I’ve lived in Aspen for many years. So there are very few restaurants I haven’t tried. Allow me to set the stage, 4 of us from Mawa’s Kitchen storm Aspen Kitchen on a busy Friday night on President’s Day Weekend, and of course I act like I own the place and they graciously accommodated us. Even so, my first visit to David Burke Kitchen stood out from the crowd. First of all, the space itself is warm, open and inviting. Immediately as you walk in, on the left, you see a beautiful display of their dry aged beef aged between 50 and 100 days. The chef explained that they have a patent for aging their beef that makes them one of a kind in the country. Cue salivary glands.
As we walked further in to our table the room only improved. A gorgeous open kitchen with exposed logs, the table settings were classic, unpretentious and beautiful. A description that would fit the rest of our experience here. It’s a restaurant with elegant food, and attentive service that isn’t stuffy.
We started with a couple of glasses of bubbly, they have a by the glass list that will satisfy the most particular of wine nerds. A sommelier was immediately at our elbow to offer assistance with their well curated, comprehensive wine list.
On to the food. The hard part was choosing any one thing. So in true Mawa fashion, we ordered almost everything, with strict instructions to pass the plates around so we could taste it all. And taste it all we did. While we enjoyed everything, there were some definite standouts amidst a group of delicious dishes.
First of all the bread. We, of course were starving so starting with carbs seemed like an great idea. For most restaurants, bread seems to be an afterthought. Not so here. Several selections of the ridiculously delicious bread, fluffy, warm, just the right texture with butter, preserves and olive oil.
Amongst the appetizers the elk tartare and the house made ricotta were the clear winners. We also had their famous escargot fritters, and the beet salad as a central course. The fritters are served on bone marrow with house made beef jerky on top. There’s really nothing more to say to than that. Wow. The skordalia on the beet salad had me singing as well. I am still dreaming about the Monkfish Osso Bucco main course – I began to regret my edict that we all had to share.
Although we had absolutely NO room left, we just HAD to try dessert. When a meal is that good you just have to see what a restaurant produces for the sweeter courses. We were not disappointed. Our server sung panegyrics to the monkey bread, and while at first glance, the price tag may seem hefty it is most definitely enough for 4, and they offer you table side service, as well as putting any left overs in a handy David Burke tin. And trust me. There will be left overs.
Aspen Kitchen is a treat, perfect for any special or celebration if you are average Joe like me but if you can afford it go every week or every day! Stay tuned on the Mawa’s Kitchen blog for our report on the dry aged beef!
Bon appetite !