Cyclists give new meaning to restaurant row
It's fitting that Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton had beef Saturday night inside Cache Cache, a hip and exquisite eatery in a subterranean plaza, a staircase away from Aspen's so-called restaurant row.
The decorated cyclists exchanged heated words by the bar as Hamilton made his way to the restroom. Now the F.B.I. is investigating whether their row in the restaurant constitutes witness tampering.
Those who observed the exchange say Armstrong never left his seat, but that it was quite clear the conversation was intense, unpleasant and awkward. Cache Cache co-owner Jodi Larner, a friend of Armstrong's, informed Hamilton he wasn't welcome back because his party didn't tip on an $885 bill. Now she and others say the issue is overblown.
(Larner did, however, manage to let it slip that Armstrong dines at Cache Cache “about three times a week.”)
Only in Aspen could a trip to the loo trigger a federal investigation and international intrigue.
Suitably, the fiery words flew in Aspen's hottest restaurant, where celebrities dine with regularity.
There will be more stars in more restaurants than usual this weekend for the Food & Wine Classic, considered the mother of all American food festivals, inspiring spin-offs in South Beach, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere.
Beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday, wine will flow like beer usually does in Aspen, and Michael Symon, Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain will instinctively flock here like the salmon of Capistrano. Or something like that.
Passes have already sold out for the 29th annual festival — a good sign for the local economy, seeing as how it's the first Food & Wine sell-out since 2008. Still, there are plenty of opportunities to sample exceptional eats and wonderful wines on the buffet tables in the art galleries and retail shops around town this weekend.
Of course, fine dining is always an option in the restaurants of Aspen, no laminates required.
But it would be a good idea to steer clear of any places where Armstrong and Hamilton may have to share space or otherwise beware that if someone screams "food fight!" they may actually mean it.
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