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Aspen Mountain

That Aspen Mountain ranks so high in dining and après (no. 2 in both) will come as no surprise to any skier who’s visited this picturesque mining town deep in the Elk Mountains. The 65-year-old ski area looms over a town that prides itself on offering urban-quality restaurants and bars (with prices to match) steps from Gondola Plaza. But here’s the story the rankings don’t tell: This mountain offers a huge variety of terrain in a compact package. Its 673 skiable acres are misleading. What counts here is vertical, and when it tops 3,500 feet accessed via a high-speed gondola that rarely draws a line, it’s more than most visitors’ quads can handle. Intermediates entertain themselves on fall-line groomers, but it’s the experts who fully capitalize on Aspen Mountain’s offerings. —T.W.

Don’t Miss » Aspen Mountain is sprinkled with shrines to everyone from late locals to legendary musicians. Create a tour on skis at aspensnowmassshrines.com.

Après Spot » The Sky Hotel has après locked down, but if the pool scene is too rowdy, head to BB’s Kitchen, a newish joint with a second-floor patio prime for catching late-day sun.

On-Hill Lunch » The white-bean chili and homemade apple strudel (with real whipped cream) lure locals and tourists alike to the cozy cabin interior and two-tiered deck at Bonnie’s.

Matsuhisa

Matsuhisa
Matsuhisa
High-caliber Aspen sushi.

Owned by famed Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa (who has restaurants everywhere from Las Vegas to Athens to Tokyo), Aspen's Matsuhisa serves up the town's best sushi to a packed and often celebrity-filled clientele. They serve exquisitely-crafted rolls and sashimi, as well as a masterful dinner menu including lobster with wasabi pepper and Chilean sea bass with black bean sauce. You may need to make a reservation a month in advance.
www.matsuhisaaspen.com

Zocalito

Zocalito
Zocolito
Aspen going global

This Latin American bistro serves up bold and flavorful fare. Longtime Aspen local/owner Michael Beary searches out authentic ingredients for dishes such as Iberico ham and chorizo salad, shrimp-tomatillo sopes and skirt steak with Oaxacan mozzarella and chile chilhaucle sauce.
zocalito.amgbusiness.com; 970-920-1991

[ Wed, 2010-06-09 15:48 ]
Food & Wine Classic
Food & Wine magazine's annual festival features the culinary geniuses of our time.

Every Friday’s schedule should look as good as June 18th’s kick-off to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo. Here's just a sampling of what festival goers, wandering through tents in downtown Aspen, Maroon Bells in the background, can pencil in.

10 a.m.–10:45 a.m.: Two Decades of Dom Perignon

10:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m.: Grand Tasting

2 p.m.–2:45 p.m.: French Wine and Cheeses: Perfect Pairs

3:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m.: Best of Ligurian Cooking

4:30 p.m.–6:15: Grand Tasting

The Annabelle Inn - Aspen, Colorado

The Annabelle Inn - Aspen, Colorado
Annabelle
This Aspen bed and breakfast will have you right at home.

The Annabelle can be summed up in one word: darling. The rooms are quaint and, in classic B&B style, each has a different décor and feel. (On the downside of darling, however, they are small, and bathrooms are cramped.) A breakfast buffet is served downstairs in the cozy lobby each morning, where the friendly proprietors make themselves available for advice on everything from restaurants to snow conditions.

The Hyatt Grand in Aspen, Colorado

Anything you could ever want in an Aspen hotel and then some, the Hyatt Grand is top notch in every category.

Hyatt Grand
There are nice places to stay, and then there’s the Hyatt Grand. From the Bordeaux glasses in the cabinet to the cappuccino maker on the counter, from the step-down jetted bath tub for two to the steam spigot in the glassed-in rain shower, this hotel is all about luxury.

But it’s about comfort, too, with a decidedly unfussy feel.

Classic décor—leather couches, gas fireplaces and natural stone—invite you to make yourself at home. The Viking wine fridge chilling your Chardonnay (glasses, check), does a bang-up job at welcoming, too.

www.aspen.hyatt.com | 970-429-9100

The Aspen Square Lodge: Stay in the Heart of Aspen

The Aspen Square Lodge: Stay in the Heart of Aspen
Aspen Square Lodge
Wood-burning fireplaces in each of the single bedroom condo-style rooms and other amenities make the Aspen Square a great place to stay.

The Aspen Square Lodge is smack in the center of town, which is its single greatest attribute. It’s steps from the gondola, steps to every restaurant and bar in town, and steps from the grocery store, which comes in handy when you’re stocking your unit’s newly renovated kitchen.

Which brings us to the second greatest attribute: It offers the only single-bedroom condo-style units in town. Other perks include an outdoor pool and hot tub, and a wood-burning fireplace in each unit. When booking, secure a renovated unit.

www.aspensquarelodgehotel.com | 970-925-1000

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