Asher on Aspen: Après all day | AspenTimes.com
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Asher on Aspen: Après all day

Chica Aspen brings vibrant party scene and camera-ready fare

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen
Chica, Aspen.
Courtesy

Flakes of snow fell on my face as I found my place in the lift line. Turning to my friend to inquire about our next run, I noticed his frozen-over beard. My teeth chattered while I clenched my fists inside of my mittens.

Our chairlift swayed back and forth with the wind as we rode up the mountain for our last run of the day. Though we skied some incredible stashes of powder that day, our group had grown weary of the frigid temperatures, and we were ready to cozy up with a toasty beverage.

After a long, cold day of skiing, après hour is always much anticipated and appreciated.



“Après-ski” is French for “after ski,” and it marks the shift from tiresome ski runs to celebratory drinks with friends. It’s the careless, relaxed time of the day when friends come together over drinks to swap stories of impressive ski runs conquered and eccentric tourists met on the gondola. For the ultimate après-ski experience, we headed to Chica Aspen at the base of the gondola inside the Residences at The Little Nell.

Outdoor patio, Chica, Aspen.
Courtesy

I cruised to a stop at the base of the mountain with a huge smile on my face. Every time I wrap up a successful day of skiing, I always feel tremendously thankful to live where I live in this world and to be physically able to ski down the mountain swiftly and safely. Despite the brutally-cold temperatures, it was a wildly fun day on the hill. I raised my goggles and spotted my friends off to the left who were promptly ordering a drink from the bar. I gave them a big wave and then leaned over to loosen my ski boots.




Chica, Aspen.
Courtesy

With red noses and rosy cheeks, we strolled into Chica Aspen and were instantly greeted by a Latin-inspired interior that was warm and welcoming. Our group of six shivering ski bums somehow scored a round table near the front, which was perfect for people watching and taking in the scene.

Our meal started off with a bottle of Veuve Clique to toast our epic day of skiing and also, coincidentally, my birthday. I sat surrounded by five close friends, and I couldn’t be more content and satisfied at that moment.

We started our meal with an airy, light mushroom soup that instantly warmed our bones. This was followed by a beautiful first course of lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, which featured a whole live lobster from Maine that laid delicately across a bed of cheesy noodles. The alluring presentation matched the tastiness of this dish.

For our main entree, we sat there wide-eyed and intrigued, as our server delivered an order of the “Al Pastor” ribs that certainly lived up to their menu nickname, “The Smoke Show.” This paired seamlessly with the fresh, local-greens salad that featured Meyer-lemon chicken.

Given my immense sweet tooth and the fact that I love any and all desserts, I was especially excited for “The Flaming Skull.” The server excitedly lit the alcohol-covered gold skull on fire as we sat there mesmerized, watching it melt down and transform into a warm lava cake spilling onto ice cream and fresh fruit.

Then, we splurged and indulged in the Tres Leches Toasted Meringue with passion-fruit sorbet. Both deserts were exceptionally rich but incredibly satisfying.

Chica, Aspen
Courtesy

Overall, the presentation of each menu item was glamorous, exciting to look at, and definitely Instagrammable. Creating magnetic and eye-catching dishes is clearly important to Chica, not to mention the wildly-flavorful and dynamic cuisine that exceeded our expectations. With exceptional mood lighting and vibrant artwork decorating the walls, the aesthetic was constantly interesting and certainly captivating. This was absolutely one birthday I will never forget.

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