Summer travel season has begun, and we’re inviting you to eat your way through wherever life takes you in the coming months. Whether you’re exploring our nation’s capital or soaking up the sun in the City of Angels, OpenTable can help you find the restaurants that make the place.
Every June, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen has foodie fanatics and celebrities flocking to this dreamy mountain town. But for many travelers and locals, this picturesque destination offers world-class food year round. Known for being more high-end, these restaurants have modern-yet-cozy interiors with chefs that source fresh, local ingredients for their dishes. So whether you’re in town for the Classic, enjoying a summertime concert, or tackling some hiking, this round-up is your tip sheet for where to dine in Aspen in this summer — or any season, really.
Inside the picturesque Bauhaus-style Aspen Meadows Resort is a very recently renovated restaurant with panoramic views of the peaks. The new three-to-five course, prix-fixe menu and its theme will rotate every week to focus on a different region of food. Food & Wine Classic guests may miss out on the first service, as it starts on June 19th, but it’s worth a peek inside to see the elegant decor, brand new kitchen, and incredible vistas. Make a reservation at Plato’s.
Aspen’s premier restaurant is located squarely in the center of downtown next to lush Wagner Park. The alpine wood tones, grey-washed walls, and Nordic-furnished interior bring the feeling of Aspen to life. After globetrotting all over the world, the city’s only dual owner and chef, Barclay Dodge, settled back in his hometown to open up Bosq and cook up his favorite dishes from his travels. The space is modest, so if you want to sample their new world cuisine menu or their famous Peking duck, plan ahead. Make a reservation at Bosq.
Owned by world-renowned chef Nobu, this Victorian home off Main Street has been Aspen’s. prime sushi spot since 1998. On the first floor, you’ll find a sweeping sushi bar spanning half the room, bamboo-wrapped ceilings, and a walnut bar. If you walk up to the second level, you can enjoy their signature Adam Roll or yellowfin tuna in a casual indoor setting or on their outdoor patio. If you’re looking to sit downstairs, you’ll want to make a reservation or head upstairs for a more laid-back dining experience. Make a reservation at Matsuhisa Aspen.
Jimmy’s, An American Restaurant and Bar
An Aspen institution, Jimmy’s has been a local stalwart since 1997. The restaurant takes sustainability seriously by composting 90 percent of their waste, offering plant- or paper-based straws upon request, utilizing a digital wine list, converting to LED lights, and more. Besides their green initiatives, they serve American classics such as lobster mac n’ cheese, crab cakes, and meatloaf in a clubby dining room as well as their al fresco seating. Located right next to the famous Wheeler Opera House, this spot is popular among locals and travelers. Make a reservation at Jimmy’s, An American Restaurant and Bar.
Want to add smokiness and showmanship to a cocktail? A cloche is the way to go. The glass bell jars trap vapors and entrance guests. Here are seven cloche cocktails that will add wow-factor to your #ThirstyThursday or any day.
Double Knot, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This play on a Manhattan begins with cinnamon and clove getting torched on a bourbon barrel stave. A snifter is placed over the embers to capture the smoke. It’s served with carafe bearing the cocktail made with bourbon, rye, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and bitters. Make a reservation at Double Knot.
Galley, West Palm Beach, Florida
You’ve never had an Old Fashioned quite like this one. The glass cloche covering it is redolent with a cloud of hickory smoke to add a hit of haze. The cocktail features the restaurant’s own bourbon from Russell’s Reserve. Make a reservation at Galley.
The Library at The Public, New York, New York
The Last Word riffs on the Smoke & Mirrors. It’s made with mezcal, lime, green chartreuse, creme de violette, and Luxardo Maraschino. Smoked with applewood chips, the svelte sipper arrives under a haze-filled cloche. Make a reservation at the Library at The Public.
Zuma, Las Vegas, Nevada
Penicillin with a twist (the cocktail, not the antibiotic). A sherry cask stave is burned to create a cloud of smoke under the glass. The cocktail features two whiskeys, ginger syrup, honey water, yuzu juice, egg white, and plum bitters. Make a reservation at Zuma.
MIFUNE, New York, New York
Clove and cinnamon smoke fill the glass. It’s flipped over and filled with a heady mixture of rye, aged sake, East India sherry, and bitters known as the Seven Samurai. We’re sure Akira Kurosawa would approve. Make a reservation at MIFUNE.
No matter where you go in America, there are unique dishes to sample – from New England lobster rolls and Low Country shrimp and grits to Wisconsin fried cheese curds and Chesapeake crab cakes. Here are 12 outstanding regional specialties worth the trip.
The Salt Line, Washington, D.C.
Enjoy two tastes of New England. The stuffies are baked middleneck clams topped with smoked linguiça sausage and seasoned breadcrumbs, while the coddies are giant croquettes packed with salt cod and mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. Either way you go, you’re guaranteed a winner. Make a reservation at the Salt Line.
Terra Mare, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The origins of the Cuban sandwich are hazy – some believe it was conceived stateside in Key West or Tampa, while the others insist it was created in Havana. No matter where it’s from, this rendition is faithful to the tradition. The pressed ‘wich is packed with roast pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a slather of mustard. Make a reservation at Terra Mare.
Maple & Ash, Chicago, Illinois
If you’re not familiar with the Chicago steakhouse scene, you probably haven’t had shrimp DeJonghe, a shrimp casserole topped with breadcrumbs fortified by sherry and garlic. This upscale version begins by searing the shellfish over the wood-powered hearth. They’re served with trumpet mushrooms and lavished with rich uni butter. Make a reservation at Maple & Ash.
Sac-a-Lait, New Orleans, Louisiana
Quebecois tourtiere gets a Cajun accent. Puff pastry hides crawfish, mirliton squash, and Tabasco honey. The end results are a unique taste of New Orleans. Make a reservation at Sac-a-Lait.
# HashTAG, Denver, Colorado
Loco moco is a favorite in Hawaii, the birthplace of chef-owner Troy Guard. His version of the stomach- busting comfort food features meatloaf, a pair of fried eggs, kimchi fried rice, and mushroom gravy. Sadly, there’s no beach nearby where you can lie down and catch some rays afterward. Make a reservation at # HashTAG.
D.T.B., New Orleans, Louisiana
These boudin balls are completely vegan. That’s because a mixture of three types of mushrooms, charred eggplant, and Louisiana jasmine rice stand in for the usual pork and rice sausage in the NOLA favorite. The deep-fried balls arrived with smoked tofu mayo and collard pickles. Make a reservation at D.T.B.
LT Steak & Seafood, Miami Beach, Florida
Think of molletes as a Cuban version of a Benedict. An English muffin gets topped off with ham, Swiss cheese, black beans, pickled mojo sauce, mashed sweet plantains, and fried eggs. Eso es sabroso (That’s tasty)! Make a reservation at LT Steak & Seafood.
Rare Steakhouse, Washington, D.C.
This Wisconsin import isn’t afraid to show off its Midwestern roots. Case in point are these fried cheese curds, which sport a sourdough crust and are graced with delicately diced herbs. Are you gonna love this humdinger? You-betcha! Make a reservation at Rare Steakhouse.
Point Royal, Hollywood, Florida
Croquettes are a Spanish favorite, the deep-fried balls often coming stuffed with ham, chicken, or cheese. This version features crab instead. The frizzled spheres come with the restaurant’s secret comeback sauce. Make a reservation at Point Royal.
Precinct Kitchen + Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
What the shuck! This take on the New England classic features primo chunks of lobster tossed with citrus tarragon aioli in a buttered brioche roll. A thicket of truffle-amped, parmesan-dusted fries accompanies the seaworthy sando. Make a reservation at Precinct Kitchen + Bar.