Jimmy’s Bodega | AspenTimes.com

Jimmy’s Bodega

story by Jeanne McGovern photos by Anna Stonehouse
The details: 307 S. Mill St. • 970-710-2182 • jimmysbodega.com Prices: Appetizers, $14-$19; Raw Bar, $12-$144; Entrees, $22-$58; Happy hour pricing from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ambience: Intimate, upscale casual, great views of Aspen Mountain Signature dish: Jimmy’s crab cakes Not to Miss: A local’s favorite for happy hour; Stellar specialty cocktail menu, as well as fine wines by the glass; Some of the freshest seafood in town

Something special happens when you settle in to your table at Jimmy’s Bodega and begin to peruse the extensive menu, scan the fresh offerings at the raw bar and order a bottle off the carefully crafted wine list.

In short, you are transported — Jimmy’s Bodega is one of few restaurants in Aspen that seamlessly blends our Rocky Mountain setting with an East Coast sensibility.

“The bottom line is, you’re going to be treated to the freshest food there is in my restaurants,” says proprietor (and namesake) Jimmy Yeager, whose popular Jimmy’s –
An American Restaurant & Bar (located upstairs at the corner of Mill Street and Hopkins Avenue) has been a staple of the local restaurant scene for more than two decades. “I don’t want it to be good; I want it to be great. This is the care we put into our menus; it’s very personal.”

Indeed, the Bodega experiences is something not to be missed — and something that chef Mario Hernadez and his brother/sous chef Roberto Hernandez take very seriously.

In fact, the pair begin conjuring up new dishes by drawing them; the intricate, colorful sketches line the walls of the Bodega office.

“We visualize what we want our guests to experience and then begin to think about how best to deliver that,” Mario says.

Begin with one of the restaurant’s signature — and picture-perfect — Seafood Plateaus paired with a glass — or bottle — of Billecart-Salom Brut Reserve for an exquisite and refreshing end to your day.

Other great starters, or something just right for sharing: Tuna tartare with sesame ginger vinaigrette, green onion, red tobiko and the tasty wonton chips around from the Raw Bar menu; crispy rock shrimp and calamari from the appetizer selections; or a fresh, locally sourced Paonia apple and spinach salad with celery root, red onion, grana cheese, walnuts and warm apple vinaigrette.

Then, moving into the entrée part of your experience, the selections — all made with the freshest ingredients and greatest care — are sure to convince you that Bodega has taken a queue from its more established sister restaurant Jimmy’s.

Note the organic salmon and new Red Bird all-natural roasted chicken; or, mix your proteins with a surf & turf dinner featuring a 6-ounce filet mignon and choice of either Alaskan king crab legs or Jimmy’s crab cake.

Follow this lead and you’ll see why a stop at Jimmy’s Bodega is an experience in and of itself.