WHERE WE ATE (and drank):
1. Lunch at The Living Room at the Little Nell Hotel. Great wine list with a limited bar menu for a casual eating and drinking experience that's nestled around 2 huge fireplaces. Comfy and plush seating, slope-side views and the wagyu beef sliders and parmesan truffle fries we've ever tasted. See menu here.
Dinner at Cache Cache. The food here was amazing (especially the dessert). It's right in town, has a warm atmosphere and 5-star service. Impeccable wine list. A must-try.
Breakfast at Victoria and Co. This was a casual, fairly quick, order-at-the-counter type place where you can sit down and enjoy good food and espresso/coffee before hitting the slopes. We did breakfast here a couple of times before skiing/snowboarding and really enjoyed it. It's really close to Ajax and the station with all of the shuttles to other mountains.
Lunch/Boozing at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. This place is definitely worth a visit. I had heard stories about Cloud 9, but none of them came close to actually being there. If you want to go, you pretty much have to make a reservation (the sooner you book, the better). It's ski-in, ski-out only and is located at the top of Cloud 9 lift. We booked 2 o'clock and it was perfect (they close sometime around 4-430pm). I left there drenched in champagne and, luckily, made it down the mountain without too much of a problem. (Note: they do have snowcat rides down for those that over-imbibe).
Dinner at Matsuhisa. Nobu Matsuhisa is the same chef/owner of the infamous Nobu Restaurant, now residing in several cities internationally. This place had a much different feel from Nobu though. With locations in Vail, Denver and Aspen, this restaurant/lounge is in an unassuming little blue house on the corner of a quiet downtown street. The lounge upstairs is a little more swanky, but the restaurant itself is small with lots of light wood, creating a cozy and bustling space. Let's talk about the food though. We loved everything! Well worth the wait, even with our reservation that we made several weeks in advance (resos are a must, especially on a weekend w/ a group). Some highlights of our meal: Nobu crispy rice w/ tuna, limestone lettuce w/ rock shrimp, yellowtail tataki with yuzu-miso, some sort of miso black cod lettuce wraps that I'm not currently finding on the menu (these were my favorite, by far), and then obviously we got some rolled sushi as well. We also got a few bottles of the Nobu Junmai Dai-Ginjo sake to accompany our meal, which was really great. See menu here.
Breakfast or lunch at Peaches Corner Cafe. I just got a pre-made spinach croissant thingy (it was amazing and perfectly flaky), but really wanted to go back for their sandwiches b/c they looked soooo good...I never made it, but have had dreams of them at night. Either way, great spot for casual breakfast and lunch.
Dinner at Meat and Cheese. This was my fave meal! We had no reservation, just heard it was good and decided to check it out on our last night for something casual and easy. The food was awesome! We liked everything we ordered (some note-worthy mentions: Bossam Korean Pork Board, Steak Board, Local Rotisserie Chicken and the Fall Salad). Great wine list, too!
Dinner at Casa Tua Aspen. Beautiful space, delicious food, 5-star service and fine art on the walls to top it off. We really enjoyed dinner here. It's pricey, but worth it for the experience. I've also been to the one in Miami (which shouldn't be missed if you're ever in South Beach). It feels luxurious and cozy without being pretentious. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities when you're dining here. This would most likely be on their list when in Aspen. We had the burrata and octopus salad for antipasti, Ricotta Cavatelli, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese and Casoncelli alla Bergamasca for our primi piatti, and the Branzino for secondi (we kind of all just split everything, which worked out well).
Kemo Sabe (best for authentic and well-made cowboy hats, boots and awesome leather bags), Four Mountain Sports for gear rental and pretty much any ski/snowboard outfitting needs, Performance Ski (European brands, expensive but interesting, smells like lululemon inside).
They have so much shopping in Aspen (high-end and some chain stores, from Gap & J.Crew to Dior and rag & bone) but I didn't shop much outside of Kemo Sabe. It was my fave : )
Pot: Native Roots...Even if you're not a pothead (I'm not a pothead) it's kinda fun to check out and maybe try something they recommend. Or not. Just throwing it out there.
Snowshoeing and/or cross-country skiing trails are all over the Aspen/Snowmass area, and are an excellent alternative to those who don't like heights or vertical angles on speed-conducive body attachments.
Arjuna Yoga: We took a heated Vinyasa class here and really enjoyed it. Highly recommend for giving sore muscles some TLC after hitting the slopes or detoxing post-apres ski. We took Caroline's class...she's the owner and her class flowed like no other!
Remède Spa at the St. Regis. This place deserves a whole post to itself. Voted #1 spa in the world by Travel + Leisure, this place did NOT disappoint. 5-star all the way and worth.every.penny. Complete with an oxygen lounge to help acclimate your body to the high altitude, fancy teas and snacks, incredible showers, a cold-plunge pool (this was quite an experience. My therapist recommended 1-2 min in warm water, then at least 30 seconds in cold water--much harder than it sounds--repeat this 4-6 times, no more, no less, and end with the cold water), eucalyptus steam, waterfall hot tub and so much more. My therapist's name was Pam and she was AMAZING. Probably the best massage I've every had. Ask for her!!! I loved this place. Maybe the highlight of the whole trip!
TRANSPORTATION-my 2 cents:
Fly into Aspen, worth the extra money during Winter. Book transportation (shared van or pre-arranged taxi) to and from airport as taxis are not plentiful sometimes. You really don't NEED a car unless you're staying outside of town. That being said, we were in town and had a car, and it was pretty helpful a few times!