Indulge in Après Experiences in Aspen

Finding the best Après Experiences in Aspen; Top advice from Concierge Stanton Moore:

With the winter season in full swing, there is nothing like the après scene in Aspen.  Après for most is just as important as catching the 1st chair on a powder day.  For locals and travelers alike, après in Aspen is comparable to enjoying the sunset on the beach in Hawaii – it is something that you must do while you are here.  Après in our little mountain town is a timeless experience to say the least.   Whether you choose to indulge in cocktails and light fare or afternoon tea, there are plenty of choices for you to unwind with after a long day on the mountain.  Be warned, après can easily turn into an all night affair and you don’t want to be the one caught in your ski boots at 2am – it does happen. 

These are some of my favorite picks for après around town:

The Duchess of Bedford – Anna Maria Russell became accustomed to inviting her friends over for a light snack & tea to bridge the period between meals and converse about recent events, hence the idea of “afternoon tea” came into being.  Après Tea is the St. Regis Aspen Resort’s take on this timeless tradition and is presented daily during the winter season.  Joins us in the Shadow Mountain lounge from 3pm – 5pm & indulge yourself in finger sandwiches, scones, mini desserts and a choice selection of fine teas. Winnie the Pooh enjoyed his Elevenses with honey on bread & condensed milk. I prefer smoked salmon with a lemon crème fraiche, handcrafted macaroons, and organic green tee.  Join us.

Urban Lounge meets Mountain Town is the best way that I can describe 39 Degrees in the Sky Hotel.  39 degrees features indoor fireplaces, fire pits, a public pool & hot tub with signature cocktails and small plates.  On Sundays you can find DJ’s spinning the latest grooves and you will always find the newest ski videos playing on the monitors.  Be sure to come early if you don’t want to stand, as this venue typically fills up by 5:30pm.  Want to be seen?  Be at 39 degrees for après.  The fun begins at around 3:30pm but the bar service begins at 11am.

Base Camp (Snowmass) – After skiing around Elk Camp or taking in the mini ½ pipe, après at Base Camp in Snowmass is the place to be.  Situated right at the bottom of Fanny Hill you certainly can’t miss it.  Base Camp features 2 floors, an outdoor patio on the lower level and a large deck on the second floor offering seductive views of the Snowmass ski slopes.  You will find some of the best local bands playing here during après.  If you make it into late night, the second floor turns into a nightclub where some of the most talented local DJs can be found.  Base Camp specializes in “bar food” and for the hot wing connoisseur, some of the best wings in the Roaring Fork Valley are served right here.  

Ajax Tavern – Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, Ajax Tavern is the sensible solution for your après needs.  A large outdoor patio bar with heaters features a breathtaking view of Ajax.  Originally designed to be a French bistro, Ajax Tavern has delectable food and there is something on the menu for everyone – even a raw bar.  This tavern boasts the best burger in town and a visit to this Aspen staple wouldn’t be complete without an order of parmesan truffle fries.

Jimmy’s – Recently featured in the New York Times travel section, Jimmy’s is truly legendary and a must-visit while in Aspen.  Describing the bar scene as vibrant at Jimmy’s would be an understatement.  I recommend a visit there for après or late night. Specializing in steaks & seafood, dining at Jimmy’s is indeed a treat.  While enjoying a signature cocktail after a day on the slopes I recommend the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese or the baby lamb chops.

Justice Snow – A prohibition style mixologist bar with fabulous food.  Located in the historic Wheeler Opera House building, Justice Snow is a favorite for both the après experience and late night.  I recommend bellying up to the bar as your bartender creates carefully crafted cocktails showcasing exotic spirits and house made elixirs.  Feeling hungry?  Indulge yourself with the tempura fried pickles or the beet and kale salad.

With snow in the local forecast for the next seven days it seems as if this winter season is shaping up rather nicely.  With lots of snow there will be lots of skiing and riding.  With lots of skiing and riding there will certainly be lots of après.  I look forward to seeing you out and about in Aspen.

Stanton Moore
St. Regis Aspen Concierge

Posted in Food & Wine by Elizabeth Winn on December 5, 2012