There's a thin line between comfortable and casual, and it's one that Chad's Grill walks easily. Although the prices are reasonable and the vibe is laid-back, the extra touches of a polished interior and a surprise or two on what could have been an ordinary bar menu take Chad's to the next level. And that's a level you can experience as a vegetarian diner, too.
The grown-up mac-and-cheese features penne coated with smoked gouda cheese, mixed with asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes, and topped with a parmesan crust. The veggies and smoked gouda add a grown-up touch: In fact, there's nothing childish about this creamy bowl of decadence with al dente pasta and a lovely balance of ingredients.
Another pasta entree, the penne basil pasta, tosses penne with tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, Romano cheese, white wine and basil pesto. The pesto contains cheese, so this dish can't be made vegan, either -- but it's a delicious option for a vegetarian.
When we stopped in, the daily special was roasted Brussels sprouts served with a tangy aioli sauce. With veggies that were crispy-sweet and tender all at once, this was a special that deserved the term.
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Chad's is at 275 Union Boulevard in Lakewood; call 303-988-5666 or visit http://chadsgrill.com.