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Take It Outside

Dining alfresco is one of summer’s perfect pleasures. Here are some of our favorite patios around the Roaring Fork Valley for lingering over lunch or dinner, while enjoying the sounds and scents of the great outdoors.

bb’s provides stunning views of Aspen Mountain—the perfect setting for enjoying small plates with friends.

1. Best Bird’s-Eye View: bb’s
This summer bb’s brings back lunch service and welcomes a new chef: Matt Zubrod, who previously headed up the kitchen at Willow Creek at The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands before working in Hawaii for the past few years. We’re looking forward to trying out the new menu of small plates, a raw bar and entrees like black-truffle risotto cakes and the pulled chicken-cherry salad. What hasn’t changed: the in-your-face view of Aspen Mountain from the upper-level patio. 525 E. Cooper Ave., Aspen, 970.429.8284

2. Best for Wine-Lovers: Casa Tua

Spend a sun-soaked afternoon at this idyllic location on the Cooper Avenue Mall sipping a glass of crisp Italian white. Pair the vintage with a small plate of housemade burrata, organic heirloom tomatoes and basil; and listen as Aspen Music Festival and School students busk classical selections nearby. 403 S. Galena St., Aspen, 970.920.7277

3. Best Live-Concert Listening: Westin Snowmass

Enjoy the free Thursday evening concerts from a new perspective: the Westin Snowmass’ newly expanded outdoor terrace alongside Fanny Hill. Cocktails are crafted with local Colorado spirits, and the menu, from Vue Lounge, has some of the best crowdsharing food around, like double-honeydipped chicken fingers or the Mammoth Burger, big enough for two (or three, or four… ). 100 Elbert Lane, Snowmass Village, 970.923.8200

4. Best Place to Rub Elbows with Power Players and Policy Wonks: Plato’s

You never know whom you may be sitting next to on the patio at the Aspen Meadows Resort’s restaurant, given its close association with its neighbor, The Aspen Institute. That could be Elena Kagan or Madeleine Albright at the next table. The scenery’s as good as the peoplewatching, with views over to Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. The menu’s emphasis on seasonal, locally sourced dishes is a natural fit with the outdoor setting. 845 Meadows Road, Aspen, 970.925.4240

5. Best for Sipping Summer Cocktails: Prospect Terrace at the Hotel Jerome

Sink into one of the Adirondack chairs, take off your shoes and let your feet luxuriate in the cool, green grass. The new outside bar offers easy access to refreshing craft cocktails like the watermelon rickey, made with Woody Creek Distillers vodka, fresh watermelon and lime, or white sangria, which includes white wine, house-infused apple and ginger vodka, peach puree and fruit. 330 E. Main St., 970.920.1000