We all know the dining scene in the Mid-Valley and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley can be a challenge for any proprietor – and with the closing of several beloved restaurants in recent months – Town, Sushi Ya-Go-Go and Smoke, just to name a few – the hole they have left has whet many palates in recent months for something new, exciting – and something that will root itself solidly in the community.
When The Way Home restaurant closed last month, local diners were further distressed, but good news has come out of the kitchen at Carbondale’s historic Weant House – Chef Flip Wise will relaunch a new dining concept there this winter.
Wise’s new Landmark Café will begin service in mid-November with the reimagined fast-casual concept initially focusing on breakfast and lunch dining, and I am here to say to my fellow Valley food lovers – it’s time to get out there and support them with your dollars.
Wise’s culinary path in the Roaring Fork Valley has long intertwined with the local farming scene as he grew Open Fire Catering’s farm-to-table dinners throughout the region, and cultivated his partnerships with growers and the chance to showcase their stories of connecting food and eating to the land itself.
Landmark Café will be steered by Wise, known for his Argentinian culinary influences and his long championing of regional farmers, while the café’s dining room and bar will be overseen by Wise’s wife, Aaron Rogers.
Wise will present a breakfast menu loaded with hearty dishes built with local ingredients, to include his signature Chappa breads – a delicious Argentinian specialty cheese bread – plus French toast, eggs, quiches and baked goods. A simple lunch menu will showcase regional cheeses and cured meats, along with locally sourced produce for seasonal salads and soups.
Landmark Cafe’s beverage menu will be something to experience as they plan to use MCT oil, ghee, collagen and mushroom powders within artisanal coffees, teas, organic juices and smoothies.
For both Wise and Rogers, Landmark Café is a platform for realizing their own dreams.
“It was all really about the right time at the right place,” says Wise. “The way we both found ourselves and each other in the restaurant is a book each in itself.”
The Way Home opened in 2018, transforming the Victorian house into a boutique guest house, restaurant and dining room, operated by the Gianinetti’s, a third-generation Carbondale family which operates the Spring Creek Ranch event venue. All operations at The Way Home will continue in tandem with the new Landmark Café, which will open its doors by mid-November, in time for the launch of ski season.
Beyond daytime breakfast and lunch, Landmark Café looks to grow community programming and events that appeal to Carbondale’s lively and creative community vibe, with pop-up and seasonal dinners at The Way Home in partnership with Mindful Vine, hosts of regional wellness and wine events, plus live music events, community events and après gatherings.
“We want Landmark Café to become the community landmark: locals and visitors will want to be part of the happenings at Landmark Cafe, what unique events are going down, who is playing live music, what wine pairings are in the works. It will be a home away from home, a place to showcase art and create, a place to hold community lectures and fundraising events,” said Rogers. “Cookouts and pop-ups will keep the community calendar full and we will gather to support political causes on local, state and national levels. The space is so incredibly special, and our community deserves to have full access to it in a way that is invigorating, inspired, fun, unique, creative, musical, and delicious.”
To unveil its new concept, Landmark Café will host the Second Annual Harvest Festival weekend Nov. 2 and 3 at The Way Home. The event provides a community celebration as the season’s transition while showcasing local artisans, makers, artists, and crafts. Landmark Café will also dish up dishes from Wise’s new menus.
Landmark Café is located at 689 Main St. It will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special event programming including seasonal and community dinners to be announced. For menus and more information, visit landmarkcafe.com