Conca del Sogno at Chefs Club Aspen

Aspen, Colorado, is a world-recognized foodie paradise. There are exceptional options everywhere you turn, but some of these nuggets you need to catch while you can. Seasonal pop-ups are always welcome from our favorite fashion houses, as is an appearance by superstar chefs worldwide. These pop-ups give us a chance to explore semi-permanent options, which makes them profoundly more tempting to visit. A pop-up means the experience is fleeting, but the memories are forever.
It makes sense for the world-class chefs to share their most innovative creations in Aspen, Colorado’s crown jewel mountain town. The 5-star worldwide reputation of this ski resort attracts the A-list of culinary talents. Thankfully we were invited to dine at Aspen’s hottest winter restaurant Conca Del Sogno at the St. Regis Chefs Club. For many generations, the Tizzani family has offered guests cuisine inspired by the region they love. It’s not that anyone would want to escape from Aspen. Still, when restauranteurs bring a place like Nerano Bay in Italy’s Amalfi Coast to the snowy pistes of Aspen, something exceptional is in the works.
This sultry Italian restaurant beckons with its innovative twist on simple ingredients. Both the purist and the adventurer are entranced at Conca Del Sogno where the seafood is the star. The permanent location lives in the land of mermaids, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Crisp white linens pop against the sparkling blue sea. It’s delightful to see this concept transformed at the Chefs Club. A hand-painted mural of the sea contrasts with the glowing embers of a large wood fireplace. Various elements of nature enhance the indoors while snow flurries paint the outside. It’s decadent to enjoy the fresh catch of the day while in this mountain hamlet. The precious gifts of the sea are prevalent on the menu as well as more traditional Italian offerings.

Conca del Sogno Pasta
Conca del Sogno Pasta

The evening kicked off singing “Saluti” with generous pours of Italian wine. Ravenous, we wanted to savor as many flavors as possible, so sharing each dish was the way to go. We started with the Parmigiana di Melanzane antipasti served up in a piping hot cast iron pan. This dish features very thinly sliced eggplant, fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, basil, and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. This dish is a great main for vegetarians. Our second plate was pure comfort food, Linguine Puttanesca. This zesty homemade pasta, served al dente, was layered with flavors of the sea and the richness of tomatoes.

For our main, it seemed the most sense to go with the Pesce, a signature dish. The Mediterranean Branzino took center stage as a prep table wheeled up for the deboning to begin. Our server Jeremy explained to us that this dish has only two ingredients: fish and salt. The thick salt crust ensures that the fish bakes up perfectly flakey and moist. It was fascinating watching him break the fish out of its salt crust while flames crawled up the edges of the dish. Table performance art at its finest! The operation began with cracking the salt crust open with a spoon and fork. Then the skin was delicately removed, and the filet served up with purple cabbage and citron vinaigrette. Order extra sauce as it complements the fish perfectly.

 

Conca del Sogno Branzino
Conca del Sogno Branzino
Conca del Sogno Dolci
Conca del Sogno Dolci

 

Our Dolci selections included the Delizia al Limone. A cloud-like presentation of citrus sorbet surrounded by Cumulus whipped cream poufs. The lightly sweetened cream balanced the tart citrus perfectly.
We couldn’t resist another tableside presentation, this time in Digestivo form. We watched in awe as the Famous Conca del Sogno Sgroppino presentation took place at the table next to us. We had to get in on the fun, so we ordered the same. Jeremy once again wheeled up the cart, and his magic show began. First, the lemon sorbet was scooped and placed in each glass, then a generous pour of Double Cross Vodka. Then he lifted the Prosecco high above the cocktail glasses and showered each drink with plentiful bubbles, sort of like a Prosecco shower. The final garnishes were freshly chopped mint and a swoop of lemon zest. This quenching cocktail punctuated the dinner with a crisp, spirited edge. It was a final “Saluti” to finish off this memorable meal in paradise.

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