Just when you think Aspen couldn't become more painfully Aspen, the Colorado town does its best self-impersonation 2,000 miles away in Manhattan. Glitter Gulch's urban incarnation is a new restaurant/lounge called - ready for this? - Aspen. Smack in the Flatiron District, the ski-lodge-themed joint is done with woody decor, a crankin' fireplace, a 200-tree aspen grove flown in from Colorado, wall-mounted (and backlit) Lucite deer heads, and plenty of fur-boot-clad hotties.
Seems like a reasonable way for New Yorkers to get a taste of mountain chic, but not everyone agrees. A Denver Post article blasted the place for misrepresenting Colorado (what, no antler chandeliers?). "I got a good laugh out of it," says 43-year-old owner Greg Brier. "I mean, what do they want us to serve - Rocky Mountain oysters?"
Brier, a Colorado native who squeezes in 30 ski days a year, dishes up tapas-style comfort cuisine like jalapeño elk sausage and polenta fries with gorgonzola sauce-which sound très Aspen to us. The libations, which cost up to $12 a pop, are equally mountain-modern, like the I-could-drink-12-of-these-before-I-know-what-hits-me Acai margarita. Which shouldn't be a problem, since you won't be charging runs in the morning. (30 W. 22nd St.; 212-645-5040; aspen-nyc.com)