Element 47

Dining and unwinding in Aspen luxuriousness
The Little Nell, Aspen’s slope side luxury hotel dazzles with its signature restaurant, Element 47. 

Named for silver on the periodic table, and a nod to Aspen’s rich silver-mining history, the restaurant formerly known as Montagna underwent a $2.5 million makeover in late 2012 and debuted with a hip, contemporary look. 

The décor — comfortable banquette seating, soft lighting, and large-scale modern artwork — is sophisticated, yet approachable. So is the dinner menu, with seasonal appetizers, medium plates and entrées focusing on locally sourced produce, meat and game, as well as sustainable seafood. The fine-dining restaurant’s wine collection is outstanding: 20,000 bottles are on hand for discerning diners.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The à la carte menu changes seasonally, so a duck dish you enjoyed in December may not be the same in June — or there may not be a duck entrée at all. Executive chef Matt Zubrod may even change ingredients based on the freshest produce available that week — or that morning.
  • The interior design at Element 47 is sophisticated and sleek, contemporary and comfortable. The room’s main hues are silver, gray, dark brown, black and navy. But you’ll also find occasional pops of bright color, such as the deep red glass water tumblers with an etched design.
  • From the hostess to the sommelier, and from your main server to the back waiter, staff is on hand to ensure your dining experience at The Little Nell’s signature restaurant is superb.
Things to Know
  • Element 47 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends.
  • The bar, adjacent to the dining room, is a lively spot, especially in the late afternoons in the winter months, for après ski. The bar offers snacks, sides and mains if you’d like a bite to eat while enjoying a drink.
  • The full bar has a Colorado Well, meaning it features a selection of artisanal Colorado-made spirits and beers. So, if you order a mojito, unless you specify otherwise, the rum will be Montanya rum, distilled in Crested Butte. Also enjoy beers brewed in such Colorado towns as Aspen, Fort Collins, Boulder and Durango.
  • The wine collection at Element 47 is composed of 20,000 bottles, about 600 of which are displayed in an impressive wine wall that connects the bar and the dining room. Overseeing the wine list is wine director and master sommelier Carlton McCoy.  There are fewer than 200 Master Sommeliers in the world, so diners at Element 47 are fortunate to have one.
The Food
  • Dishes that feature flavorful, locally raised wagyu beef are gems; we especially enjoyed the Wagyu tartare mixed with gruyere and purple mustard as well as the entrée that pairs the tender meat with black trumpet mushrooms and winter squash.  
  • Hudson Valley’s foie gras is turned into a decadent torchon that’s served with sweet roasted pears, parsnips and pistachio sponge bread.
  • The excellent cheese course, which highlights cheeses made in Colorado paired with nuts and fruit, is absolutely one of the best things to order. 
  • The taste of the apple-flavored cider doughnuts is heightened by apple jam and a dollop of crème fraîche.
The Chef
  • Executive chef Matt Zubrod began his career with The Ritz-Carlton, initially working in Aspen, Naples and Boston before moving on to the historic Hotel del Coronado near San Diego as executive sous-chef.
  • He’s worked in Hawaii, too, where he opened the now-shuttered Monettes at Mauna Kea Resort, which he ran for several years.
  • After a short stopover in California at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, he and his family returned to Aspen in 2013. He served as executive chef at BB’s Kitchen until joining The Little Nell.
Getting There
675 East Durant Avenue, Aspen, Colorado 81611
Element 47
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