New Snowmass restaurant debuts $120 caviar crepe
Base Village in Snowmass can now lay claim to an outdoor ice-skating rink, the new Limelight Hotel and, if you’re to ask Mawa McQueen, the world’s most expensive crepe.
“Google it,” she said with a laugh. “Nobody has a $120 crepe.”
McQueen, an Aspen chef who was born on the Ivory Coast and raised in Paris, opened The Crepe Shack earlier this month in conjunction with the expanded Base Village.
Part of her mission with the new take-out restaurant, she said, was to defy what she believes is an unfair stereotype about the underrated crepe — as if the culinary fare’s potential is limited to Nutella and bananas, or ham and cheese — a French term which when translated to English means pancakes.
“The goal was to do something outrageous,” she said. “I love crepes. I grew up with them, and I’m sick of basic people’s understanding of them.”
As of Dec. 21, McQueen said she had sold five or six of her Nordic Caviar crepes, which come with smoked salmon from Maine, egg, dill cream sauce, and — here’s the clincher — Petrossian Classic Caviar, which she has shipped overnight from Paris.
“Snowmass should have the most expensive crepe in the world,” she said.
It can also translate to expensive overhead; the caviar has about a two-week shelf life, she said.
McQueen, however, said with Snowmass now upping its game in the ski-resort wars, the market is ripe for such conspicuous decadence. The Crepe Shack is located in the Lumin building next to the Limelight, an area heavy with foot traffic.
Most of the Crepe Shack’s prices aren’t off the charts. Crepes such as the Parisienne (black forest ham and gruyère Swiss blend) runs $9.95; or a Crepe Dog (with a kosher hotdog and other ingredients) commands $12.95.
The aim of the Crepe Shack’s Private Selection, however, is to elevate the dining experience, McQueen said.
The $78 Courchevel, for example, is equipped with Petrossian duck foie gras, short ribs braised with red wine, Gruyere Swiss fondue and other ingredients.
If McQueen’s $120 crepe is looking for competition, it will find it at 7908 Aspen restaurant on the Hyman Avenue, home of the Aspen Nachos, which go for $120 or $210, depending on the portion size. Those nachos come with Imperial Osetra Caviar, Yukon chips, cultured cream, egg seive, pickled shallot and chives.
“If they are more than mine,” McQueen said of the Aspen Nachos, “I’m going to raise my price. I’m not kidding — but it’s not only about the price, it’s the taste.”
The Crepe Shack is McQueen’s third restaurant in the mid- to upper Roaring Fork Valley. She also owns Mawa’s Kitchen in the Aspen Business Center and Market Street Kitchen at Willits in Basalt.
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“We’ve got all of these great things going on in (Base Village),” Andy Gunion, managing partner of East West Partners, said to council. “But it is not sustainable if we don’t get the rest of this village built and we’re not going to build it under a plan that makes no sense.”