“We’re really trying to build something special up here at Alpin Room,” says Head Chef Mike McNamara.
An Afternoon at Alpin Room
Alps-inspired cuisine mid-mountain on Snowmass—for locals and guests alike.
As you glide off the Alpine Springs chairlift mid-mountain on Snowmass, High Alpine greets you on the right: A large, window-covered building home to delicious grab-and-go, market-style food; a welcoming, lively bar; and now, Alpin Room, Aspen Snowmass’ newest fine dining restaurant.
Defined by several European cuisines, Alpin Room is a modern take on classic dishes found in the mountains of Switzerland, Austria, and particularly Alsace, France—think schnitzels, fondues, beer-battered cod, strudel, and yes, really good wine.
“When I think of Alpine cuisine, I think simple and hearty foods that warm the soul,” says Aspen Snowmass’ Culinary Director, Jim Butchart, who oversees all menu creations. “I’m not thinking about my waistline when I tuck into lunch—rather I’m thinking decadence in its simplest form.”
To Butchart, High Alpine’s location is the ideal setting for this style of food—tucked into the heart of Snowmass at the base of some of the mountain’s steepest terrain. “I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to bring a touch of Alps cuisine to Snowmass to fill an important void in our on-mountain offerings. High Alpine has such a rich and long-standing history, and I really feel we are paying homage to that by offering traditional mountain fare,” says Butchart.
After parking your skis or board at the large rack out front, and passing through the bustling scene of High Alpine, you’ll slide on some slippers in the Alpin Room entryway and find yourself in a private, quiet space with natural light pouring in around you.
Once seated, you’ll want to go straight to the wine list, which is celebrated for its hand-selected wines from around the world. By glass or bottle, opt for the Scarpetta from Italy for something crisp (ideally paired with the “tartiflette” fondue), or you can’t go wrong with any of the reds, like the Daou Cabernet Sauvignon, perfectly smooth without sacrificing its full body. There are also hot beverages perfect for a blustery day, like traditional gluhwein or a cognac hot toddy.
Starting your meal, don’t go light on the shared dishes for the table—like a basket of warm, fluffy popovers served with butter and house-made jam. Spring for the potato & caramelized onion fondue “tartiflette,” rich with three cheeses—MouCo Colorouge, cave-aged gruyere, and imported Swiss Emmental—and served with pretzel bread. And to squeeze in some vegetables, order the roasted acorn squash tossed in smoked paprika, served with a whipped mint cashew sauce delicious enough to be a daily dressing.
Moving onto main plates, if you’re hoping to continue sharing dishes bursting with character, the chouroute garnie is an assortment of prepared meats including beer braised bratwurst, seared pork belly, and beef frankfurter topped with a lightly dressed frisée and pickled red onion salad, all served in a beautiful cast iron with sauerkraut and a selection of textured Bavarian mustards on the side for dipping.
If you’d prefer something simple but delicious, the French onion soup gratinée will warm you from the inside out. Or, go for the braised beef flat iron carbonnade, a delectable approach to a meat-forward dish with potatoes and pearled onions.
When it’s time for dessert—because you’ll want dessert—grab an espresso and the heisseliebo (“hot love”), a creamsicle custard swirled with raspberries and pistachios. Or, as an ode to the location’s former restaurant, Gwyn’s, choose the old-fashioned carrot cake.
“We’re really trying to build something special up here at Alpin Room,” says Head Chef Mike McNamara, who worked at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro on Aspen Highlands for five winter seasons before relocating to Snowmass. “Once I heard about the opening of Alpin Room and its Alsatian-forward concept, I was on board. The region has a rich culinary history and we want it to be truly approachable to tourists and locals alike.”
As with all of Aspen Snowmass’ on-mountain restaurants, Alpin Room provides food choices that are sourced from a local network of sustainable farmers and partners, and the menu will grow and shift dynamically over time. “Guests can look forward to an ever-evolving food and beverage program, including an award-winning wine program,” says Scott Lester, the General Manager of Fine Dining, who oversees management of Sam's, Lynn Britt Cabin, and Alpin Room on Snowmass, as well as Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, perched atop Aspen Highlands.
“With Alpin Room and High Alpine under one roof, there is something for everyone,” says Lester, referencing one’s ability to either pop in for a quick meal, or take a more leisurely route with a long lunch. “We still have a number of the staff from the former Gwyn’s and while the warm nostalgia of Gwyn’s remains, Alpin Room is an exciting new addition to Snowmass—a bit off the beaten path while affording a dining experience that is well worth the journey.”
Dine at the Alpin Room
Dine at the Alpin Room
The Alpin Room is open throughout the ski season from 11am–3pm, Thursday through Monday. Head to the Alpin Room's page to book your reservation.