Aspen, Colo. Atop town landmark Explore Booksellers, newly styled Escape mixes chef Johnny Alamilla’s sustainable, veggie-centric cuisine with top-notch mountain views (970-925-5338). Gusto, sister to local fave Campo de Fiori, has morphed into Gisella, specializing in regional Italian dishes (gisellaaspen.com).
Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif. San Francisco super-chef/James Beard Award–winner/avid skier Traci Des Jardins raises the local dining scene with Manzanita, in The Ritz-Carlton Highlands. Set to open in December, the mountain-chic restaurant will showcase Des Jardins’s flair in dishes like foie gras terrine with quince chutney (ritzcarlton.com/laketahoe).
Whistler Blackcomb, B.C. Look for a new ingredient at Araxi this winter as the winner of FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen” will be named head chef and cook side-by-side with executive chef James Walt (araxi.com).
Beaver Creek, Colo. In Avon, the Riverfront Express Gondola stops at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, where chef Thomas Salamunovich, of Vail’s Larkspur fame, hits the high notes at Restaurant Avondale. Veal meatballs and thin-crust pizzas are tops (avondalerestaurant.com). In the village, try the locally sourced game at 8100 Mountainside Grill (beavercreek.hyatt.com).
Stowe, Vt. Four exhibition-style cooking stations in the Great Room Grill at the new Spruce Camp base lodge will fire up for breakfast and lunch. And the new Winter Cottage at Stowe Mountain Golf Club is the spot for fondue, charcuterie and signature cocktails (stowe.com).
This article appeared in the November 2009 issue.