Brexi – Aspen, CO
Our hotel was located conveniently right across from this restaurant so when we drove into town late at night this was an easy choice. Lucky for us, it turned out to be a great decision and was overall a really nice and relaxing way to wind down the day.
The atmosphere was charming, French bistro meets…Aspen:) I’m sure the black and white checkered floors do well in the winter with everyone’s ski boots and year round they fit the bistro style perfect. The chandeliers caught my eye immediately with each one being quite different without being too distracting. The staff couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. Very personable and you got the impression that they genuinely wanted you to enjoy your meal and overall time in Aspen.
Our entire meal was delicious but unfortunately by the time my entrée came (striped bass) I was too full to eat half of it. Probably should have just ordered one starter but we indulged and each item was a bit larger than expected. And yes, we did get dessert. Almond madeleines with marshmallow fluff?! I couldn’t say no:)
Brexi Beef Tartare – watercress, Cognac harissa aioli, Quail egg
Fried Halloumi & Grapes – baby spinach, frisée, petit tomato, champagne caper vinaigrette
Colorado Striped Bass – warm red cabbage & fennel slaw, Spanish almonds, champagne caper emulsion
Lobster Carbonara – torchio pasta, spring petit pois, wild mushroom, sunny-side egg
Almond Madeleines – espresso ice cream, marshmallow fluff
Matsuhisa – Aspen, CO
On our recent trip to Aspen for the Food & Wine Festival, I made sure to secure reservations at top restaurants in town to ensure an amazing culinary adventure from morning to night. On our second night there we ate at Nobu’s Matsuhisa which was PACKED! And full of culinary celebrities which was a fun treat. Our meal was incredible from start to finish. I would definitely order everything we had that night if we went back! Earlier in the day when we went to see Bobby Flay do a demonstration we happened to sit next to Nobu himself so I leaned over and told him we were eating at Matsuhisa that night and he couldn’t have been nicer. Talked to us for a while, even showed us photos of his granddaughter. Needless to say he was so friendly when he saw us there that night and even sat down and chatted us up for a while.
Rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce
Mixed mushroom toban-yaki
King crab tempura “Amazu” sweet ponzu
There were so many different mochi flavors to choose from but we settled on root beer (amazing!), mango and green tea. Perfect dessert!
How cute is Nobu?! Love him!
My last day at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival was just as fabulous as the first two however I was sad to see the weekend end knowing that it meant we were heading home. What an amazing time we had! I’m already dying to go back.
On our second night we enjoyed a fabulous and oh-so-satifying meal at Nobu’s Matsuhisa restaurant. Everything about the meal was amazing from start to finish! And the people watching was pretty great too. Emeril, Fabio and Hugh Acheson were all in the house.
On day three we went and saw Susan Feniger do a demonstration. She’s so entertaining and fun! After that we had our last run through at the Tasting Pavilion where we ran into our Seattle friends/chefs Cormac Mahoney and Zoi Antonitsas of Madison Park Conservatory. I also managed to get one last celebrity chef photo with Top Chef Just Desserts judges Johnny Luzzini and Danielle Kyrillos.
Here’s hoping I get back to beautiful Aspen again soon!
How cute is Nobu?! My new best friend:)
There were so many highlights for me today. I felt like I totally dorked out when it came to getting photos with chefs but that’s okay…I’m not embarrassed:). It all started when I spotted Fabio Viviani…I LOVED him from Top Chef Season 5. He was so cute with his Italian accent and man-crush on Stefan!
Next I laid eyes on Ming Tsai and Michael Chiarello who were nice enough to pose with me for a photo. After that I had a cookbook signed by Bobby Flay and got a photo with him and Michael Symon. Both were so nice and personable! After that I spotted Ed Lee from the most recent season of Top Chef. I wish he had made it further in the show but I have no doubt he’ll do well.
We went to 3 seminars today…all which were great! First was Jose Andres…so full of energy and it’s clear he loves what he does. I wish I could have a private meal with him. He seems so interesting and I’d love to pick his brain. And I can’t forget to mention that we sat right next to Nobu and had a really nice conversation with him! (we’re going to his restaurant tonight and are really looking forward to it!). Next was Paul Qui – the Top Chef Season 9 winner! He’s new to his “famous chef status” but was so authentic and seems so appreciative of everything he’s been given since. Last but not least was Bobby Flay. He’s just classic when it comes to the food scene. He’s been a part of the Aspen Food & Wine Festival for 14 years…that’s crazy! But he’s clearly deserved it and seems like a great guy.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!!!
I have no idea who the woman is getting her picture with Giada is but I had to get a picture of Giada:) She’s gorgeous! And so tiny:)
I’m not sure where to start really…this place is amazing! I’ve wanted to go to this event for YEARS but haven’t been able to until this year. We got into Denver last night around 4:45pm and made the 3.5-4 hr drive to Aspen which was gorgeous. Once we got here it was just past sunset and we checked into the beautiful St. Regis where I immediately spotted Top Chef winner Paul Qui outside:). So fun! After a wonderful and relaxing dinner at Brexi across the street, we made our way to the SKY bar to meet up with fellow Seattleites Cormac Mahoney and Zoi Antonitsas of Madison Park Conservatory (Cormac is here featured as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs!). A few drinks later we stumbled home and woke up this morning a little later than planned.
We started the day at Limelight for the Brunello di Montalcino: Tuscany’s Greatest Reds tasting. 10am? Why not?! Perfect time of day to throw back some of the finest wine:). At the end of it I realized I really do love the Altesino “Montosoli” that we’ve been drinking! That and the Il Palazzone and Antinori “Pian delle Vigne” are definitely on our “to buy list”.
Next we were off to the Private Grand Tasting located conveniently across the street:). There we enjoyed food and wine without the big crowds. Although we probably should have branched out, we couldn’t help but visit some of our favorites…Duckhorn, Freemark Abbey, Étude and then some newbies that we really liked…Monte Real, Barrymore (yes…it’s Drew Barrymore’s and it’s great!) and some Greeks…Mantinia and Ktima Papaioannou…delicious!!!
After a nice little break in the room we headed downstairs to see Mario Batali only to be told that we were too late (boo!) but that we could sit in on Emeril’s demo. Not bad…he is a classic after all:)
Next was Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons for the Top Chef: Salty & Sweet. Who doesn’t love those two?! Together they used the same ingredients to make a savory and sweet dish…looked great!
Tonight we’re headed to Steakhouse No. 316 for a tasty steak and then home to get rested and hungry for tomorrow!!