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December 04, 2012

A New Restaurant at The Little Nell

By Erin Schumaker | Restaurants


© Courtesy of The Little Nell

“It was all pink wood and antlers,” says Sabato Sagaria, food and beverage director at The Little Nell in Aspen, of the hotel’s former eatery, Montagna. “The restaurant was dated.” Breathing new life into the iconic space, five-star Element 47, which opened December 1 after a $2.5 million remodel, is anything but stale.

Instead of the previous prix fixe menu, four new sections—garden (vegetable), sea (fish), sky (poultry) and field (game)—introduce guests to the restaurant’s fare. Appetizers, sharable items and entrées from each segment highlight an emphasis on Colorado agriculture and locally sourced ingredients. The new name, which recalls Aspen’s past as a mining camp during Colorado’s silver boom in the 1880s, is a nod to the 47th element (silver) on the periodic table. And the interior was approached just as thoughtfully. Award-winning design firm Bentel & Bentel redid the space with contemporary elements like leather, stone, wood and blackened steel. “I can see my friends and I being comfortable in this dining room,” says Sagaria. “It’s the last piece of the puzzle.” Rooms, from $420; 675 E. Durant Ave.; 970-920-6330; thelittlenell.com.