In the search for a white Christmas, we have traveled all the way from Texas to Colorado. I am in love with the state of Colorado and I do hope to move here one day (soon) Two years ago I visited Vail, Co. for the holidays and I enjoyed it so much! The charm, the Xmas spirit, the people, everything was welcoming and full of character.
This time, I am visiting the Roaring Fork Valley. The valley is home to the ever so popular city of Aspen which has an airport. Also, part of the valley is Glenwood Springs and Basalt among other smaller towns such as Carbondale. Carbondale takes its name from Carbondale, Pennsylvania, the original hometown of some of Carbondale’s early settlers. Carbondale’s economy was initially agriculturally based. Farmers and ranchers capitalized on open lands around Carbondale to supply food for miners in nearby Aspen, then a booming center of silver mining activity.
I will start reviewing the town of Basalt, and I’ll write individual posts for Glenwood and Aspen.
Basalt began as a railroad town and was known as Aspen Junction until 1895, when its name was changed to Basalt. This name was taken from the basaltic rock formation of Black Mountain (now known as Basalt Mountain) located to the north of the town. The original settlement was actually called Fryingpan Town and was located on the south side of the Fryingpan River, near the old charcoal kilns; portions of which are still visible.
Old Town Basalt has a unique charm, with small restaurants and businesses sitting at the edge of the mountain. It was here where we discovered (by pure accident and driven by hunger) one of the best restaurants I have ever encountered in the States. This little gem is one not to be missed if you ever come to the River Fork Valley. Heather’s Savory Pies & Tapas Bar is a small restaurant with a big character. Upon arrival we were immediately greeted and seated into a busy and vibrant restaurant with a menu that gives you that sense of home cooked food many big restaurants only dream to achieve. The butternut squash soup with goat cheese crostini is the best butternut squash dish I’ve had in a while. Not too sweet nor too savory, it balanced perfectly in the pallet hitting you with a slight spicy aftertaste. It was just what I needed to warm my body after a very cold day (it was around 27 degrees outside)
We also ordered Heather’s Chicken Pot Pie. With a rich gravy and perfectly cooked and moist chicken this pie is a show stopper. The humble top pie did not dissapoint.
I ordered the vegetarian pie. Decadent sweet potato, egg plant, spinach and ricotta cheese with a distinctive taste only possible by a combination of spices and love (they claim the ingredients for their chicken pie is love, but I am sure they used some of that love for the veg pie too!)
The restaurant offers a Kids Grilled Cheese which “hit the spot” with my 10 year old. Kids can be fussy eaters, but a grilled cheese is always confort zone for them. And he approved of the cheese gooey and warm sandwhich too!
But the best of the best was definitely left for last! Oh my oh my! their selection of sweet pies and decadent cakes is to die for! It was very hard to decide what to eat because absolutely every single one of their sweet pies looked divine!
In the end we went for the flourless chocolate tart. Creamy, dark chocolate melts slowly in your mouth. Sweet enough to be kid friendly but with that bitternes taste distinctive of rich dark chocolate. I have never had such an amazing dessert not even in Europe, not that I can remember anyway!
We also tried their carrot cake. Filled with nuts and spices its light and spongy unlike other heavy carrot cakes I’ve had down south (sorry Texas) even my Dad who doesn’t like cakes took a bite of this delicious cake!
I don’t do restaurant reviews that often but this was a must! as a blogger it was my duty to share this with the world! Is you are ever around Aspen and want a unique place to eat home cooked food (like your grandma makes but better) I strongly recommend to stop by Heather’s Pies & Tapas Bar! I promise you will not be dissapointed!