Road-Trip Restaurant: Ute City

May 23 2011, 11:30 AM

Skiing enthusiasts rejoiced last week when Aspen Mountain announced it would reopen for Memorial Day weekend and remain open on subsequent weekends as long as the snow sticks around. If you head west to take advantage of the late-season riding, make time for dinner at Ute City.

The two-year-old restaurant's contemporary dining room and upbeat bar area offer a well-edited menu of American eats with classic European flair. On a recent visit, I enjoyed a generous portion of slow-cooked Colorado lamb shank. The fall-off-the-bone meat rested atop a fall-colored array of risotto, artichoke and red pepper ragu, and apricot and walnut gremolata—a filling après-ski meal.

End dinner with an order of house-made ice cream or sorbets. The flavors change, but keep an eye out for the caramel ice cream and apricot sorbet—and order a scoop of each when available.

Tip: If you're staying for the weekend, grab breakfast at Peach's Corner Cafe on Saturday (it's closed on Sundays). The farm-to-table dishes are to die for, especially the Open Face: two poached eggs on crusty artisan bread with peach butter, applewood-smoked bacon, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, and shaved Parmesan.

Ute City, 308 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen, 970-925-2900

Peach's Corner Cafe, 121 S. Galena St., Aspen, 970-544-9866