Restaurant puts the cash in Cashmere
Aspen’s haute cuisine got a little haughtier this week with the opening of what could be the most expensive restaurant in town.On Friday, Manrico Cashmere on Cooper Avenue, a cashmere boutique kitty-corner from Paradise Bakery, opened a small, reservation-only restaurant on its upstairs level. The restaurant, located in the space once occupied by longtime eatery Guido’s, is called Manrico by Massimo Masciaga.The menu itself is quite literally the most expensive in town – it is bound, like the pillows on the restaurant’s chairs, in pure cashmere. Inside the menu, not much changes. A bowl of broccoli cream soup costs $20. A filet mignon will set you back $58.
There are also two set menus – eight courses for $275 or five courses for $175 per person, wine included.”It’s probably the most expensive menu in town, but you get what you’re paying for. The food is world-class,” sommelier Tim Morseon said. Manrico by Massimo Masciaga replaces Guido’s restaurant, which was opened by Guido Meyer in 1953 and known for its cheese fondue. Guido’s closed in 2002, and the space remained unused until Manrico by Massimo Masciaga opened its doors Friday.The new space has been gutted and refurbished since Guido’s closure. The restaurant now seats 40, with patio dining expanding summer capacity to 55. A high-end bar is also open for après ski.
The dress code is “Aspen casual.” Seating begins at 6 p.m. and finishes at 9 p.m. Reservations are needed at least 10 days in advance, according to restaurant partner Virgil Verellen.”We strongly recommend booking well in advance,” Verellen said. “If we have an opening, we may be able to accommodate you. But the busy times, like Christmas, are already almost full.”The restaurant is named after its chef, Massimo Masciaga, a former executive chef at L’Alberata restaurant in Italy – “the finest restaurant in Italy,” according to Verellen. The menu is described as “fine dining Italian with French influence.””We have a wine list to complement our menu. For instance we have all five Bordeaux first growths, something wine lovers will appreciate,” Morseon said.
The Aspen restaurant is the first dining venture for Manrico Cashmere, which also has stores in Chicago and New York City. If the Aspen restaurant is successful, other stores may open restaurants, Verellen said.He said the restaurant has not actively promoted its opening, hoping instead to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations.”We want our restaurant to be like cashmere. You see someone wearing a sweater, you don’t know it’s cashmere, but when you touch it, my god, you know right away,” Verellen said. “It should be the same with our restaurant. We want to be understated and let people experience the restaurant for themselves.”Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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