The #1 Date Night in Aspen: JAS Café
Great music, great food, and a super fun atmosphere? It’s a no-brainer.
It’s not what you think.
You don’t have to be a jazz aficionado. It’s not really even about jazz but all different kinds of music. It’s not just for old people. You don’t have to be super loaded to be able to afford it—for what you get, it’s actually a pretty sweet deal (especially by Aspen standards). It’s not super stuffy: have you been to the Aspen Cooking School yet?
Here are four things we bet you didn’t know about the JAS Café.
#1) It’s not just about jazz.
Not everyone loves the complex sound of jazz and you don’t have to pretend you do. Maybe you want to warm up with a late night Creole Soul Dance Party with Trinidadian born trumpeter Etienne Charles and his sizzling 8-piece Calypso band at the Cooking School at 10:30 p.m. on March 18. Or maybe you’re a fan of funk with some gospel roots mixed in and would love Cory Henry, the Grammy Award winning breakout organist and keyboardist for Snarky Puppy and his Revival Band. Or maybe you’re in the mood for some retro ‘40s style big band sounds with the Squirrel Nut Zippers on January 13-14 at The Little Nell. Do you see where we’re going with this?
#2) It’s not insanely expensive.
Consider that dinner for two in Aspen is probably going to run you 75-100 bucks a person and shows at the Belly Up are usually $50 and up. So for a dinner and live music date night, you’re looking at spending a couple hundred bucks minimum. Not so with the JAS Café: Tickets range from $35-$65 and bar menus will be available at both venues (every local knows bar menus have the same food as the dining room but for a fraction of the price). Ajax Tavern is offering a killer deal, $37 for a pre/post show 3-course dinner. If you want to go big and enjoy a special 3-course meal, The Aspen Cooking School is doing a special menu for $55-$65 (including all taxes and gratuities). Do the math—it’s a lot of bang for your buck, especially when you consider how special the experience will be and how small the venue for the kind of top-notch live music typically only found in big cities.
#3) The food is as good as the music.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of the wide variety of genres and amazing musicians coming to our little mountain town this winter at the JAS Café, the food alone is worth checking out. The Cooking School of Aspen is the passion project of longtime Rustique owner and restaurateur Rob Ittner, and the menu does not disappoint. How does Red Coconut Curry Seafood Stew with scallops, shrimp, salmon and sticky rice sound on a cold winter’s night? Or maybe you’re a meat and potatoes kind of guy and you just want a good ol’ flat iron steak with potato puree and seasonal veggies. She’s going to love the Basil Caesar salad and you can indulge in the crispy pork belly over warm spinach salad so you’ll basically get to eat some seriously to-die-for bacon and look super sophisticated doing it.
#4) The venues are some of the best in town.
We get it. You hear The Little Nell and think the whole five-star-hotel scene isn’t your thing. But consider this: Nothing transforms a space like music does. And to hear some of the best musicians in the country in a super small, intimate venue with delicious food and endless spirits can’t be beat. The Aspen Cooking School is new this year and if you haven’t been there yet it’s basically party central disguised as a hip place for foodies. It’s brand new, it’s modern, and it was built just for this.
For show information, tickets, and information on how to become a member of the National Council Café, click here.
And don’t forget to donate to JAS Aspen on Colorado Gives Day!
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