Make a reservation up to a month in advance at the subterranean Ellina, opened by Iron Chef America competitor Dena Marino in December. Named after Valtellina, a ski valley in Northern Italy, the spot makes its sausage in-house and shakes up ten varieties of specialty martinis.
Warm up with a made-from-scratch cocktail at Snowmass newcomer Eight K’s 88-foot-long fireside bar. Internationally inspired small plates cater to adventurous samplers, while meat dishes like the elk loin, beef porterhouse, and rack of lamb are sourced locally from the Roaring Fork Valley.
Eat at the bar in front of floor-to-ceiling windows at Ute City (308 E. Hopkins Ave.; 970-925-2900; no website), an American bistro serving gussied-up meat entrées and seasonal seafood dishes. Ask the sommelier to help navigate the 450-varietal wine list, from $30 bottles to a 1982 Latour ($1,900).