By Linda Hayes | November 21, 2014 | Food & Drink
Beloved restaurateur Jimmy Yeager debuts his second Aspen outpost with rockin' cocktails and see-and-be-seen seafood.
Impeccably fresh seafood plus live music and a stellar cocktail list make Jimmy’s Bodega the ideal spot for post-slope revelry.
Last June, as everyone was fretting over the future of the vacated Pacifica space on the Mill Street Mall, Jimmy Yeager of Jimmy’s American Restaurant saw an opportunity and saved the day, opening the seafood-centric Jimmy’s Bodega at the edge of Wagner park—just in time for the Food & Wine Classic. “We hit the ground running,” he says with a grin.
Originally a summer pop-up, the place proved so popular that it was a no-brainer that it would remain in place for the fall and winter seasons, too. It was also certain that the restaurant’s signature BOC on BFIC (“Bucket of Cocktails on Big F-ing Ice Cubes”) would continue to steal the show. That said, the bar program’s stepped up, adding custom cocktails to the mix of over 100 wines, Champagnes, and sparklers, and as many as 30 of Jimmy’s favorite mezcals and tequilas. The lively, casual atmosphere will further distinguish Bodega. “We plan to add a piano and other live music to the mix and make [it] a wildly fun place to eat, drink, and party,” says Yeager.
Partnering with Yeager on the menu are Manuel Diaz, longtime executive chef at Jimmy’s, and Bodega chef Bryan Nelson, who had put in time in the kitchen at Pacifica. Influences from both show up. A raw bar offers East and West Coast oysters, Alaskan king crab legs, jumbo shrimp or lump blue crab cocktails, and the massive Seafood Plateau. Jimmy’s famed crab cakes show up as a starter with jalapeño tartar sauce. For variety, there’s an Alaskan king crab salad sandwich, mussels, seafood stew, and steak. And don’t miss the ceviche (Peruvian, Ecuadorian or Puerto Vallarta–style, served on a tostada) and the pork, nopal, and chile-lime fish tacos.
Of course, Yeager’s original namesake restaurant, which he now refers to as “Jimmy’s Upstairs,” is still going strong. “We’re very happy to realize the complementary nature of the Bodega with Jimmy’s Upstairs,” Yeager says. “The two places offer our clientele, both new and old, a full spectrum of dining and bar experiences.” 307 S. Mill St., 970-710-2182
PHOTOGRAPHY BY C2 PHOTOGRAPHY