Beso de Arte's Latin flavors cater to vegetarian palates

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It's not too late to take advantage of Beso de Arte's gorgeous patio -- with a fantastic view of the hogback and a waterfall pond built into the structure. And not only does this Latin bistro boast one of the finest al fresco spaces in the metro area, but it allows diners to appreciate nature's bounty with dishes suitable for vegetarians -- and many of those dishes can be veganized for those full plant-based eaters.

See also: Empanada Express Grill is stuffed with vegetarian options

Last week was far from patio-worthy weather, but the bistro was nice and cozy inside. When the skies are dreary, Beso de Arte tends to be a little slower, with small clusters of two- and three-tops enjoying intimate meals in the stone-lined dining area. It was the perfect spot for a glass of wine, a chat with a friend -- and an excellent meal.

Pictured above is the vegetarian fajita platter, featuring grilled portobello mushrooms served on a sizzling skillet atop grilled poblano and red peppers and red onion. It's dished up with flour tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, tomato, vegetarian black beans and Spanish rice (and can easily be made vegan). There's a nutty taste to the portobello that gives it an extra oomph (grilled with peanut oil, perhaps?), and the ensemble is hot, fresh and a perfect warm-up for a chilly night.

Beso also offers several vegetarian-friendly appetizers that are more suited to a light dinner -- and substantial enough that you won't miss an entree. Pictured above is the bistro's fire-roasted artichoke, garlic and asiago appetizer; the crusty bread, veggies and superb olives served alongside this starter balance out the warm artichoke and roasted garlic nicely. And, of course, you can get the dish without the asiago if you desire. It's too chunky to be a dip, but everything is chopped finely enough that it's easily spread. There aren't many plant-based options for dessert, but if you're willing to let dairy and egg squeak through, the seven-layer chocolate cake -- topped with a sweet cherry sauce -- is freaking ridiculous. Be warned, it's massive ... too big for two women to finish off for sure, so you might have to argue about who gets to take the rest home.

Beso de Arte is open daily for lunch and dinner; visit besodearte.com or call 303-697-3377.

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