Christmas dinner made simple | AspenTimes.com

Christmas dinner made simple

Staff reports

If you're staying in Snowmass Village for the holidays and would rather get on the mountain than spend all day slaving away over an oven, look no further to find holiday dinners at a gamut of different prices and styles.

Some independent restaurants also stay open on Christmas and New Year's, but for local hotels and their guests, holiday dining is especially important. Here's a selection of some options in the village:

Snowmass Kitchen at Westin Snowmass

The Westin is offering special menus on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. While food and beverage director Samuel Ross, who just joined the team six weeks ago, has introduced a northern Italian theme to the Snowmass Kitchen's menu, the Christmas menus will be very traditional. They also will be relatively affordable.

"We have lots of families that are here staying at our Westin, so we wanted to make sure … they get a lot of value," Ross said.

The prix fixe menu on Christmas Eve is $45 for adults and $25 for children 5 to 12. Kids younger than 5 eat free at Westin properties. Served from 5 to 10 p.m., the menu includes three courses, with eye of ribeye and troll caught white king Alaskan salmon as the options for main dishes.

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For Christmas Day, Ross created a dinner buffet menu with classic favorites such as turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green bean and mushroom casserole. An assortment of Italian meats and cheeses as well as salads also will be served. And for dessert, Ross included a Yule log, bread pudding, pumpkin pie tarts and assorted chocolates and cookies. The buffet is $55 for adults and $25 for children 5 to 12.

The New Year's Eve offering more closely resembles Snowmass Kitchen's new winter menu with northern Italian takes on Colorado foods such as lamb with roasted beet risotto in rosemary lamb jus and grilled elk chop with boursin potato puree and wild berry gastrique. The price goes up a bit for the five-course menu, at $90 for adults and $45 for kids 5 to 12.

"We think that's when families are going to celebrate," Ross said.

Reservations are required and can be made at http://www.westin snowmass.com/snowmass- restaurant.

Eight K at Viceroy Snowmass

At Eight K, executive chef Will Nolan is giving his holiday menus his signature New Orleans flair. Nolan said he wanted to have something "a little more interesting," something that would "make people talk a bit."

The Christmas menu, starting at 2 p.m. on Dec. 25, includes the Viceroy's signature lobster bisque and options for prime rib, roasted duck and turkey pot pie for main dishes. At $69 for adults, $39 for children 5 through 12 and free for children younger than 5, the dinner is still affordable.

"I'd rather get a bunch of people in and have a good time," Nolan said.

New Year's Eve gets a little more extravagant and a little more exciting, with house-made boudin noir, lobster risotto, fried quail and Colorado lamb chop. The servings on each of the five courses are small enough to keep diners hungry for the next one and awake till midnight. Nolan expects guests to close down the bar. Dinner is $195 per person. Make reservations at 970-923-8000 or http://www.viceroysnowmass.com.

The Edge at Timberline Condominiums

With its elite chef now full-time, the winter menu at The Edge is looking good. Chef James Mazzio, voted a best new chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1999, Mazzio has reworked the restaurant's menu to serve Mediterranean-style cuisine with a farm-to-table focus. All of the ingredients he uses are grown or raised in Colorado or are distributed by a Colorado company.

Diners on Christmas and New Year's will be able to order off the regular menu. Items such as Maine lobster bisque, with crispy shrimp cake in the middle, and eggplant Parmesan will be sure to warm diners after a long day on the slopes. The carpaccio and petite tender dishes feature beef from 7X, a company based in Hotchkiss, and the salmon is organic and sustainably raised. The Edge's menu also features gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Entrees at The Edge range from $18 to $32. Its extensive wine and cocktail list, now with a focus on Spanish, French and Italian grapes, offers a large selection of wines by the glass. Reservations can be made at http://www.open table.com.

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