1 Chefs Club
The concept restaurant for the preeminent culinary mag in the country, Food & Wine, opened its doors last summer and has wowed foodies ever since. Curated by the country's "Best New Chefs," the winter menu features items from Matt Lightner of Atera in New York City; Jonathon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern & Noodlecat in Cleveland, Ohio; Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus in Saint Louis, Mo.; & Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant & Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Ore. The intimate experience is magnified by the open kitchen and offers a better seat than anything one would see on TV.
Nobu outpost Matsuhisa is the epicenter for Japanese cuisine in the Rocky Mountains. The acclaimed chef carved out a niche by putting a South American twist on traditional items, and his menu is widely known for specialities like uni shooters and "Toro Rosa" with miso sauce. Eat in the upstairs lounge for a more casual experience, or head downstairs for a view of the sushi bar.
3 Eight K
In 2012, Executive Chef Will Nolan was named finalist for Food & Wine's People's Choice Award. His Southern approach to cooking translates to creative menu options like slow-cooked duck gumbo, braised lamb shank hoppin' John, and baked oysters Suzanne. Paired with a crafty cocktail list and the swanky digs of this Viceroy restaurant, Eight K tops the list when it comes to Snowmass dining.
4 Element 47
When The Little Nell remodeled its restaurant and reopened as Element 47 earlier this winter, it was met with wide praise. A revamped menu--revolving around small, medium and large plates--with an emphasis on seasonal, local eating lives up to the expectations one would have for a restaurant housed in Aspen's only five-star property. Sleek decor, impeccable service and an award-winning wine list leave no detail untouched.
5 Cache Cache
Boasting a 5,000-plus bottle wine list and a cooking staff led by Chef Chris Lanter, this French bistro delivers on its promise of unrelenting table service and high-quality food. It's been in at the top of foodies' lists for the better part of three decades, and with one bite, you'll know why.