Francesca’s Argentinian Empanadas on Snowmass Mall opening this week | AspenTimes.com

Francesca’s Argentinian Empanadas on Snowmass Mall opening this week

"Francesca’s Argentinian Empanadas” co-owners Jorge Dolfo, left, and Martin Meineri in front of their new food cart along the Snowmass Mall. The cart, which also will serve homemade pasta, is slated to open for business Wednesday.

Nestled in the former creperie space on the Snowmass Mall, Francesca's Argentinian Empanadas is the newest tenant positioned to serve quick bites to skiers and snowboarders on the go this winter.

The food cart, slated to open Wednesday, is a joint venture between Martin Meineri and Jorge Dolfo, two Aspen residents from Argentina. Meineri is the man behind the former "Francesca's Homemade Pasta" restaurant that used to operate next to City Market.

Outside his restaurant, Meineri has prepared authentic Argentinian fare for private clients, such as the Aspen Valley Polo Club, since he moved to the valley in 2011.

"This idea (for Francesca's Argentinian Empanadas) came more than a year ago, because in Snowmass there is no such food to take (to go)," Meineri said. "It's something new for Snowmass."

The Cordoba, Argentina, native says his culinary passions are strongly influenced by his Italian father and grandfather.

Francesca's Argentinian Empanadas, like Meineri's former Aspen restaurant, will serve homemade pasta, ravioli, lasagna and desserts.

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And, of course, empanadas with at least five types to start, including traditional Argentine beef, chicken, corn and cheese and caprese.

About four months ago, the business acquired its kitchen in the Aspen Business Center, where it will prepare dishes available for catering and deliveries.

Open before the lifts start to spin, Francesca's (named after Meineri's daughter) will offer breakfast empanadas, coffee and hot chocolate.

erobbie@aspentimes.com