Set amidst the Elk Mountains in the Ashcroft Valley, the only way to get here in the winter is by sleigh, snowshoe or cross-country skis. Considering ... More
Pine Creek Cook House
Set amidst the Elk Mountains in the Ashcroft Valley, the only way to get here in the winter is by sleigh, snowshoe or cross-country skis. Considering its unparalleled reputation for top-notch gourmet fare, its exterior looks like a common cabin. The interior, however, blends elegance with rustic, country charm. Dinner features selections like oven-roasted rack of lamb, Pistachio Crusted Caribou, and Barbecued Flat Iron Steak. The menu varies daily. Be forewarned that it can be a bit pricey and reservations are a must.
We've just returned from an excursion up the mountain to Pine Creek Cookhouse. The scenery up and back was, to say the least, spectacular. We dined inside with a great view of snow covered mountains. If you are looking for good hamburgers, hotdogs and sandwiches, DON'T GO! The food was very good and the service was great. Great choices of food include elk, bison, and trout. I recommend that you take your time and work in a hike or mini hike along the river that paralleled the road for several miles, mixed in with numerous beaver created ponds.
It was a fantastic dinner experience and the food was very impressive (between our group we had the elk loin, the buffalo tenderloin and the game mixed grill). However.. we were shocked when the bill came. We were 8 people and besides the set menu (which includes three courses), we bought two bottles of wine ($50 each, one of their cheapest) and 3 coffees. Our total came up to $171 PER PERSON. I've paid far more for meals, so it's not so much the price that I object to, but the lack of notice about prices..
We didn't know that there's a $25 charge per person for the horse sleigh ride, neither did we know that the set menu was $95 a person excluding coffee, drinks, tax and gratuity. None of these prices are mentioned on their website, nor explained to us when we made the reservation on the phone and given the choice between the sleigh ride and skiing to the restaurant. Considering my mother doesn't ski, we really didn't have a choice anyway. Not even does their menu mention the set meal price, we had to ask the waiter! So really since it's not written or spoken anywhere, they can set the price at whatever they like. Very bad way to manage expectations.
Apparently when we made our reservation, we should've had the costs explained to us. We didn't. Add the $100 cab rides there and back (from Aspen Mountain), and you have yourself an overpriced meal.
Shame, cos the experience was unique and I'm glad I went, I just wish I went with realistic expectations.
I am currently planning another trip back to this wonderful restaurant....next time by sleigh.
By A Yahoo! Contributor, 9/25/07
All the entrees were excellent. Four of us were dining and I had the opportunity to taste the elk, caribou, salmon and another seafood entree. The setting was beautiful, the wine was decent and the food and service excellent. I can't wait to go back.
Our dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse was one of the most fun and unique dinners we have ever had. Our adventure started at the end of a road outside of Aspen. After parking we were fitted with cross country skis and headlamps. We then set out for the restaurant which was 1.5 miles in from the road and was truly a beautiful setting with many mountains towering all around us.
Once we arrived, we entered a warm and warmly lit restaurant. The service was very friendly and attentive and the menu was filled with a combination of meats and fish. The fixed price menu (including ski rental) included an appetizer course, a salad/soup course, amin course and desert. With a good $60 bottle of wine, we left paying a total of $250.
I highly recommend the place and if you are not up for the skiing in and out, you can also take a sleigh ride in.
Did the sleigh ride which was fun, but very cold.
Had a great menu - some dishes were outstanding, some disappointed.
Overall, glad that I did it, but unless I win the lottery, probably won't give it another try.
If you are looking for an economical value-centered meal do not go. However, if you are looking for a great evening and excellent dining experience, by all means do the cross country skiing to the restaurant and enjoy it to the max. Great food and wine and the evening was a special one. Highly recommended.
*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.