning to grab a cup of coffee (made with beans from Ink’s private roaster) and chat up food celebrities like Tom Colicchio or F&W’s own Gail Simmons. Everyone’s need for caffeine is a good measure of how late they were out the night before. 520 E. Durant Ave.; inkcoffee.com.
Main Street Bakery & Cafe
Dana always stops in for scrambled eggs and a big biscuit before the day’s first seminar and usually leaves with a doughnut. “The very first time I went there, in the ’90s, I spotted Jacques Pépin,” she says. 201 E. Main St.; 970-925-6446.