When Burnt Toast closed last December, on the day before Christmas, Boulderites mourned the loss. But the mourning was short-lived, because owners Buddy Kring and Ellen Dale sold the joint to Dakota Soifer, one of their chefs.
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Soifer, whose past gigs include an executive chef stint at The Kitchen [Upstairs], also in Boulder, cooking at Zuni Café in San Francisco and a summer season turning out amazing food at the roving Meadowlark Farm dinners, already had plans to open a joint perfect for the People's Republic -- a pasture-to-plate restaurant emphasizing local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, many of them culled from Boulder Country farmers and purveyors.
That joint is now Café Aion, a dinner and weekend brunch restaurant that Soifer opened on Friday, April 2. "We gather our ingredients from farmers, ranchers and fishmongers we know and admire, and we draw upon the time-honored practices of the osteria and tapas bar as we cook for our friends and neighbors," says the website. The menu is a board of small plates -- oysters, foie gras, hanger steak, roasted vegetables, house-cured salami, lomo and baccalà and desserts, including truffles -- all of which are priced under $15.
Café Aion, whose name pays homage to the used bookstore that once occupied the space, is located at 1235 Pennsylvania in Boulder. Hours are from 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.