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August 21, 2008updated Feb 08, 2013

New Restaurants Opening for the 2008-09 Season in Colorado Ski Country

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Denver, Colo. – Like new moguls on an ungroomed run, new restaurants are popping up in Colorado Ski Country. Resorts from Aspen/Snowmass to Winter Park will be serving up superior snow, exceptional experiences and fantastic food this winter. With more than a dozen new restaurants to choose from this ski season, Colorado Ski Country guests will have even more terrain to conquer.

Purgatory At Durango Mountain Resort
Located in the southwest region of Colorado, Durango has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco.

-The new Purgy’s Day Lodge is set to open this winter season featuring a state of the art kitchen and regional cuisine-based menu. Purgy’s will offer a cafeteria style lunch and sit-down dinner menu. Purgy’s Day Lodge will offer slope side access with a heated outdoor seating area and all the favorites that make Durango unique, including locally brewed beers from Steamworks and Ska Brewery.

-In Downtown Durango the newest hot spot is the Irish Embassy. The owners wanted to create an authentic gathering-place Irish Pub and went straight to the source. The Food is authentic Irish food, with 85% of the menu originating from the general manager’s pub in Ballylain Ireland. Menu favorites include hearty portions of Fish and Chips, Sheppard’s Pie, and of course Bangers and Mashers. Half the wait staff is from Ireland, accents and all. And all the beers on tap are European, including Guinness direct from Dublin. Beer is served Irish Style in 20 ounce glasses, (versus the American 16 ounce glass). The entire decor was shipped in from Ireland, and Celtic music always blasts from the speakers.


-With spectacular views of Garret’s Peak, Mount Daly, and the surrounding backcountry, the new Sam’s Restaurant features a barbecue-style smokehouse menu with a variety of culinary delights. At 7,800 sprawling square feet, this new eatery boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and table service for 175, plus outdoor seating – all situated atop the Village Express six-pack lift on Snowmass. In addition to the main restaurant, Sam’s will also have a lounge area where guests can grab a quick coffee, breakfast or lunch.

-Sneaky’s Tavern, located adjacent to The Treehouse and mere steps from the Village Express, will no doubt be a very popular destination for those looking to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxing and comfortable setting. Offering both indoor and outdoor bar/dining seating, American bistro style cuisine will be served at lunch, après and dinner.

-The Sweet Life rocks as a 1950s style diner upstairs and a creamery parlor and candy store downstairs, featuring homemade ice cream made on-site with fresh ingredients and no preservatives.

-Junk plans on redefining fast food forever. “Good Junk, Bad Junk, (the only Junk your mom will let you eat)” may be the eatery’s tag line, yet its natural and organic ingredients smack of something a bit better for you that you’re sure to crave.
-The Aspen Brewery is a full production micro-brewery that opened in April 2008 and serves up frosty mugs to local patrons. Duncan Clauss, a home brewer who has frequented Aspen for the last 15 years, opened the brewery and tasting room with partners Brad Veltman and Rory Douthit. ( 557 North Mill St.; 970.274.9998).

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-Kiddie Cookers. A cooking school that only accepts aspiring chefs under the age of 13 has opened under the tutelage of culinary connoisseur Shael Berni. The school specializes in organic cuisine with an emphasis on nutritional recipes. A myriad of cooking programs are offered including after-school classes, mother-daughter classes, father-son classes, birthday parties, and private cooking lessons. (970-544-0264 or

-The famous Taster’s Pizza in Snowmass now has a new location in Aspen. Enjoy those same great slices, salads and pastas served up at the former Grill Next Door building. (455 Rio Grande Place; 970.544.3421)

-The newly opened Crystal Palace Grille located in the historic Crystal Palace Theatre building opened in June. The Crystal Palace Grille also features the same décor as the original Crystal Palace Theatre, and live music and open-mic nights still draw cheerful crowds. (300 East Hyman Ave.)

-Buenos Aires Grill will add new international fare to Aspen’s dining roster. The authentic South American eatery will serve up traditional Argentinean food with classic meat dishes, empanadas, and seafood. (308 South Hunter)

-Junk at the Red Onion will open in the historic Red Onion building next ski season in conjunction with its sister restaurant Junk in the Snowmass Base Village. Owned and operated by Scott DeGraff, Junk will feature a menu of indulgent, casual comfort foods. (420 East Cooper Ave.)

-The world-renowned Italian restaurant Il Mulino New York, will be located inside the Residences at The Little Nell and will give visitors one more fine-dining establishment to choose from while in Aspen. All meals at Il Mulino New York will begin with a complimentary antipasto tasting and glass of signature house grappa. (520 East Durant; 970.920.4600;

-Worldwide Fun Lab will offer a new cooking school for adults and children as well as demonstrations to the public in the space vacated by the Cooking School of Aspen. Worldwide Fun Lab, also owned by Scott DeGraff, will act as a training facility for chefs of his restaurants in Aspen and Snowmass as well. (414 East Hyman Ave.)
Winter Park
-Opening in December 2008, Lime is an American Cantina specializing in fresh Mexican food and mighty margaritas. The menu features some novel takes on traditional Mexican food including the traditionally Japanese edamame spiced with dipping sauce, chile rellenos and sweet corn tamales. As for dessert, the key lime pie strikes exactly the right note of tangy sweetness. (Building 33, at the mouth of the new village and opening to the slopes.)

– Also opening in December 2008, Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Café is old world atmosphere with a modern twist. Featuring the world’s finest beers paired with spectacular food, Cheeky Monk serves only Belgian beers on draught and many more in the bottle. Guests can pair a fine beer with Belgian/American cuisine such as Moules Frites, a warm bowl of Waterzooi or a Liege style sugar waffle while socializing in a comfortable bistro style setting reminiscent of 19th century Belgium. (Village at Winter Park, location on the pond.)

-Though not a new restaurant (per se), Winter Park Resort is bringing back an old favorite by extending The Lodge at Sunspot dinners from holidays-only to every Friday and Saturday night. This special experience is the only dining experience of its kind at Winter Park Resort, offering fine dining on-mountain at an elevation of 10,700 feet above sea level. The Lodge at Sunspot will specialize in gourmet Colorado cuisine paired with an extensive wine list.

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