Midvalley serves up new restaurants | AspenTimes.com

Midvalley serves up new restaurants

Aimee Cullwick
Aspen, CO Colorado
Tempranillo has been drawing crowds in Basalt since it opened last December.

When it comes to new dining, the midvalley is the place to be. Several new restaurants have opened, are in the works or are moving to high-profile locations.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the midvalley dining scene this summer:

348 Main St., Carbondale

Owners Ian and Jessie Kipp bring years of restaurant experience to a new local bistro. The inspired husband-and-wife team have remodeled the location, formerly the Hurricane Grill, into a space with an industrial, warm-warehouse vibe. Named after the owners’ 1-year-old daughter, “Ella” serves old favorites from the owners’ native coastal Maine with local ingredients. Fresh Maine lobster is available every day. Patio seating with a year-round fire-pit lounge and a make-your-own-Bloody Mary bar at weekend brunch make Ella worth a visit.

231 Harris St., Basalt – Willits Town Center

Refined comfort food is how co-owner and chef Todd Slossberg, formerly head chef at the Hotel Jerome, defined the cuisine to be served at his new restaurant. Valley locals are thrilled for the experienced chef to share his passion in a new location serving dinner and Sunday brunch. Rob Zack, co-owner and chef, also formerly of the Jerome, includes his grandfather’s recipe of stuffed meatballs on the menu. Other comfort foods include a rotisserie prime rib, a favorite, family-recipe pound cake and a wide variety of small plates and entrees.

241 Harris St., Basalt – Willits Town Center


Open since March 2007, Smoke Modern Barbeque is part of the growing tribe of new restaurants in the midvalley. The menu represents primary barbecue regions with Texas-style brisket, Carolina pork and dry-rub ribs. Modern additions to the menu include barbecue tofu and a nightly fresh fish. Originally from Louisiana, owner and head chef Jamie Theriot (formerly head chef of the Maroon Creek Club) brings some comfort-food items like Louisiana barbecue shrimp and grits to the menu. Did we mention outdoor patio dining and a list of 12 different bourbons?

165 Midland Ave., Basalt


Named for the noble red-wine grape native to northern Spain, Tempranillo has been drawing patrons valleywide since opening in December 2006. Owner Javier Gonzalez-Bringas, from Madrid, lines up a menu filled with food from Spain and the Mediterranean. The menu overflows with choices of more than 40 cold and warm tapas, unique entrees, daily specials and 100 wines from Spain and Italy. The atmosphere is always alive, friendly and charged with the energy of dining in Spain. This summer the patio will be open and live music is a likely addition to the experience.

Willits Town Center

An old downvalley favorite in a new location, this longtime local favorite will move to a new location in the Willits Town Center sometime this summer. Its current, small location, near the Movieland theaters in El Jebel ” where patrons didn’t seem to mind sitting on one another’s laps in a crowded waiting/entrance area ” has prompted the planned move to a space three times as big, with a full bar. Diners can rest easy that the menu will remain the same as will the jukebox that randomly emits lively ranchero music to complete the experience of dining on some of the best Mexican food in the valley.

335 Main St., Carbondale


Well-known as a meat and fish market with pre-cooked meals patrons can impress their friends with at home, the Swiss Gourmet also puts on a European-style dinner every other Saturday at their location on Main Street. Theme dinners of five to seven courses seat up to 25 people around a large table. The lively and intimate dinners have been served for seven months and include a range of themes like Moroccan, Mediterranean and wild game cuisine. With the acquisition of a liquor license in June, the dinners include wine paired with each course this summer.