Aspen, Colorado's local dining guide.
August 12, 2011
Our last night in Aspen for a year, we choose the bar/lounge at Matsuhisa despite the very mixed reviews over the last year on the web, especially regarding the service. I'd avoided it when it opened in 1998 because of the price-quality ratio and tendency to draw single rich bottle-blonde women living on their first husband's alimony, but realized after a couple of meals in the resto that it was OK if not edgy and the single rich bottle-blonde women living on their first husband's alimony were ubiquitous in Aspen anyway.
We had some edamame with our wine while we waited for prepared dishes to arrive (smart move after all I'd read) and then in order had - yellowtail slices with jalapeno nibbins and cilantro, fiery shishito peppers, scallops with brussel sprouts (in August?, in Colorado?, hummmm) and a Japanese "BBQ sauce," and skewered shrimp with a jalapeno sauce and a bowl of rice that I needed to fill the trou.
With a bottle of wine, no bottled water, dessert or coffee, our bill was $101.37 before tip.
Despite all the buzz and the Nobu name, I haven't found anything very special about this place. The sushi is better than the average in Aspen, but that's not saying much; it wouldn't stand out in Southern California. I've had mixed experiences with the service here. While having drinks and food at the bar with a friend, for example, we were abruptly asked by the bartender to "step away from the bar" so that other customers could spend their $ more conveniently. Now that Kenichi is open, I would recommend it over Matsuhisha. The service and atmosphere are more sophisticated
I have been waiting all winter to eat at Matsuhisa and, to be honest, I was extremely let down. Even with the food being excellent, the quality of service was so bad that I would not return. Our waitress was clearly overwhelmed by the amount of people and was not able to handle multiple tables at a time. She rudely talked back to us when we asked for another menu and showed no concern even after we had been waiting over 20 minutes to order. The order was not verbalized properly to the rest of the staff either, and the food that we asked to have brought out in a certain order was completely disregarded. When I asked to have one of the dishes brought back with my main meal, one of the female backservers looked at me with disgust and questioned my decision. This unfortunately set a negative tone for the rest of the meal. When I am paying hundreds of dollars to eat sushi, you better believe that I expect the wait-staff to be as service and guest-oriented as possible. This was not the case at Matsuhisa.
We have been to Nobu / Matsuhisha in London, New York and Hong Kong and many other high end japanese restuarants but this oen stood out because it's friendly and attentative service and impeccable food was pretty good value for money. What an amazing place, wish I could eat here again tonight. And tomorrow night. And...
We arrived for our reservation at 6pm. We were seated, and within several minutes the restaurant was full. What is unusual is that the noise level was great. We talked without a problem. Also unusual was that the service was perfection at this sudden influx of customers, no waiting, not obvious, and knowledgeable answers to questions. Matsuhisa has a great white wine list. The food was perfection.It was beyond my wildest expectations. I wish I was rich I would eat there every night. Go and enjoy. Wish I could join you.
Best Sushi in Aspen !! Great sake's.
Interesting "new" plates.
A must do if you "love" sushi!!
My co-worker and I were treated to an extraordinary meal here by a very generous person and I think we ate everything on the menu and many things off-menu. You wonder where fresh fish is coming from in Aspen, and I'll just say that based on some of the prices, it's well taken care of between Japan and FedEx. Honestly the parade of food was beyond, and somehow we found room for all of it. I especially learned to appreciate the hand-rolls, something I don't normally order when I go out to sushi. The freshness and quality were excellent, and we could not go wrong with their amazing wine list. Manager Christian Henrichon was especially helpful and super knowledgeable about wine. Yum!! (bring your platinum card of Amex black!)