I cannot think of a more productive subject to dedicate my first food column to than every local’s two favorite words at this time of year: Offseason specials.
Before I delve into this important topic, let me note that I am still waiting for the offseason to begin.
A trip to the final Saturday Market of the season last weekend left me feeling more anxious than relaxed. Lunch that afternoon at White House was met with an absurd amount of people who were also waiting 40 minutes to an hour for a table. On a random, recent weeknight, my friend and I waited 20 minutes for a table at Home Team BBQ, which I think is indicative of Aspen’s need for more affordable dining options. I realize these are Aspen problems and my point is not to complain, but rather to observe a local phenomenon.
I consulted with the mystery man behind EatAspen, Dean Weiler. Weiler agreed with me: "The start of offseason is definitely lingering.”
Lucky for us, whether or not the shoulder season has started, offseason specials are in full force. Below are a few favorites. Please note that this is in no way a comprehensive list (and you do not need to email me that I “forgot” to include your business).
Maru: Happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday to Monday: 50 percent off select menu items. On Oct. 26, the restaurant will host its annual offseason closing party with 50 percent off all bills.
Kenichi: Happy hour specials in the lounge area from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday: 50 percent off all sushi rolls and drink specials.
Jing: Happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. on Mondays: 30 percent off entrees and sushi rolls; on Wednesday 50 percent off bottles of wine all day. These specials will run from Oct. 8 to Dec. 8.
Jimmy’s: Happy hour in the bar area from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday: $2.50 oysters (upon availability), $6 margaritas, Moscow mules, rose, house white and house red. On Oct. 26, Jimmy’s will offer 25 percent off the bill before it closes the following day (reopening Nov. 13).
Meat and Cheese: 15 percent off everything in the farm shop and restaurant starting Oct. 14.
Toro Kitchen at the Viceroy Snowmass: 25 percent off for locals.
Ajax Tavern and Element 47: $37 and $47 prix-fixes, respectively
French Alpine Bistro (formerly the Creperie): 40 percent off fondues.
In closing this column (for which I already anticipate receiving much flack), I’d like to also give a shoutout to a few of the more prized bar menus in town: Steakhouse 316, L’Hostaria, Jing, Jimmy’s and Mezzaluna.
See you at the bartop.