Casa Tua | AspenTimes.com

Casa Tua

story by Jeanne McGovern photos by Anna Stonehouse

What was once a private club is now a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

In fact, Casa Tua, located caddy-corner to Paradise Bakery on the Cooper Avenue Mall, is one of summer's hidden treasures with a large outdoor patio in front (perfect for people-watching), a sleek but welcoming indoor space, and quaint backyard patio; the private club remains in business upstairs.

"In Europe, when you have someone come into your restaurant, it's like they are coming into your home," says Benoit Defransciso, general manager of Casa Tua Aspen. "This is who we are and what Casa Tua is all about."

At the root of this philosophy is Casa Tua owners Miky and Leticia Grendene, who modeled their mountain restaurant after their Casa Tua Miami — all the while staying true to their belief that, "more than just a restaurant or a private club, Casa Tua is a total experience – of unparalleled cuisines, fine art, impeccable service, and of course, amazing company."

And while the company at Casa Tua is always convivial, the menu speaks for itself.

Begin with an authentic Pio Tosinin Proscuitto, Mozzeral di Bufala antipasta, followed by a Penne alla Puttanesca Gaeta with olives, capers and tomato. At dinner, all entrees aim to please, from hearty meat dishes to summer selections such as seared Colorado striped bass and Colorado herb-crusted lamp chops. And, of course, the bar menu and dessert offerings are worth more than just a cursory glance.

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Also worth noting are the various ways the Grendenes have made Casa Tua accessible to those looking for unique dining experiences: there is a Friends' Table for intimate dinners, and the Members Club and downstairs spaces can be rented out for any type of special occasion.

"This is a passion of Miky's," explains Defrancisco. "As such, we always have the right food, the right wine and the right attitude."

The details: 403 S. Galena St. • 970-920-7277 • casatualifestyle.com

Prices: lunch, $14 to $25; dinner, $22 to $58; bar menu, $10 to $28

Ambience: Sleek but welcoming with excellent outdoor spaces

Signature dishes: Casa Tua Tuna Tartare, with capers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes; Tagliatelle alla Bolognese del Borgo; beef tenderloin with seared foie gras, toasted hazelnuts and sautéed leeks; deconstructed key lime pie

Not to Miss: Cocktails at the back patio bar; A tour of the indoor dining spaces, where treasures are everywhere; A chat with the owners, who imbue European charm