430 E. Hyman Ave.
Aspen, Colorado 81611
Ellina Dinner Menu
Ellina Bar Menu
Ellina Cocktail Menu
Ellina Dessert Menu
Ellina Bar Wine List (32 pages)
Ellina Restaurant Specials, Happy Hour, News, Etc.
A new Aspen restaurant serving modern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on local ingredients and slow food.
The name Ellina, is short for Valtellina, a valley in northern Italy. Known for its' cheeses (in particular Bitto), its sausages (in particular bresaola) and its wines. It's remote location brings a natural emphasis on local ingredients and slow food.
Enjoy al fresco dining on Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall patio.
Ellina restaurant brings together old world values and new world vision.
This new Aspen italian eatery debuted onto the Aspen dinning scene December 10 2009.
New lift elevator makes establishment ADA compliant.
Note: The following Aspen restaurant reviews are not the opinion of eatAspen unless otherwise noted. Reviews are submitted by fellow readers like you. Use appropriate judgement in weighing these opinions. Forums such as this only work with your help. Please contribute a review or respond to a review.
Reviews of Ellina
Add Your Review
July 6, 2012
My background knowledge of Ellina was nil when I chose to review it. I'd heard it mentioned by well-off locals and big budget prom couples, but that was the extent of it. I piled into the car with vague thoughts of old people eating dinner under glass chandeliers, sullenly complaining that their steaks were undercooked. I believed it was going to be an average monochromatic overpriced Aspen dinner, and boy was I wrong.
We were greeted at the front by an attractive Italian wait staff. They ushered us in with gusto, energized by the second day of the season, and showed us to our table. My pre-conceived notions vanished. The place was so hip! The walls were stony and earthen and the light fixtures gave off a clear nightclub glow. Accompanying the modern decor was ethereal music, which completed the classy sci-fi ambience. It was a complete shock to me, and I spent several moments looking around imagining I was in some contemporary joint in New York surrounded by black suits and stilettos.
Within moments another impeccable Italian waiter named Nelson was handing out menus and enthusiastically describing dishes. He spoke about the dishes like they were artwork, sweeping us up in the beauty of a freshly poached egg breaking over homemade pasta. We were captivated and ordered everything he suggested, four dishes more than what we had planned on.
I was enchanted by the restaurant before the food came, it was comforting and friendly, but still very fresh. The atmosphere was energizing, far different from the casual western mining town mentality of some other Aspen restaurants, and yet it was still a local's joint. Then the food came. We had a white asparagus salad with a poached egg and prosciutto, and calamari in a ponzu sauce. Both dishes were incredible. The plating was so beautiful we took a picture before we ate, and the food was so good I won't elaborate for fear of writing a four-page article. For entrees we had some of everything, I had Alaskan Halibut with saffron risotto, sis had hand cut pepper fettuccini, mom had seared octopus, and step-dad had rabbit with herb mashed potatoes. I chastised him at first for daring to eat a cute wittle bunny wabbit, but when the dishes came I ended up devouring the majority of both of our entrees.
My personal dish suggestion would have to be... All of them. I was simultaneously insanely jealous of everyone's plates and incredibly pleased with the dish I had ordered. I hate to use a cliche but you really get the bang for your buck.
I was astounded to hear Ellina had only been open for two years, and was going to attribute the delicious food and cool atmosphere to beginners luck before I heard the master who was behind the operation. Chef Miguel Diaz has been one of Aspen's elite chefs for years. He started out with partner Dena Marino at Ajax Tavern, a local's favorite at the base of Aspen Mountain, before moving on to D19 in 2006. D19 immediately took off, showcasing a traditional Italian menu, and stayed open for three years. Dena Marino then moved to Florida and Chef Diaz went solo, opening Ellina last year. The wait staff is also compromised of seasoned professionals seeing as it's more or less the same group who worked at D19.
I left feeling guilty, not only because that meal equaled my caloric intake for the past three days but also because I'd never been to Ellina before. Why don't great restaurants get more recognition? Come on people! Stop busting your wallets at restaurants like Il Mulino, it is simply not worth it. Take your empty stomach and head on over to Ellina for a guaranteed good time.
Read more reviews by Catherine
July 5, 2012
With Aspen having so many good restaurants there is no reason to dine at Ellina. Our meal was decent but our service (and most every other table around us) was comical. Very long wait to have our order taken, watered down cocktails, and dirty cutlery were just a few of the issues we had. I would recommend dining at Nobu, Pinons, or Casa Tua - the cost will be similar, but the experience, ambiance, and food are far, far superior. Hopefully the management at Ellina will realize they need to drastically change the level of service - otherwise, sadly, I predict this restaurant will not survive as several other tables around us were also experiencing significant service issues as well.
June 6, 2011
Light, fresh food. Wonderful fish dishes. Loved sitting at the bar and still feeling you are outside. Highly recommend this restaurant!!
March 8, 2011
Whilst we enjoyed the food and the welcome given us by the table hostess, the Somelier did her best to ruin our evening. She was arrogant and abrupt and apparently not capable.....she fully emptied our bottle into my glass so that I could enjoy the sediment pieces during my last glass of wine.
January 4, 2011
Absolutely awful food, way overpiced and nothing remotely Italian about it. As my husband puts it: "here the sauce is supposed to make the meal" rather than the ingredients. Slow cooking? Certainly not the ossobuco. Way overpriced. Don't bother, Aspen has got so much more to offer.
February 28, 2010
Amazing food - simple and high quality. Love the pastas and the steak is amazing!
February 14, 2010
Delicious food, great service....very impressed. I would recommend Ellina to anyone in the Aspen area looking for a laid back yet elegant atmosphere and delicious food.
February 12, 2010
Excellent place to eat. Amazing food! Very creative! The service is excellent!! Overall a fantastic place to eat!
February 9, 2010
Superb fare with equally superb service.
January 22, 2010
Our second visit to Ellina has made it our new favorite restaurant in Aspen. All 9 of us in our party found our meals outstanding. Service was terrific except for a small lapse which brought a complimentary bottle of wine which we were drinking. We look forward to more meals at Ellina!
January 22, 2010
A fabulous meal. We have been to Ellina twice in the past few weeks. We are working our way through the menu. Service is professional and not overbearing. Every dish is outstanding. Dishes are well prepared and beautifully presented. May well be the best food in Aspen.
January 22, 2010
I've eaten at Ellina twice and have been disappointed both times. The grilled octopus appetizer was wonderful both times but the entrees were not good either time. First time had the strip steak which was overcooked and had alot of gristle. Second visit had the scallops which were dried out. Service was attentive but the entrees were brought to the table at different times with the explanation that "that's the way we do it". Hire an expediter so everyone can eat at the same time. I will not be eating there when I am back in town next week.
January 16, 2010
This was our first visit to Ellina. The service was efficient, attentive, and friendly though not overbearing.The food is exceptional! The portions are generous. We felt that we got good value. We look forward to returning.
December 12, 2009
We almost couldn't wait 'til Ellina opened. Three of us had wonderful meals. I adore mussels and that was the special appetizer that night. Did you know I was coming? The wine selection was excellent. The service was attentive without being over the top. I hated where we were seated, but that was my fault for not saying something as we were shown the table. My direct line of sight was into the kitchen ... but that gave me the option of seeing the inner workings of a fine restaurant. Very smooth.