When in Aspen, one must indulge. To do that, a bowlful of creamy pasta and a bold Tuscan wine will do the trick. But, for the full, multi-course Italian way, check out these eateries for the perfect antipasti, contorni and dolci too. Mangia!
Even during the quietest times of year, L'Hostaria is packed with diners. The homemade noodles, made fresh daily, and creative Italian dishes like pan-seared sole and breaded veal chop Milanese over arugula keep patrons coming back. Paired with a specialty wine list with an emphasis on Italian varietals, the dining experience guarantees one thing: you won't leave hungry.
2 Il Mulino
Developed to complement its New York city flagship, Il Mulino in the mountains brings a taste of the Abruzzo region to Aspen. Start with antipasti like mozzarella di bufalo or seafood salad, savor the pollo agli asparagi and finish with a selection of more than 10 dolci.
Ligurian-inspired dishes fill this menu, but Chef Michael Wahaltere pays homage to other delicious regions in Italy too. Lombardia, Piemonte and Toscana, among others, make an appearance with a special three-course menu in addition to the regular fare. Flip through the 20-page wine list, and you've got the makings to eat like an Italian. Mangia!
4 Campo de Fiori
A traditional trattoria with a loyal following, this intimate Italian restaurant is a staple on Aspen's "Restaurant Row." The autunnale salad with butternut squash, portobello mushrooms and artichoke hearts is a must-have appetizer, and entrees like the penne vodka or linguine positano please the palate. Try a splash of the limoncello on your way out.
The secret to this essential Italian eatery is its wood-fired pizzas. Yes, the giant calamari and Grandma's stuffed shells are mouth-pleasers, but the fresh, thin-crust pizzas topped with julienned vegetables or broccoli raab, fontina and mozzarella are what sets this restaurant apart.