By Damien Williamson | February 9, 2016 | Lifestyle
See a sensual show, eat at Aspen’s most romantic restaurant, imbibe the finest drinks, and pamper yourself as only the town’s finest spa can do this Valentine's Day.
This Alps-inspired subterranean restaurant has fast become a favorite haunt for authentic food and wine from the European high country. And the ambiance, as well as the cuisine, just screams romance. Traditional standouts include slow-braised veal cheeks, seared sea scallops with pea purée, smoked trout rillettes, and a silky, Sauternes-soaked foie gras torchon with cherry-shallot compote, all of which evoke the specialties of the finest bistros in Paris and Lyon. The 50-seat Restaurant Row eatery is one of the coziest in town, so book your reservation early. 400 Hopkins Ave., 970-925-1566
Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means that lovers (and friends) have the chance to get a jump-start on the amorous celebrations on Saturday night. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, town’s world-class classically trained yet contemporary focused dance troupe, opens its 20th anniversary season on February 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aspen District Theatre. The company will unveil two new sensual commissions, including “Re:play” by the Brazilian choreographer Fernando Melo along with “Huma Rojo” by Cayetano Soto, his third work for ASFB. Recent commission and last summer’s audience favorite, “Silent Ghost,” by Alejandro Cerrudo, completes the program.
Remède Spa inside the St. Regis is offering a Valentine ’s Day Couples Massage. The service includes a 60- or 90-minute customized massage using localZents products, a bottle of champagne, half-dozen chocolate strawberries, and a gift from the retail shop. 60 minutes, $550; 90 minutes, $730. Gratuity is included. Before or after, enjoy the Roses andRosé Dinner atTrecentoQuindiciDecano located just upstairs from the spa. The dinner includes a glass of rose, an amuse-bouche, four-courses, and take-homerosé for $100 per person (not including tax and gratuity). In addition to delectable items like grilled primeWagyu beef and lobster risotto, there will also be aphrodisiacs like oyster withMoet foam and caviar along with white chocolate raspberry mousse served withValrhonaganache, caramelized cocoa nibs, and anXOXO reduction. 315 E Dean St., 970-920-3300
Greg Van Wagner, wine director of Jimmy’s and Jimmy’s Bodega, says he sells more Champagne over Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year, except, perhaps, New Year’s Eve. But this year he’s putting a big emphasis on Grower Champagne. Unlike some of the bigger houses likeVeuve orBillecart, which may use grapes sourced from as many as 80 different vineyards, Grower Champagne is made in the Champagne region of France by the same estate that owns the vineyards from which the grapes are grown. They are handcrafted, small production, and tend to be moreterroir-focused. Van Wagner offers his selection of three Grower Champagnes to seek out in Aspen this Valentine’s Day. 205 S Mill St. #2, 970-925-6020
“Larmandier-Bernier is a small grower estate with 15 biodynamically farmed hectares. The Latitude is 100 percent Chardonnay with notes of toasty brioche and apple skin and pairs well with just about anything.”
“This Champagne comes from the southern part of the Champagne region and with its slightly warmer temperatures, the area is known for its pinot noir grapes. Made from 100 percent biodynamically grown pinot noir grapes, the wine is super dry in style with a plushness reflective of the growing region.”
“The Bereche family has been in the Champagne business since the mid-19th century. This wine is 100 percent chardonnay and spends three years on the lees, which is more aging than you see in most big Champagne houses for their non-vintage bottling. When you taste it, it has white truffle and mushroom notes as well.”