More and more restaurants are brandishing the Colorado Proud logo, indicating locally grown produce, on their menus as top chefs are teaming up with regional farmers to take the fresh-food movement to a new level. Farm-to-fork experiences are available year round in Colorado. Here are our monthly harvest picks and the mouthwatering restaurants where you’ll find them.
Fresh Picks: watercress, cows' milk artisan cheese
Find It Here: The Ore House, Durango
The Ore House calls on local businesses like Fox Fire Farms and James Ranch for fresh greens, cheeses and meats, including pork belly, beef and chicken. Complement your meal with the maple-cinnamon old fashioned, featuring cinnamon-infused Breckenridge Bourbon, organic maple syrup, house-made maple-pecan bitters, orange peel and brandy-soaked cherry.
Fresh Picks: duck, honey
Find It Here: Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, Boulder
Visit the award-winning bistro and organic farm for their Juxtaposition of Duck — made with locally raised duck, roasted with fennel honey and served with confit leg strudel and currants braised in red wine.
Fresh Picks: goat cheese, potatoes
Find It Here: Duo Restaurant, Denver
In Denver’s hip Highland neighborhood, bustling Duo serves a decadent goat cheese tartlette with roasted green and yellow squash and a pea shoot salad.
Fresh Picks: asparagus, rhubarb, green garlic
Find It Here: Margarita at Pine Creek, Colorado Springs
Margarita’s comfortably contemporary cuisine puts innovative twists on fresh Colorado ingredients in dishes like the roasted portabello, beet and leek napoleon with butternut squash, asparagus and spinach pesto.
Fresh Picks: chilies, watermelon, asparagus, avocado
Find It Here: Town, Carbondale
Town's thoughtful and creative menu changes periodically, but could include crisp pork, chilies and watermelon, lamb meatballs, asparagus and gnocchi salad and hamachi crudo with avocado.
Fresh Picks: mint, basil, cucumbers
Find It Here: The Bounty, Salida
This eatery serves up fresh and classic American cuisine, including a crave-worthy lamb bacon sandwich topped with avocado, sprouts, tomato and rosemary-mint mayo. Cool off with one of the creative signature libations, like a ginger-basil Manhattan — a refreshing take on the traditional cocktail.
Fresh Picks: sweet corn, chilies, beets
Find It Here: Sweet Basil, Vail
With Mediterranean, Italian and Asian influences, Sweet Basil is a mountain town favorite. Cut into the double cut pork chop with sweet corn puree and grilled king trumpet mushrooms.
Fresh Picks: watermelon, apples, peaches
Find It Here: Delicious Orchards Café, Paonia
Taste the best of western Colorado at this organic farmers’ market and cafe. Sip on fresh-pressed apple cider with a piece of peach and blackberry cobbler.
Fresh Picks: pumpkin, kale, eggplant
Find It Here: Potager, Denver
Potager’s menu changes monthly to ensure the ripest seasonal offerings. Everything is made from scratch, including the crispy duck dumplings in pumpkin soup with dates.
Fresh Picks: onions, radicchio, escarole
Find It Here: Twist, Breckenridge
Twist’s seasonally updated comfort food menu is loaded with regional ingredients. Cozy up to the venison and root vegetable stew or the five-onion cheddar mac-n-cheese.
Fresh Picks: turnips, leeks, squash
Find It Here: Café Vino, Fort Collins
This diverse European-inspired menu employs nearby Grant Family Farms produce and meats. Dive into the seared scallops over winter squash puree with a blood orange and sage butter sauce.
*Restaurant menus subject to change.
Photo by Jason Dewey for The Little Nell.