The #1 Date Night in Aspen: JAS Café

The #1 Date Night in Aspen: JAS Café

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!


Disclaimer:  Where this may be a sponsored post, we at AspenRealLife are highly selective on who we bring in to advertise on our site and we strongly endorse all of our sponsors.




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In response to the coronavirus pandemic YPN Aspen produced The Aspen Cookbook as a socially distanced fundraiser to support the local restaurant industry.

We want you to win one of these beautiful books, so get us drooling with your comments on a dish that you dream about from a restaurant in this book.

Comment below or on our Instagram feed with your creative expression.


Must be following @aspenreallife and @aspencookbook on Instagram and Facebook.

Tag your favorite foodie friends in the comment section.

Make us drool with your description of your favorite dish.

The most creative comment wins this beautiful cookbook. Let's support our restaurants!

Contest ends November 16th.

Matsuhisa Aspen, Jimmy's An American Restaurant and Bar, Mawa's Kitchen, Betula, Bamboo Bear Restaurant, Allegria, The St. Regis Aspen,, Marble Distilling Co. & The Distillery Inn, Pyramid Bistro, Aspen Public House, Bonnies Restaurant Aspen Mountain, L’Hostaria Ristorante, Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, HOPS Culture, Pinons Restaurant, Bosq, tatankawesternbistro, French Alpine Bistro - Creperie du Village, Aspen Brewing Company, King & Cook, Mezzaluna Aspen, Free Range Kitchen & Wine Bar, Campo De Fiori, Mod’s Thai House. , The Little Nell, Local Coffee House, The Crepe Shack, Pullman Cafe Glenwood Springs, Duemani, Casa Tua Aspen, Limelight Hotel Aspen, Toro Kitchen & Lounge, Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, Cache Cache Aspen, Mi Chola, Jour De Fête Aspen, 7908 Aspen, Woody Creek Distillers, Spring Cafe Aspen, Home Team BBQ - Aspen, Silverpeak Grill, The Wild Fig Aspen, Aspen Crunch, Landmark Cafe, Monarch Steak House Aspen, SteakHOUSE No.316, W Aspen, Aspen Board of Realtors


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