02/2018
By Lea Tucker
Gemütlichkeit is one of a few German words that does not translate directly into English. Literally, the noun gemütlichkeit embodies the feelings of “cozy” and “comfortable,” especially in social events that foster a sense of camaraderie and communal spirit.
This description is exactly the vibe you feel when you attend a Limelight dinner. Coincidentally, or not — the general manager of Limelight Aspen is German-born and raised. Henning Rahm — the all-around friendly guy with a big, broad smile and noticeable German accent — is a perennial welcoming host whenever you step into the hotel.

Hands down, the most popular and bustling of the Limelight Hotel’s offerings are their beer, wine and Grand Slam specialty dinners. The spirit of gemütlichkeit can be felt in the warm buzz of the room, with the crackling fire in the lounge, the lively guests enjoying one another’s company and the deliciously paired food and drink. Limelight dinners bring together friends, family and strangers that are ‘soon to be new friends’ in a warm, inviting atmosphere, filled with camaraderie.
Limelight Specialty Dinners
Limelight Specialty Dinners

Limelight’s Chef Matt McClure and Sous Chef David Rabatte rise to the challenge of pairing beer, spirits and wine with flavorful culinary dishes that accent the libations. The chefs relish the opportunity to create new dishes that are not found on the regular Limelight Lounge dinner menu, inventing exciting new pairings.
For example, at a wine dinner the chef will prepare yellowtail sashimi accompanied with ponzu sauce and cranberries to complement a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. This wine is known for its pungent, grassy, fruity hints of passionfruit, gooseberries and grapefruit, and matches beautifully with the tart sweetness of the dried cranberry and balances the sweet with the sour, bitter and salty notes of the ponzu sauce and the savory tuna.

Three-course beer dinners start with lighter beers and progress to darker shades, as wine dinners start with white wines and graduate to deeper reds. Colorado brewery partners like Avery in Boulder, Odell in Fort Collins, Oasis from Denver, and the nearby, local Roaring Fork Brewery, as well as other well-known, hand-crafted breweries from around the country like Ballast Point Brewing in California have showcased their pints at these ever-popular beer dinners. The wine and Grand Slam dinners celebrate libations from all over the world.
Limelight Specialty Dinners
Limelight Specialty Dinners

New for summer 2018, the Limelight dinners will be local, Farm-to-Table Dinners, taking advantage of ingredients at the peak of summer freshness from surrounding farms. From stone fruits to root vegetables and tomatoes to melons, the bi-monthly beer dinners will feature a taste of Colorado with the tempting array of produce found in the warmer months. The three-course beer, wine and Grand Slam dinners pair select breweries, wineries and distilleries with the season’s ripest offerings.
The Grand Slam dinners — so large and popular that they take over the entire restaurant and lounge — start with an amuse-bouche followed by three drinks served with each of the three courses. Yes, that’s right: one wine, one beer, and one cocktail times three, paired with each of the three courses ... nine drinks in one sitting! Typically, beer or wine experts discuss the flavors and pairings between each course at the beer and wine dinners, but at the Grand Slam dinners there is little room for talking with such an abundance of drinks and food to enjoy. As the drinks are consumed, the room comes alive with conviviality and that special gemütlichkeit unique to a Limelight dinner.

At the Limelight Ketchum in Sun Valley, Idaho, the Limelight Ketchum dinner series feature special theme nights that include: Spanish wine, Sherry and tapas dinner; a Mardi Gras celebration featuring New Orleans cuisine and cocktails; a Caribbean flair and rum dinner, a bourbon and American whiskey theme; a Mexican cuisine and tequila night; and an ‘All Idaho’ Grand Slam dinner.

The value of these dinners is the biggest draw – and they always sell out quickly. Wine and beer dinners cost only $45 per person, including food, drinks, tax and gratuity. Meanwhile, the lavish Grand Slam dinners are $65 per person. These popular dinners are held on select Tuesdays starting at 7pm throughout the year.

Be sure to reserve your spot and the next specialty Limelight dinner! “Prost,” as they say at Oktoberfest in Germany.

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