Before summer’s brilliant golden light dawns on the valley, before the fairs and festivals, and even before the rafting-fishing-camping masses migrate, element 47 executive chef Matt Zubrod and team sit down with local farmers. In an electric hubbub of harvest predictions and menu plotting, they get fired up about the approaching growing season. Only then do summer dishes begin to come together.
Who would expect any less from Aspen’s fine dining monarch tucked inside The Little Nell’s five-star, five-diamond prowess? In 2015, element 47 received its first Five-Star Restaurant Award, standing solo among Aspen restaurants. High on the report card: a stellar contemporary Colorado menu centered around local beef, housemade pastas and seasonal produce.
Zubrod works closely with purveyors such as Ela Family Farms, Eagle Springs Organic and, notably so, Emma Farms for its legendary premium wagyu tenderloin. “I am convinced this meat is exceptional. I think there is nothing like it in town,” he says.
Chef keeps it primal, using a cast iron skillet with butter to cook the highly marbled, insanely tender steak. Choose from 4- or 8-ounce portions, and savor the accompanying garden bounty—think potato puree, broccoli rabe, trumpets and alliums—courtesy of Jason Smith and Alyssa Barsanti at Rock Bottom Ranch. Pair it with element 47’s award-winning wine program, and you’ll see all five stars in play. 675 Durant Ave., 970.920.6330