Chefs around town are gearing up for spring by rolling out seasonal menu items, adding dishes inspired by travels or taking a cue from an Oscar-winning movie. Here are three restaurants making menu changes this month.
Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace
950 Pearl Street, Boulder
For the first time in its nine-year history, Centro is adding breakfast and lunch, inspired in part by chef Dakota Coburn's recent culinary exploration of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Breakfast, served from 8 to 11 a.m., is a grab-and-go affair, with coffee, housemade aguas frescas and breakfast burritos bulging with eggs, chorizo, asadero cheese, green chile and hash browns.
At 11 a.m. the kitchen switches over to full-service lunch, with $7 tortas stuffed with barbacoa, Baja fish, pepita-crusted tuna, Milanesa or fried avocado. You'll also be able to order Centro's unique Tijuana-style tacos perrones with either short-rib barbacoa, chorizo and sweet potato, chile-braised chicken, or grilled panela cheese on a flour tortilla. Other lunch items include Baja tacos, salads — like a Mexican Niçoise or grilled shrimp — and two new soups. "“I just got back from a really inspiring trip to Tulum and I’ve got another adventure to the D.F. lined up for later this spring," says Coburn — so be on the lookout for even more good stuff coming to Centro soon.
Baur’s Restaurant and Listening Lounge
1512 Curtis Street
Downtown supper club and music venue Baur's recently rolled out some new menu items along with a new executive chef, Patrick McCready. Previous exec Robert Grant stepped back to enjoy more quality time with his family, but he's staying on to head the eatery's excellent charcuterie program. Baur’s new slate includes carrot tagliatelle with confit rabbit and black-garlic chips; lobster ravioli with beet greens, Brillat Savarin cheese and smoked duck consommé; rabbit cassoulet with lamb sausage and Colorado pinto beans; and porcini-dusted sturgeon with au gratin potatoes and red-wine-braised beef, to name a few. Brunch has also been added from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday (to get a jump on the weekend brunch crowd) through Sunday. For complete menu details and hours, see the restaurant's website.
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Baur's chef/proprietor Dory Ford has also launched his Aqua Terra Culinary catering company in Denver. Ford founded Aqua Terra in Monterey, California, five years ago and will offer Denverites the same approach to sustainable seafood combined with a dedication to seasonal, Colorado-grown ingredients. In addition to weddings, corporate events, galas and other private to-dos, Ford also oversees Aqua Terra Kids, a program dedicated to improving school lunches. For more information, check out the Aqua Terra Culinary website.
The Fort Restaurant
19192 Highway 8, Morrison
The Revenant was a big hit with Oscars voters and fans of Western history alike. And the folks at the Fort, Colorado's own culinary tribute to Western pioneers, love the way Leonardo DiCaprio took matters — and a whole bison liver — into his own hands when it came to chowing down like a fur trapper. That's why the Fort has added a limited-time buffalo liver starter to its already meat-heavy menu. The standard version comes sauteed with caramelized onion on crostini on the Historian's Platter, but Hugh Glass impersonators can order the liver raw with a side of mango chutney. The platter also comes with thin-sliced bison tongue, Rocky Mountain oysters (which didn't make an appearance on Leo's dinner table), guacamole and the Fort's famous peanut butter-stuffed jalapeños. A half order feeds two for $20, and a $30 full platter will feed four. The restaurant says the special will run through the end of March but could continue into the summer if customers show interest in feeding their inner mountain man.