Aspen, Colorado's local dining guide.
Nice atmosphere, good food a little loud but was just what we expected.
August 23, 2012
The Red Onion opened for business after many false starts two years ago. It's Aspen's oldest--but not continuously operating--restaurant. The building itself is worth a visit. Situated on the Cooper Street pedestrian mall, the restaurant has been restored with great care. The result is an authentic, laid back cowboy-style bar and restaurant, a go-to place for a weeknight dinner or just a drink and snack with friends.
I head to the Red Onion because it's got one of the best and largest outdoor eating areas, removed from traffic and well-positioned for checking out the Aspen scene. I don't go there expecting fine cuisine or an elegant atmosphere. It's a regular, unpretentious destination for kids,, raucous drinkers, locals and tourists--who all coexist there quite happily.
One of last times I ate at Red Onion was for my brother's 13th birthday dinner. Imagine a group of 12 tweeners, swigging pitchers of coke and demolishing plate after plate of excellent nachos, piled high with cheese and black beans. Delicious. And the service couldn't have been more accommodating to our unruly group.
More recently, I stopped by the restaurant with my buddy Alexander for an early dinner on a warm summer evening. We were exhausted from a long day outdoors and profoundly hungry. Luckily, we scored a table outside. I ordered the Grilled Romaine Wedge salad as my appetizer. The salad was a creative interpretation of the basic Caesar. Augmented with a little extra dressing (the waiter was very accommodating), the salad was pretty darn good. I followed it up with the Red Onion Burger, cooked medium rare as requested. A side fries made the meal complete. I was in burger nirvana.
Alexander took a more adventurous route. He had the steak and chicken fajitas, a sizzling and satisfying choice. He started his meal with a sampler plate of the Red Onion's famous wings and I helped him out. We sampled the wings in all three flavors- Thai chili, Spicy Buffalo (our favorite) and BBQ.
Nearly faint from overeating, Alexander and I decided to share the brownie sundae for dessert. It was a good decision. There's a tendency these days to take old-time desserts like brownie sundaes and overdress and deconstruct them with cinnamon ice cream and spun sugar. This particular brownie sundae was served just as it was advertised: nothing fancy, just a warm brownie, vanilla ice cream and caramel and chocolate sauce. A classic dessert in a classic setting. The cowboys of yesteryear would have definitely approved.
Read more reviews by William
We arrived to town late on Friday night. There were so many people in town, but when we went to the Red Onion, our party of 4 was seated right away. We all started with Martini's which was probably not a great choice for this type of bar, but they were pretty good. Our server was amazing and very on-it! He never let our drinks go dry! I got the last of the special, which were two crab cakes with a small salad. It was so tasty! I would definitely come back for those again! I tasted some fries, which were also good and everyone at our table left full and happy! Surprisingly good food!
A friend and I went out on Friday night in Aspen to the Red Onion. We were seated right away toward the back of the restaurant. I ordered the the green chile risotto with shrimp ($18) while my friend had the Mac & Cheese with bacon ($7) and we shared a plate of fried calamari ($11). April, our server, was friendly and on top of our drinks and meals. The mac and cheese, although not an entree, was a large enough portion to be filling. My risotto was very good and a great change from typical risottos. I would definitiley recommend the Red Onion for the food and the history which we got a glimpse of on Aspen's DarkSide Tour
. It was all a pleasant experience and we'll definitely be dining in the Red Onion again.
Having been a former resident of the valley, it was nice to come back to a familiar haunt. Of course, even with the changes made inside, it still felt like coming home. I enjoyed the meal of mac'n'cheese (talk about comfort food!) as well as the ambiance. Our food was served timely and with kindness. The atmosphere is more crowded auditorium than library-ish so don't expect a quiet table in the corner. But even with the noise, you can still hold a conversation without yelling. Overall it was a pleasant experience and good to be back.
We each had the Burger with spicy fries and salad. Cooked perfectly and delicious. The service was prompt. Ask for Angie she was an outstanding waitress.All condiments were fresh with ample quantity.
I had onion rings as an appetizer, the tortilla crusted trout as a meal, and we even splurged for chocolate chip cake as a dessert because the rest of our meal was so good. my girlfreind had the eggplant enchilada and she loved it! I dont see where these aweful reveiews are from, the food was great. the service was awesome, we a had a super freindly cute waitress. all of our food came out on time and the margaritas were even good!
My family had lunch here and to put it short we should have gone to McDonals. The service was horrible, food was thus far the worst meal I have had in years and the prices were ridiculous. This version of the Red Onion would serve the original far better by simply shutting the doors and leaving the legacy to the one prior.
I was looking forward to the reopening of the new Onion. The restoration is a good job. The food and service are less desirable. I will spend time at the bar, Leave your money for the drinks