By Damien Williamson | January 7, 2016 | Food & Drink
David Burke Group opens Aspen Kitchen and Rec Room Aspen, Cloud Nine debuts a million dollar renovation, and more nightlife news.
Aspen’s favorite on-mountain après-ski locale underwent a $1.1 million renovation before the winter season to the delight of skiers and snowboarders. Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro—known as much for its Swiss alpine fare like raclette and fondue as it is for its afternoon Champagne showers—now features a sleeker design with better views of the Elk Mountain Range, fireplaces, and renovated bathrooms. 10,900 feet above sea level never tasted so good. Aspen Highlands Mountain, Top of the Cloud Nine Lift, 970-544-3063
Located in the space formerly occupied by Brexi Brassiere, owners Sam and Craig Cordts-Pearce (of Aspen’s CP Burger, Wild Fig, and Steakhouse No. 316) revamped Brexi in December into more of a traditional steakhouse with the feel and ambiance of a London gentlemen’s club. The restaurant sits on the ground floor of Dancing Bear Aspen, and serves up prime cuts of steak, wild games, homemade pasta, seafood, and exquisite caviar service. 411 S. Monarch St., 970-9252838
Because why open one new hotspot when you can open two? David Burke Group joined forces with LDV Hospitality to bring Aspen’s most innovative lounge concept to nightlife. The third in the Rec Room chain (the other locations are above celeb hotspots No. 8 in New York City and at the Gale Hotel in Miami Beach), Rec Room Aspen blends a ‘70s-style sensibility and NYC’s hip underground essence with Aspen’s laid-back vibe. Think DJs spinning more than 5,000 hand-selected vintage vinyl records, wood-paneled walls, and plush banquettes. 515 E. Hopkina Ave., 970-236-2401
It’s not just bars and restaurants that make our winter must-do list; Aspen’s Gonzo Gallery has been making big waves on the cultural scene since it made it debut late last year. The gallery displays work by famed Aspen artist Thomas W. Benton, illustrator Ralph Steadman, shotgun artwork by journalist (and former Aspen mayoral candidate) Hunter S. Thompson, and paintings by author William S. Burroughs. The gallery also features original photography and contemporary art, and regularly hosts packed openings. 625 E. Hyman Ave., 970-510-0656
Located on the top floor of the swanky Galena Street building that houses Theory, Dolce & Gabbana and Lululemon, Aspen Kitchen is the long-awaited Rocky Mountain entry from celebrity chef-backed David Burke Group. Aspen Kitchen serves hearty, rustic American cuisine like celery root and chestnut soup, elk tartare, and octopus a la plancha alongside dishes like poached rabbit cavatelli. 515 E. Hopkins Ave., Suite 200, 970-300-4525
Posh Upper East Side New York City Italian eatery Nello made its Aspen debut just before Christmas with Nello Alpine. Located at the base of Aspen Mountain across from Ajax Tavern, the restaurant feature a massive outdoor patio, bar menu and après-ski menu, with slightly less pricey options, “so locals can afford to eat here,” says owner Nello Balan. Balan also plans for Nello to be a party destination, which he kicked off with an impressive après-ski event after the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Audi Ajax Cup. 501 E. Dean St., 970-429-4221