When my travel partner and I stopped at Rustique Bistro the night before, the place was completely booked. So I made a reservation for the next evening immediately. Good thing I did because the place was booked again this night. This seemed unusual as most people we talked to said that we were in Aspen’s off-season. So why was this place so booked when most other restaurants seemed easily available?
The first reason seemed to be that Rustique Bistro had an excellent reputation. Given what we had heard so far, we were eager to try this place. When we were seated, our server went over the menu and the specials. She then mentioned that nearly everything was 30% off that night. That’s cool, but why? I asked her why that was and she said that they run off-season specials. The previous night was actually 50% off. No wonder they were booked solid! For a French-style bistro in Aspen, I’m not sure they actually needed to run such great specials, but who am I to complain?
Of course, I had to try a Margarita. So far in Aspen, I hadn’t really had a great Margarita, but Rustique had a nice bar so I was hopeful that I wouldn’t be disappointed tonight. The Margarita had a good citrus flavor. It was just a little more bitter than I would have liked. There wasn’t enough sweetness in my opinion to balance the the other flavor components. I would say that this was in the category of a more traditional Margarita, being less sweet and highlighting the citrus and tequila. But I prefer a little more sweetness in my Margarita, so I give Rustique’s Margarita a 7 this night. If you prefer less sweetness in your Margarita, you may rate this higher.
But forget the Margarita, Rustique had me in a food coma that night. I ordered their Macaroni and cheese appetizer to start. Here recently, I’m beginning to be a big fan of gourmet Mac and cheese and Rustique’s version did not disappoint in the least. The only problem was that I nearly stuffed myself on the appetizer so I had trouble finishing my main course of Braised Short Ribs of Beef. I had to offer the last several bites to my travel partner, who greatly appreciated having an opportunity to sample my meal. This was an exquisite meal in an exquisite atmosphere in an exquisite little town. If you travel to Aspen, book your reservations to Rustique early and often.