While restaurants are usually measured by their proteins—surfs, turfs, fishes and fouls—it’s the deceptively simple salad that keeps ‘em coming back. And in a town where appetites are as prodigious as the entrées, the question is: who tosses the best salad in Aspen?
Here are our top five:
6. JUS: Spinach Salad
Menu Description: Organic hand pulled chicken, spinach, cherries, manchego cheese, cherry tomatoes, red onion, served with a homemade champagne vinaigrette.
Notes: Tucked away inside the Ute City Building, this little health food spot doesn’t have much by way of ambience, but the food is fresh, organic and delicious. The chicken always tastes like it came right off the carcass and mixed with the cheese and champagne vinaigrette make for the best salad available out of a plastic container.
5. & 4. White House Tavern: Kale Salad with Rotisserie Chicken and the Macho Salad
Roasted peanut vinaigrette, fresh herbs, grated Reggiano
Mixed greens, avocado, dates, goat cheese, toasted almonds, freshly shucked corn
Notes: White House Tavern is comfort food central and well worth the wait at this no-rez staple. If you can resist the crispy chicken sandwich or French dip, these chicken salads manage to be both hearty and heavenly.
3. L’Hosteria: Insalata di Cavolo e Barbabietole
Menu Description: Kale and red beet salad, almonds, goat cheese, sautéed cherry tomatoes, basil pesto.
Notes: Locals know that this restaurant is all about the bar menu. During the off season, the main dining room often stands open while locals crowd around the bar. Their delectable kale and red beet insalata is a fine start to any meal.
2. Monarch: Table-Side Caesar
Menu Description: Hearts of romaine, crouton, white anchovy, parmesan
Notes: You may baulk at the very Aspen forty-dollar price, but the pomp and circumstance of Monarch’s table side caesar is well worth it. You can really see how good ingredients and a big bowl are all you need to get the job done.
1. Matsuhisa: Baby Spinach Salad With Dried Miso and Grilled Shrimp
There is something truly exceptional about this confection of spinach leafs, truffle oil, yuzu juice, grated parmesan, deep-fried leeks, dried red miso and exactly five grilled shrimp. Light, but filling, simple but decadent, it is a very special salad for a very special town.