Bittersweet opens just in time to beat the 2011 ball drop

Bittersweet, Olav Peterson's new garden-to-table restaurant at 500 East Alameda Avenue opened on New Year's Eve, after a series of unexpected construction delays that turned the dining room into an igloo, thanks to gale-force winds whipping through a light socket.

But the kinks have been fixed, and the dining room, bedecked with fireplaces etched with pre-Civil War mantles and a combination of modern and antique furniture, much of it salvaged or procured from estate sales, is buzzing with warmth.

And, says Peterson, New Year's Eve went off without a hitch. "It went really, really well, especially since we were touch-and-go every day, but we had a surprising number of people and a solid, cohesive staff who did a fantastic job."

Over the next few weeks, Peterson will continue to add the finishing touches -- hanging pictures and mirrors, building the flower and garden beds and adding a few more decorative elements to the dining rooms -- but for the most part, he says, the last day of 2010 marked a sweet beginning to 2011.

The restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 to 10 p.m. For more info, call 303-942-0320.

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