Jayma Cardoso knew this ski season was going to be different from any other in her lifetime. But the owner of The Snow Lodge, the famed dining spot at the base of Aspen Mountain, was determined to figure out a solution to the food service and logistical challenges brought on by the pandemic. Rather than leave her beloved space empty, the entrepreneur teamed with Linden Pride and Nathalie Hudson, owners of New York City’s renowned Dante and Dante West Village, to merge their visions of hospitality. The new venture is dubbed Dante at Snow Lodge, and the cozy venue remains one of the best après-ski options in town.
Besides her adoration of Dante’s menu, Cardoso says she admires how Pride and Hudson handled the past year on their home turf. “Their incredible ability to navigate through the pandemic in New York City—including their safety efforts and innovative bottled-cocktail programming—made them perfect partners for The Snow Lodge this winter,” says Cardoso, who also owns The Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y. Aspenites can frequent Dante at The Snow Lodge for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the space features a large heated outdoor dining deck and fire pits. Dinner is offered indoors, but exclusively for private groups. Takeout food and beverages, including bottled cocktails, have also become a welcomed staple here.
“Our hot cocktail list is excellent,” says Pride. “As the weather in New York City cooled down this past fall, we developed a dedicated menu of hot cocktails for outdoor dining with drinks such as our hot smoked toddy, hot buttered rum and spiked coffee. They’ve been hugely popular and are a perfect fit for the après-ski crowd in Aspen.” Pride adds that another favorite is Dante’s handmade pastas. “We’ve brought over our most popular dishes like pappardelle al ragu with wild boar. It’s the kind of food guests can keep coming back to and enjoy two or three times a week, and it’s perfect aft er a big day of skiing.” For those hitting the slopes early, the Morning Revival menu includes housemade banana bread, harvest green bowls, avocado toast and sips like Dante’s signature espresso. Most popular so far this ski season is the cleverly dubbed Après-Tivo Hour (1 and 3:30PM seatings), with the inimitable allday bloody mary, spicy fresca and Chartreuse hot chocolate.
“Our focus is on hospitality and ensuring that we’re looking aft er our guests from a COVID perspective,” says Pride. “We’re not taking away from the vibe, but we’re being incredibly sensitive to large groups and social interactions to ensure the safety of our guests and employees.” Above all, both Cardoso and Pride say they appreciate the strong support of everyone who visits this winter. “Everyone here is so kind, and we’re grateful for the Aspen community,” says Cardoso. 501 E. Dean St., 970.429.4477, thesnowlodge.com