The Assembly in Eagle’s local-yet-global flavors |

The Assembly in Eagle’s local-yet-global flavors

Katie Coakley, EAT Magazine
The Assembly's seafood panzanella with lobster, mussels, sofrito, tomatoes and fennel.
Kristin Anderson/Special to the Daily
Crispy duck wings with spiced chicharrones and tangy plum and garlic glaze.
Kristin Anderson/Special to the Daily

The Assembly in Eagle opened almost two years ago — right in the middle of COVID. However, this upscale, globally-inspired dining destination has weathered many storms to emerge as a preferred hot spot for Eagle and beyond. 

The Assembly has built its reputation on seasonal fare (the menu changes quarterly) with global inspiration. Fresh produce is a star, and the availability of certain ingredients influences the menu as well.

“Our summer menu introduces a lot more seasonal produce: fresh, bright flavors,” explained co-owner Jaimie Mackey. “We’re getting close to tomato season and that kind of summer stuff, so that’s definitely exciting. We also have a bit more seafood on the menu, which has been fun.”

Tutti Frutti with raspberry sorbet, passionfruit “Sour Patch” gummies, strawberry fruit leather, watermelon granita and mango gel.
Kristin Anderson/Special to the Daily

One of the recent additions for summer is a seafood panzanella — a twist on the classic Italian panzanella salad that features lobster tail, steamed mussels and smoked salami. And if that description didn’t hook you, the sauce might: It lends a paella flavor to a new interpretation of an Italian classic. This is the beauty of The Assembly — they pull out a new coat for the previously naked emperor.

Each dish is meticulously constructed, drawing from a variety of inspirations. However, that creativeness is not limited to one country … or continent.

Another example: an Arctic char that has eclipsed the specials menu to a starring role on the entrée menu. Pan fried with a warm Israeli couscous, this Icelandic fish is presented with dried apricots that perfectly play with the sauce. Featuring aji amarillo paste — a bright yellow, citrusy flavor from Peru with just the right amount of heat — it packs a bit of heat but elevates this “white fish meets salmon” dish to an unforgettable level. If it takes three different continents to create this particular flavor/texture epiphany, we’re here for it.

Head chef Brandon Utley is constantly looking for new inspiration and flavors with which to wow guests. Scouring various cookbooks and experimenting with new spices and ingredients, he’s looking to impress new guests and continually surprise those who have already discovered the appeal of The Assembly.

However, every lily has the potential to be gilded. With a wine list that evolves as the menu does, there’s always something new to discover with potent potables with The Assembly.

“Of course, we’re going to have Sauvignon Blanc on the wine list, but we found a couple of really beautiful Sancerres that we have on our bottle list that are going to be great for the summer,” Mackey promised. “We’ve got a bunch more rosés and this really beautiful, just really cool orange wine that has this grapefruity tone that is so, so refreshing; that’ll be a fun one for summer.”

It’s rare to find a place that pairs the wines with the same attention as the kitchen does its ingredients but The Assembly has figured out the balance. From shared plates to entrees, daily “chips & dip” specials (yes, “Devils on Horseback” is a spectacular dip combination), The Assembly has firmly spliced themselves into the DNA of Eagle County. Go for a bite or go for a feast: The Assembly is a hybrid we can all support. 

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