Yesterday my team at Linkstorm and I had lunch at Aspen Restaurant and Lounge Aspen Restaurant. Everyday I walk past the place and notice how incredibly empty it is, both day and night. Josh had mentioned to me that he was hoping to go and Angie had mentioned that the food was pretty good, albeit slightly overpriced. So when they started offering a $20, three-course prix fixe lunch, I knew it was time to throw the empty joint a bone.

The lunch menu offers a nice selection across the American fare menu and includes an appetizer, a lunch entree, and a dessert. As we sat at the semi-tight booth, we noticed that the lodge-inspired decoration was definitely distinctive, although Aspen’s affinity for antlers was a bit weird. Anyway, between the four of us, we tried a good portion of the lunch menu.

Tim and Gabe both started with the soup du jour: New England Clam Chowder. They both felt the soup was too thin; Tim felt the flavor was a bit too herbal and Gabe felt the potatoes were undercooked. I didn’t taste it, but it smelled good. Melinda had the Warm Goat Cheese & Arugala Salad. I started with the Crispy Crabcake over Tri-Color Bell Pepper and Jicama Salad. The crab cakes were more like croquettes, in an oblong shape. They were a bit cold and offered little crab flavor. The salad was quite good though, the julienne of peppers and jicama was executed flawlessly. While no one’s appetizer’s surpassed “average” they were presented well.

For mains, Gabe had the Wild Boar Sausage with Homemade Applekraut. He seemed to enjoy it and we were all pleasantly surprised to see craisins in a restaurant dish. Go figure. Melinda and Tim both binged on Bison Sliders with Cheddar, Bacon, and “Gonzo” sauce. They were served perfectly medium-rare on perfect fitting brioche. They both really liked the mini-burgers. I liked the way the burgers were served with a full gerken on top.

I selected the Pan-Fried Brook Trout Tacos with Spicy Slaw & Salsa Fresca. The two small (six inches), soft taco shells filled with the slaw and fried fish. The portion was a bit small, one more taco would’ve been perfect, but it was very tasty. I would absolutely have it again, although not at the normal menu price of $12.

Gabe and Tim ordered the Pumpkin Flan, which arrived before the other desserts. The dish was much more of a thick pumpkin custard with burnt sugar syrup than a flan. It was fairly good and extremely pumpkiny (i.e. it almost turned into a carriage!). At the last minute, Melinda selected the Mango sorbet. It was okay, but nothing special.

I felt I was the winner at dessert time with the mini, frosted cupcakes. They had a clever name like “cloud frosting,” but I can’t recall it exactly. The cupcakes were a bit over cooked, crispy outsides and almost non-existent inside. But the rich, cream cheese frosting completely drew my attention away from the lifeless cake. It was perfect, not overly sweet, and very rich. Plus the cupcakes (and the plate) was covered in confetti-style, multi-colored sugar — yum! I licked the plate clean.

Overall, the food was slightly above average, and the decor is definitely distinctive. At $20 per person, for three courses, it’s a good deal, and perfect for a lunch meeting in the Flat Iron District.

posted by Lon at 09:51 PM Filed under American and New American, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.