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Ute City, Aspen’s newest, and local-friendly, addition to restaurant row, is a great choice if you’re pondering where to spend an evening this weekend.  Located at 308 East Hopkins Street, with panoramic views of Aspen Mountain, an amazing food and drink selection and easy on your wallet pricing all in a relaxed, breezy environment, Ute City is destined to become the newest locals hangout amidst the flounder of its upscale neighboring competitors.

Start your Friday or Saturday evening under an umbrella on one of the patio loungers with an amazing selection of cocktails or wine.  Three different types of mojitos, a spicy mango-rita and some other ingenious libation creations worth taste bud testing line the pages of the extensive list of liquors, beers, cocktails and wines.  The liquor behind the bar is all listed here…with price tags, which is a rarity that leads me to believe they aren’t trying to hide behind high mark-ups on their booze selection.  The wine list goes on for days.  Eighteen pages of new and old world selections are grouped by rice and region, making it extremely user friendly.

As for the eats, Chef Peter Coyne is of the “farm to table” school of thought.  He encapsulates American classics, integrating Colorado ingredients and dappling these creations with the flair of European flavors.  After round one of cocktails on the veranda, step inside and enjoy an appetizer with the mountain breeze fleeting through the floor to ceiling windows.  Try the crispy calamari with fried lemon chips and picholine olives, the chef’s seasonal soup creation or the pecan-crusted soft shell crab.  At the intermezzo, sample a quinoa or roasted beet salad.

For your entrée, be prepared to be daunted by the selection.  An array of pastas, seafood and meats adorn the main pages of the menu with all but one priced below $30.  If pasta is suiting your mood, try the vegetarian lasagna or the forest mushroom gnocchi in truffle sauce.  An organic Scottish Salmon is a highlight on the oceanic side of things, with the swordfish coming in at a close second.

Don’t be afraid of the heavier side of things.  The ale braised short ribs are renowned and prepared via slow cooking for 15 hours in Colorado’s own Odell 90 Shilling Scottish Ale.  Colorado Lamb and Elk Meatloaf also bring local fare into the spotlight.

Save room for dessert and enjoy Ute City’s homemade selection of ice cream and sorbets!

Stop by Ute City this weekend for brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks at 308 East Hopkins Street in the shadow of Aspen Mountain.