The David Burke Group announced the official grand opening of Aspen Kitchen, an artisanal market-to-table restaurant in the heart of historic downtown Aspen, Colorado, will take place on January 13. Led by Executive Chef Matthew O’Neill, Aspen Kitchen features authentic, all-American ingredients with items sourced locally from Colorado along with an inspired beverage program and hand-crafted cocktails.
Open daily for dinner, with après ski, lunch, and weekend brunch later this winter, Aspen Kitchen brings the David Burke Group’s notable whimsy and innovation to a menu that is unlike any other in Aspen. Emblematic dishes include starters and appetizers such as House Ricotta with squash marmalade and pine nuts, Chickpea Fries with fennel pollen and harissa mayonnaise, Octopus a la Plancha with romesco, charred lemon, piquillo peppers, and garbanzo beans; and Elk Tartare with quail egg, confit shallots, capers, and toasted garlic. Mains include Poached Rabbit Cavatelli with wild mushrooms, creme fraiche and shishito gemolata; Harissa Braised Lamb with glazed turnips and crispy sweetbreads, and Pan Roasted Colorado Striped Bass with roasted fennel and chickpea panisse. The dessert program, led locally by Pastry Chef Carolina Polo and overseen by celebrated Executive Pastry Chef Zac Young, offers diverse treats such as the Rocky Mountain Bar with peanut butter soft nougat, peanut brittle, and salted caramel ice cream; Hot Churros with dulce de leche and chocolate sauce, and Toffee Monkey Bread for Two with banana caramel and maple pecan ice cream.
“We wanted to take a fun and creative approach to the menu, and we’re excited to present a culinary experience that is adventurous but also approachable at the same time,” O’Neill says. “Aspen Kitchen is an opportunity to capture the best flavors and ingredients of Colorado in a modern, fresh menu that offers a unique take on classic cooking to appeal to Aspen’s discerning diners.”
As the executive chef of Aspen Kitchen, O’Neill brings to his position a decade of experience working in some of the nation’s best restaurants, most recently as executive chef at the Ajax Tavern located in Aspen’s acclaimed Little Nell hotel. O’Neill has also worked alongside Tony Maws at Boston’s distinguished Craigie On Main and at Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud and Restaurant Daniel, both in New York City.
The cocktail program at Aspen Kitchen features updated classics with a ski-town spirit, including the Mt Aspen Erupts with agave, Mezcal, Tequila, and a froth of egg white; and the BlackBerry Lime Rickey, made with local Woody Creek Vodka, fresh blackberries, and Prosecco. The wine list, curated by Sommelier Joshua Benjamin, showcases over 600 wines with a depth of both old and new world vintages while the beer program is primarily craft and focused on regional and local breweries. Prior to his role at Aspen Kitchen, Benjamin was the acting assistant sommelier at The Relais & Chateaux Post Hotel in Lake Louise, Alberta, home to the largest commercial wine cellar in Western Canada.
In addition to its unique menu and beverage program, Aspen Kitchen offers the town’s only dry aging room, which houses a selection of 30-year or 55-year, dry-aged saltbrick beef, including cuts of ribeye and NY steak. Showcased in a glass-fronted box lined with bricks of glowing, backlit pink Himalayan rock salt, Aspen Kitchen’s dry-aging room uses a patented mix of materials, temperature, and humidity to perfect the dry aging process.
Designed locally by Z Group Architects and Summit Construction, Aspen Kitchen features a warm interior with rich leather stools and banquets, farmhouse tables, and custom cabinetry along with an exhibition kitchen and elegant bar. The expansive, three-sided rooftop terrace garden overlooking Aspen Mountain and downtown offers breathtaking views of Ajax, Red Mountain, and the iconic ski town’s historic buildings. Opening late winter with seating for 128, the patio is the largest outdoor rooftop space in Aspen, offering fireside seating around four fire pits, high top cocktail seating, and two “hanging tables” suspended at either corner of the terrace. Perfect for après ski cocktails, lingering over lunch, and al fresco dining, the patio in the warmer months will mimic a Rocky Mountain garden, with an abundance of wildflowers, greenery, and species native to the area.