Little Nell prepares for restaurant renovation

By Real Aspen
August 17, 2011

The Little Nell is moving forward with plans for a complete restaurant remodel and has hired New York architecture firm Bentel & Bentel.

“We have signed a contract and have had our first preliminary meeting to start the design process of completely re-envisioning the Montagna space,” said The Little Nell General Manager John Speers. “We hope to have finalized plans for the space by the end of October and commence construction the beginning of April, 2012, with completion in mid-June.”

Montagna, The Little Nell’s award-winning restaurant, currently serves contemporary American cuisine that is sustainable and seasonally-driven with global influences. While a commitment to sustainable, local food will remain, the new restaurant will feature a new look, menu and name. The space will also better incorporate the hotel’s extensive wine collection and wine program, which recently earned the Wine Spectator Grand Award for the 15th year in a row. Executive Chef Robert McCormick, who took the helm in spring of 2011, is intimately involved in the redesign process and is looking at ways to expand the property’s devotion to farm-to-table practices, as well as better integrate the kitchen with the dining area.

Bentel & Bentel has garnered numerous awards in restaurant design, such as the James Beard Award for Restaurant Design as well as induction in the Hospitality Design Hall of Fame. Notable projects include The Modern, a restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art; Eleven Madison Park; Gramercy Tavern; and Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurants. The firm is currently working on a restoration of the iconic Le Bernardin in New York City.

In other news, The Little Nell will be renovating its ever-popular “Living Room” this fall, outfitting the space with custom pieces by renowned designer Holly Hunt. Hunt’s take on the “modern Aspen aesthetic,” which she incorporated in the 2009 hotel guest room renovation, includes touches of classic Aspen with warm tones and a residential feel.

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