Having blogged many times about Aspen, I turned my attention this time to Aspen’s quiet neighbor just 8 miles away, Snowmass. Incorporated in 1977 and touted for being a family-oriented ski town, Snowmass is experiencing a building boom that will put it on the map as one of the best places to ski, dine and sleep just steps (or slopes in this case) away from the fancy trappings of Aspen. Please note that reservations are highly recommended during the high season and on holiday weekends.
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK IN THE SNOWMASS VILLAGE
State 38: State 38 was the first restaurant we hit after landing at the Aspen airport. We had flown in from TX, leaving DFW at 9 am and by 12:30 pm were lunching al fresco with a beautiful view of Snowmass Mountain. State 38 is owned by the same restaurant group that owns the next 3 concepts about which I will highlight. They are within steps of one another and focus on different culinary concepts. Pretty smart actually to establish a commanding position smack in the middle of Snowmass Base Village. State 38 draws inspiration from the state of Colorado, highlighting dishes such as Steelhead Trout, Bison Osso Bucco and Colorado Lamb Chops. Don’t miss their Brussels Sprouts and Avocado Toast…sounds simple, I know, but they were delicious.
110 Carriage Way, http://state38snowmass.com/.
Sake: Sake is a Japanese-inspired concept that is open 7 days a week serving maki rolls, nigiri and a variety of other Asian dishes such as Orange Chicken, Pad Thai and Yakisoba Noodles. The maki and nigiri we ate were very good, the highlight being the Yellow Dragon Roll, with spicy yellowtail, tempura serrano, wasabi aioli, topped with eel sauce. Plus, it is good to note that they do great take-out if you are too tired to drag the family away from playing games around the fireplace. Sake is also open for après ski starting at 3:30, and every Sunday at 3 pm they host free Sake tastings.
110 Carriage Way, http://www.sakesnowmass.com/.
Slice of Italy: We strolled into Slice of Italy when our plans to hit The Limelight for dinner were squashed by hoards of screaming babies. It was perfect and we chowed on Calamari Fritte, Caesar Salad, Veal Parmesan and a variety of their signature pizzas, including the Greek Peak, with chicken, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese in a spinach pesto sauce. Slice of Italy is open daily for lunch and dinner, take out, delivery and catering.
60 Wood Run Rd, #1210, http://slicesnowmass.com/.
Base Camp Bar: Base Camp Bar was the perfect rendez-vous spot for us après ski. Situated across the plaza from State 38, Base Camp offers two-level indoor and outdoor seating. We overtook a large area near the firepit and noshed on Base Camp nachos, washing them down with some margaritas (I am nothing if not predictable!). Next to base camp, Snowmass offers free s’mores to the kids starting at 3:30 daily. So the kids can eat s’mores and play in the snow and you can kick your ski boots up with a brewski.
73 Wood Road, http://slicesnowmass.com/.
The Crepe Shack: The Crepe Shack was located on the ground floor of our rented condo, and was our go-to for coffee, breakfast, snacks and desserts as it is open from 7 am to 9 pm. Owned by Mawa McQueen who has made a name for herself with Mawa’s Kitchen in the Aspen Airport Business Center, The Crepe Shack offers a fun twist on the crepe, with vegan and vegetarian options, plus specialty Eggs Benedict crepes and a list of sweet crepes like the Red Velvet Crepe. If you are super fancy you can try one of the three specialty crepes: the Aspenite ($125 with Petrosian Ossetra Caviar), the Barcelona ($58 with Jamón Iberico) or the St. Barth ($78 with edible gold leaf).
61 Wood Rd., http://slicesnowmass.com/.
Toro Kitchen & Lounge: Located in the newly revamped Viceroy Hotel, Toro is a Richard Sandoval concept showcasing favorites of Sandoval’s travels throughout his native Mexico and Latin America. Toro is billed as contemporary Latin, with many shareable dishes such as Ceviche, Short Rib Tacos, and Beef Tenderloin Empanadas alongside a selection of steaks and chops, salmon and Cusco chicken, Sandoval’s take on my favorite of Peruvian dishes, Ají de Gallina. There is also a very tasty vegetarian Quinoa Stir Fry with tofu, egg and jalapeño. To wash it down, don’t miss out on the Sandoval Margarita and the Southside Mule with mezcal. For those of you staying near the Snowmass Village Mall, Sandoval has another Latin restaurant, Venga Venga Cantina & Tequila Bar, featuring Mexican food favorites like Queso Fundido, tableside Guacamole, Chicken Tinga and Chiles Rellenos. Their Prickly Pear and Blueberry Margarita sounds pretty dreamy too.
The Artisan: Located in the Stonebridge Inn, The Artisan is a fine dining restaurant serving seasonal American cuisine such as Venison Spring Rolls, Blackened Chicken Alfredo, and 5 Spiced Pork Loin. The Artisan also features an extensive wine list, craft cocktails and Colorado craft brews on tap. The Artisan is open for breakfast, happy hour and dinner, and offers free shuttle service from most locations in Snowmass Village.
300 Carriage Way, https://www.destinationhotels.com/stonebridge-inn/dining.
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK ON THE MOUNTAIN
Sam’s: With the imminent closing of Gwyn’s, Snowmass will still have one fine dining option on the mountain with Sam’s at the top of Sam’s Knob chairlift. When skiing, I love the idea of having a long lunch in slippers with great mountain views, and Sam’s fits that bill. Don’t miss the Rigatoni Bolognese, the Sloppy Giuseppe, and the Grilled Salmon with Za’atar.
The Nest: Located in The Viceroy Hotel just under the lift, The Nest is Snowmass’ best kept secret for lunch. There are no crowds, no reservations required, the al fresco dining is perfect on a nice day (just don’t sit right underneath the lift!) and the food is delicious. Start off with an Aperol Spritz and some hummus with pita, and share the crab cakes and the short rib tacos.
However, if you are dying to spend as much time on the slopes as possible, there are more casual cafeteria-style options on the mountain, including Up 4 Pizza, Ullrhof, and Elk Camp.
WHERE TO STAY IN SNOWMASS
The Viceroy: If you want ski in and ski out luxury, The Viceroy Snowmass is calling your name. Choose from among 165 residences, the largest being a 4-bedroom option. The Viceroy has a 7,000 square foot spa, outdoor pool and hot tub with cabanas, multiple dining options and is open year-round.
130 Wood Road, https://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/snowmass.
The Limelight Hotel Snowmass: If want to be within stone’s throw of the gondola in a modern, family-friendly hotel, then the Limelight Snowmass may be what you are looking for. The Limelight has 99 rooms and 11 residences, is pet-friendly, and offers live music five days a week in its lobby. It is located across from the outdoor skating rink and has a rock climbing wall and an arcade.
65 Wood Road, https://www.limelighthotels.com/snowmass.
While most places in Snowmass offer accommodations that can easily fit a family, the Stonebridge Inn seems like the kind of place I would like to stay if I were to go with Hubby for a ski weekend à deux. Stonebridge Inn is centrally located, has a spa and fitness center, onsite dining (The Artisan), and onsite ski and snowboard rental. They are not exactly ski in/ski out, but the 93 guest rooms and king suites appear comfortably appointed with wood framed beds, mini refrigerators and flat screen TV’s . For the price point at $219 a night the Stonebridge Inn may be one of the best deals around.
300 Carriage Way, https://www.destinationhotels.com/stonebridge-inn/hotel.
All this being said, I cannot NOT tell you that if you find yourself in the Aspen Snowmass area prior to March 31, 2020, the hottest reservation is at the Hotel Jerome where Chef Mads Refslund from Noma has a pop up kitchen…more info here. Would be amazing, and if you go, lmk!!! See you on the slopes! xoM
All photos by Marci Symington for TEXAZTASTE with the exception of the featured image of Snowmass Village which is via Shutterstock.