Dining by Design

A host of new Aspen-Snowmass restaurants are serving up serious style.
With Aspen Mountain as a backdrop, Casa D’Angelo elevates dining in the former Piñons space.

By Linda Hayes

Over the past six months, a collection of new restaurants in Aspen-Snowmass has upped the culinary ante, with spaces designed to offer experiences as pleasing to the eye as to the palate.

At Chica, Lorena Garcia’s flair with flavors pairs well with Rockwell Group’s tasteful design.

Chica Aspen

Entrepreneurial chef Lorena Garcia’s flair for highly flavorful Latin American cuisine isn’t the only thing at this lively new restaurant, slopeside in The Residences at the Little Nell, that has captured diners’ attention. Designed by famed New York firm Rockwell Group, the space is alive with vibrant Latin American colors and textures inspired by Garcia’s creative cuisine. Check out the mural in the back by Miami-based graffiti artist Daniel Osorno; the highly patterned wall, ceiling and bar top detailing; and dramatic overhead light fixtures inspired by colonial ironwork. 501 E. Dean St., 970.900.6780, chicarestaurant.com/aspen

Casa D’Angelo is set up for service.

Casa D’Angelo Ristorante

As a concept, “Tutto su gli ingredienti” (“It’s all about the ingredients”) is pleasing palates at owner-chef Angelo Elia’s original new Tuscan-inspired eatery. Elia, along with local interior designer Kristin Dittmar Doremus, was able to seamlessly transform the former home of long-standing Piñons restaurant into a place that plays favorably with locals and visitors alike. Modern yet elegant, warm and inviting, the new vibe is informed by custom light wood wainscoting and window trim framing dramatic Aspen Mountain views. Horsehair sconces by Apparatus warm the space by night. A metal-and-glass wine wall created by local Thunderbowl Architects is a focal point of the venue, providing subtle separation for private dining. 105 S. Mill St., 970.920.2021, casa-d-angelo.com

Catch Steak’s bold new look will have mouths watering this summer

Catch Steak Aspen

Taking over the 10,000-square-foot space once home to Aspen Kitchen, and with an all-season rooftop terrace overlooking town, might be daunting to some. But not NYC-based Catch Hospitality Group (CHG), which, like Chica Aspen, enlisted Rockwell Group for a remodel. At the entry, diners encounter a CHG signature living green wall before slipping into the vast dining area, now with a more intimate feel thanks to a dark slatted wood ceiling. Banquettes and freestanding tables are large enough to accommodate 40-ounce tomahawk steaks with all the trimmings. 515 E. Hopkins Ave., 970.452.8080, catchrestaurants.com

Limelight Lounge in the Limelight Hotel Aspen shines thanks to Stonehill Taylor’s new design.

Limelight Lounge Aspen

Just as locals and visitors come together to nibble hand-tossed wild mushroom pizzas and sip local Excess Hazy IPA, Aspen’s silver-mining legacy combines with earthy wood tones and bold accent colors in the newly renovated Limelight Hotel Aspen’s convivial Lounge. Highlights of the space by NYC design firm Stonehill Taylor include an ample bar inset with metallic herringbone tiles and lit by copper pendant lights. Around a blackened steel fireplace, soft, brightly upholstered seating areas inform a contemporary aesthetic—and just the right amount of mod. 355 S. Monarch St., 970.925.3025, limelighthotels.com

A stylish private dining room in the new Stark’s Alpine Grill.

Stark’s Alpine Grill

Within the new Viewline Resort (formerly the Westin Snowmass), Stark’s, as it’s locally known, is touted as a cozy tavern. And it is indeed that, with reclaimed teak flooring, intimate faux-velvet red banquettes, and historic black-and-white ski photos adorning the walls, all creating a sense of intimacy within the 4,400-square-foot space. The stunning Snowmass Mountain view from the 26-foot-long Caesarstone bar further elevates the aesthetic. The same goes for sculptural lighting and contemporary art in a pair of private dining rooms. 100 Elbert Lane, Snowmass Village, 970.923.8301, viewlineresortsnowmass.com

Aurum struck gold with this comfortable, inviting new space by Raw Creative.

Aurum Food & Wine

Aurum, Latin for gold, stands as a shiny new gem in Snowmass Base Village. Retractable 10-foot-tall doors provide easy connection to the outdoors, where firepits have been arranged on a patio facing the slopes. Inside, a “mountain modern” living room-lounge reveals the first hint of action at a Taj Mahal quartzite-topped bar and white oak-framed banquettes. Aurum was custom built under the auspices of Raw Creative design and fabrication studio in Denver. Karen Fischer in Breckenridge curated the artwork, including photographer Slim Aarons’ Feast series. 110 Carriage Way, Snowmass Base Village, 970.429.4906, aurumaspensnowmass.com