SNOWMASS VILLAGE - A new restaurant will open upstairs on Dec. 21 in the slopeside red barn building in Base Village. Slice, Red Barn Pizzeria, will offer pizza and light Italian fare including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas, signature pizzas and flatbreads.
"We felt there was room to complement the other restaurants in Snowmass that offer Italian food," said Scott Calliham, part of the restaurant group that owns and manages Base Camp and now Slice.
Along with partner Dave Duggan and a few other local owners, they have managed and operated Base Camp in Base Village for almost four years.
"We've heard from a lot of locals, ski instructors and guests that Base Village needed a broader selection of food," Duggan said. "We've responded to that by offering a lively family-friendly place with a few more menu choices than just pizza."
Calliham, Duggan and their team have created a strong local vibe in Base Camp the past four years.
"We care about the business, we care about the guest and people become like family," Calliham said.
"Guests are as invested as any local," continued Duggan. "We recognize that everybody that walks in the door is different. They may be here for the first time, but we know that years from now they may be bringing their kids and then their grandkids to ski."
After four years of a national recession, Calliham and Duggan are encouraged by what they see happening throughout Snowmass Village.
"It's not the same place that we saw here four years ago," Duggan said.
Calliham continues: "We think we've turned the corner, and we're very optimistic with what we're seeing throughout Snowmass Village."
They have remodeled the second floor of the iconic red barn building in Base Village. Slice will seat about 80 guests inside and has room on the outside balcony for an additional 30 to 40 diners. Heat lamps will warm those outside dining guests.
Moe Jones is the chef at Slice and oversees the kitchen. He grew up in an Italian family in Chicago and prides himself on cooking "authentic homemade Italian recipes with the freshest and finest ingredients."
Jones' signature meat sauce is called "the gravy" and is made with fresh tomatoes, 100 percent pure Black Angus beef, slow-cooked with his secret blend of spices. It is a meat-lover's marinara sauce, but he also makes a meatless version of marinara.
"The gravy is an old Italian recipe from my grandmother," said Jones. "It's as authentic as possible, but modern with the freshest ingredients."
Jones moved to Snowmass five years ago because his brother lives here. He likes to say that he learned cooking from his family, especially his dad, instead of going to culinary school.
"My dad taught me how to make hollandaise sauce when I was 7," said Jones. "He was the eccentric cook in our family while my mom made more traditional dishes. I've been working in a kitchen since high school and in the cooking business for more than half my life."
At Slice, Jones is offering traditional Italian appetizers like calamari fritti and shrimp scampi, but he's also giving us a cremini mushroom stuffed with crab and fried avocado with goat cheese and marinara.
For entrees, there are ravioli bolognese and other different pastas, as well as their signature pizzas and flatbreads including "The Thai Me Up" and "The Anderson Ranch-hand BBQ." You can build your own pizza or calzone and pick your own toppings and sauce. And you can even put those ingredients on a gluten-free, rice flour crust. The sauces, pizza dough, and even the sausage, are homemade.
While the upstairs location is a bit more of challenge to find than a restaurant on the plaza level of Base Village, Slice is housed in the recognizable red barn building that is slopeside and in a prime location. And it must not be that hard to find since 10 to 15 people a day were coming by during construction to try and buy a slice of pizza at lunch.
"You have to be a destination," Duggan said. "People will go once they know there is a pizzeria upstairs in that red barn building. Once they know, they will look for it."
Slice will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. for sit-down dining or take out. They will also offer delivery service in Snowmass Village from 5-10 p.m. For delivery call (970) 923-2743.
In addition to opening Slice this week, owners Calliham and Duggan and their team have also added breakfast to the Base Camp menu.
Opening at 8 a.m. each day, you can sit slopeside, where it is nice and warm, and plan your day over a full breakfast at Base Camp. There's also a kids' menu.
Steve Alldredge is the former associate editor/reporter for the Snowmass Sun. He now runs a local communications company whose clients include Related Colorado. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.