Tuesday night--which David and I thought would be my final evening in Aspen--we went to Rustique for a farewell dinner. Last summer, Aspen seemed to be ripe with plenty of choices in culinary delights, but this summer, with the closing of Dish, (the best Kobe burger I've ever tasted) among others, there seems to be a bit of a dearth. But one restaurant, that has remained, is Rustique.
Our dinner began with a bottle of sparkling wine which David chose. They were out of Château Moncontour, Vouvray, Sec, his first pick, so he instead went with J, Sparkling Brut, Cuvée 20, from California's Russian River Valley. It was a nice, "moussy" wine, with good length on the tongue. We paired it with Chicken Liver Pâté Spread and it was a near-perfect match!
And speaking of near-perfect... the pâté was perfect! It was a mousse pâté, served with crostini drizzled with olive oil and on the side, a quince and almond marmalade, and mustard. Unbelievably, the dish was only $5.
For our next course, David chose "Soup du Soir" while I went with Le Grenouille (frogs' legs). They were the largest, meatiest frogs' legs I've ever had and the portion was large too. (four pairs!) The legs were ever so lightly battered and served with a slightly creamy parsley and garlic sauce which only complimented, not overpowered, the meat. The meat was very fine--the texture: a cross between chicken and a simple white fish.
Four our main course, David went with a half order of Old World Risotto while I chose Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Mushrooms and Truffle. The truffle scent was heavenly and while the dish did not live up to its aroma (I don't particularly care for macaroni and cheese dishes; I only ordered it because of the truffle) nevertheless, it was perfectly pleasing. In fact, I think a perfect, everyday meal at Rustique could consist of: chicken liver pâté, frogs' legs and truffle macaroni and cheese (and some bubbly, of course).
After the richness of our preceding dishes, I was "too pleased" to order dessert, but David insisted upon Pot de Chocolat. (and two espressos) The dessert was also rather rich, but strawberries and apricots helped to make it easier to digest...
My final verdict: highly recommended and quite possibly, the best restaurant (still standing) in Aspen.
Rustique, 216 South Monarch Street (just off Main St), Aspen, CO