A salad at Central, left, and Sugar Mill, right (credit: Ellen Marchman Larkey)
Central Bistro and Bar
1691 Central St.
Denver, CO 80211
Denver’s favorite chef, Matt Selby, joined Central Bistro and Bar in late 2013. The popular bistro is perfectly perched in LoHi with stunning views of downtown and comfortable seating inside and out. With Selby’s vast knowledge of local farms, the restaurant unveils a creative and delicious spring menu. Standouts include the watermelon and capicola salad with jicama, house lime ricotta and cilantro, and Central’s signature heirloom green salad with sun-dried tomato pesto, cucumbers and pine nuts.
Oak at Fourteenth
1400 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Stylish dining meets Colorado cuisine at OAK at Fourteenth. The menu is filled with contemporary dishes, all oak-fired and grilled with a focus on farm-to-table fresh. Really, you can enjoy every single dish on this menu and you’ll be happy, but if it’s a salad you seek, then you have to try the kale and apple salad. Kale is the latest food to become trendy, though these finely sliced slivers of kale are a long way from what you remember of those large bitter leaves. The kale is served with candied almonds, grated parmesan cheese and apple with a simple vinaigrette dressing. You’ll also find a hint of Japanese Togarashi in the dish, which adds a little bit of heat from chili peppers. This is one salad that is worth being a meal on its own.
1610 Little Raven St.
Denver, CO 80202
La Biblioteca, the shrine to tequila next to Zengo, recently launched a new brunch menu including a refreshing free range chicken salad. The bright salad includes togarashi pecans, oranges, cabbage, mixed greens and piloncillo-ginger vinaigrette. The small plate, which can be prepared vegetarian and gluten free, is on the brunch menu for $6 and can be included in the $35 bottomless brunch on weekends.
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1518 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80210
Session Kitchen, the newest restaurant on South Pearl Street, is a full renovation of the old Izakaya Den location. Inspired by “sessions” dedicated to sharing globally inspired, locally sourced and seasonally influenced cuisine, the casual east-meets-west environment is enriched by local and international street art and features innovative cocktails including “on tap” bubbly and wine. For spring, Session Kitchen debuts a grilled cobia taco salad with hand-pressed tortillas, slaw, black beans and kabocha seed white sauce. On the menu for $17, the salad is also gluten-free.
2461 Larimer St., Suite 101
Denver, CO 80205
Noah French, who was best known as the pastry chef at TAG, is now the co-owner of bakery and dessert bar Sugarmill. With emphasis on the craft of sweet and savory pastries and desserts, apple almond tarts, pineapple upside down cake and peanut butter and chocolate molten cake have become local favorites. But Sugarmill is not just desserts. It has a lively lunch and dinner crowd as well. For spring, the restaurant debuts its local chopped salad, a hearty bowl of chicken, bacon, apple, scallion, cherry tomato and champagne mustard vinaigrette.
Ellen Marchman Larkey has a savvy knowledge of culture and events and maintains trusted partnerships around the country. She has substantial expertise with food, wine and lifestyle including Aspen Food & Wine Festival, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Cochon, Top Chef and numerous destination
restaurants and master mixologists. She has beeen Examiner.com‘s Denver’s Fine Dining writer since 2009.