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Beyond Bacon & Eggs

Toques about town give morning fare a little—sometimes a lot—more flavor.

Chicken liver-and-foie gras dumplings and chilli crab toasts from Bia Hoi set the standard for a uniquely delicious brunch.

No matter if you’re a powder skier or a power shopper, a good breakfast sets up your day. Lucky for Aspen, certain local restaurants serve up dishes that go beyond basic bacon and eggs to reflect the tastes and creativity of some of the town’s top chefs. Consider this your wake-up call.

Dim Sum Brunch at Bia Hoi
You won’t find dim sum-laden trolleys rolled table to table at Bia Hoi Southeast Asian Street Food, SoCal chef-restaurateur Tim Goodell’s new Asian outpost in Snowmass Base Village. Here, tasty morsels are fired to order and served up on little platters or in metal steamer baskets. In fact, the best place to hone your chopstick skills is not at a table at all, but atop a red metal stool at the lacquered counter before a lineup of sizzling woks.

Goodell imported the Chinese wok range from the coast, along with chef Rene Baez. While they produce a full menu of Southeast Asian street food-style dishes daily for lunch and dinner, on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30am to 3pm, it’s dim sum all the way. Best bites: pumpernickel toasts topped with chilli crab, pickled cucumbers, togarashi and fried cilantro; chicken liver-and-foie gras-filled dumplings in a rich soy and chicken-stock reduction; and sticky wok-fried chicken wings flavored with fish sauce, lime juice, sweet chile and sambol. Wash it all down with Lucky Buddha beer or 3-ounce breakfast cocktails like the Jade Mistress (Thai chile vodka, apple-cinnamon simple syrup, lemon, lime and orange juice). 110 Carriage Way, Suite 3101, Snowmass Village, 970.429.8796

Ribs & Eggs at Hickory House
It’s impossible to miss the landmark Hickory House (Hick House for short) at the edge of Main Street on the way into town, especially when, out back, the Southern Pride smoker is fully fired up. Owner Paul Dioguardi imports about 280,000 pounds of baby back pork ribs a year from Denmark and smokes as many as 500 racks at a time—every day.

At breakfast, many of these lean, tasty ribs turn up a half-rack at a time, paired with a pile of crisp hash browns, eggs (any way you like them) and, preferably, a homemade biscuit slathered with pork sausage gravy. If you’d rather, or if you’re pork-phobic, a Carlos’ Special three-egg omelet—stuffed with onion, chicken sausage, tomato, Jack and secret ranchero—will fit the bill. Either is best digested with a housemade Bloody Mary spiced up with Dioguardi’s award-winning barbecue sauce, and devoured while seated at the bar up front, where your dining companions may be anyone from old-timers in overalls to powder hounds powering up for the slopes (while fur is occasionally spotted, bet on it being faux). 730 W. Main St., Aspen, 970.925.2313

Southern Breakfast Buffet at Eight K
Executive Chef Will Nolan has long infused the lunch and dinner menus at Eight K in Viceroy Snowmass with flavors inspired by his Southern roots (a New Orleans native, he’s cooked at top restaurants there, including Paillard’s, The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel and Café Adelaide). And now he’s spicing up breakfast by bringing back the all-you-can-eat concept of what he deems “the old buffet days.”

Mornings from 8 to 11, fill your plate with something—or everything—different. Fried chicken-and-pecan waffles are a favorite. And, on some days, there’ll be eggs sardou, a Creole staple with poached eggs, artichoke and creamed spinach. Duck confit hash is a winner if you spot it, as are biscuits made with local goat cheddar from Avalanche Ranch topped with homemade andouille sausage gravy. If you’re an order-off-the-menu eater, pecan pancakes laced with a brown sugar, banana, buttermilk, cinnamon, OJ and nutmeg syrup, a la bananas Foster, might appeal. In this case, sit at the glass-topped bar and quiz the bartenders for a possible drink pairing. Prosecco and grapefruit juice, perhaps?

Of course, Eight K also offers dishes such as quinoa pancakes and smoked salmon for breakfast. But what, we ask, is the fun in that? 130 Wood Road, Snowmass Village, 970.923.8000