Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess’s Palate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
So the craziest thing happened the other night: Ryan and I went out!
That’s right, we left the house. We intentionally put aside our newlywed domestic bliss for one evening. We broke out of our usual routine, which typically involves sitting on the floor and eating dinner at the coffee table; watching reruns of “Family Guy” on Netflix; and going to bed at 10 so we can read before we fall asleep (I know, I know). Oh, and somewhere in there I take a hot bath and read the latest issue of People/
Us Weekly/In Touch.
It’s true that most of our friends have given up on us and maybe even started to resent/despise/hate us for dropping off the face of the earth since our nuptials in mid-September. No one really calls us anymore. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even bother to bring my phone with me when I leave the house because it just takes up space in my pocket.
Our best shot at socializing is when we run into people. Last weekend I practically dragged our friends Lizy and Voss to the Sky for a beer after taking two runs on Ajax. I’m pretty sure I didn’t do very well trying to hide my desperation when I dove onto the ground and wrapped my arms around Eliza’s ankle, crying, “Please! Please! Please!”
The other night Ryan was like, “Well, I was thinking about going to work out,” but he saw the sad look in my eyes and said, “OK, I’ll work out in the morning and have a beer with you now.”
It’s that pathetic.
On Friday, we finally went out-out. My dear friend Catherine and her husband, Mike, were having their Powder for the People party, so that got me out of the house. This was very exciting for a few reasons.
For starters, I have discovered this whole leggings craze and had no idea how fabulous it is. Forget skinny jeans – I’ve got news for you: They don’t look good on anyone, not even you. I don’t care if you’re 10 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds – tight pants that are tapered at the ankle? So not flattering, and I’m still waiting for this trend to go away. If you want body-hugging attire, just go for the leggings. Throw on a pair of boots, top it with a longish dress/blouse hybrid, and boom! Eat as much as you want because there is no top button, and your belly is safely hidden. It’s genius, really.
“Wow! Married life looks good on you!” people kept telling me. Either they were lying to be nice, or the outfit I chose really did hide those few extra pounds I’ve put on now that I’m married and am eating more than miso soup with steamed carrots, cigarettes and vodka.
Then at the party, we ran into our dear friends Mike and Txell, who took us to the opening night of Creperie du Village after the party for some dessert drinks and treats.
First of all, I gotta hand it to the French guy Raphael and his Austrian partner, Karin, who opened this place, for making it hands-down the coolest new spot in Aspen in the 10 years I’ve lived here. Thank you for not trying to make it too swanky, too urban or too chic. Thank you for not serving Mediterranean Italian food or putting calamari or Caesar salad or seared ahi on the menu.
What he did do was take a space that had previously been a pop-up retail clothing store and turned it into a place that transports you to the French Alps, a place that has those key characteristics that are missing from most of Aspen’s restaurants: charm, warmth and cozy comfort. I love the distressed wood siding, the benches and throw pillows, the low lighting, the burlap hung from the ceilings and especially the French windowpanes that, alone, give the space an Old World feel. My favorite is the red-painted bathrooms and the French magazines in case you need something to look at when you are sitting on the toilet – nice touch.
We shared a sweet crepe with Nutella and shredded coconut, and a savory crepe with avocado, prosciutto and cheese with a poached egg on top (I could eat that every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy).
We stayed for four hours, drinking and eating and hanging out. I realized that’s exactly where I am at this point in my life. I don’t need to get wasted or stay out late, but I don’t have to stay home, either.
The following night we went out again, this time to Finnbar’s with another couple who are close friends of ours. Finnbar’s is another nice addition to Aspen’s overpacked arsenal of bars and restaurants. The place was packed and is obviously already very popular. Nice to see that dingy, dark space where I had so many useless drunken nights transformed into a rich and masculine Irish pub. If you like Guinness and melted cheese in your food, now you know where to go.
I gave my leggings another go for the second night in a row, this time with a gray cowlneck tunic and my black, platform-wedge Marc Jacobs boots. I was quite proud of myself for being on trend.
Maybe a little too much so: My friend Lisa showed up wearing a gray top, black leggings and black leather boots. Not only that – she wore her hair, which is almost the same color and the same length and the same cut as mine, the same way, blow-dried straight. It did make me feel a bit Stepford-ish.
We had a great time and were all in agreement when Lisa said, “Rare for us to stay up past 10. Let’s get out of here and go to bed!”
I might not be a desperate or in Stepford, but I’m definitely an Aspen wife.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold amounts of suffering and disruption, and we’ll probably tell those stories for the rest of our lives.