First Look

Colt & Gray opened its patio with 150 of its closest friends

By 9 p.m. last night, most of the diners and imbibers who'd come for Colt & Gray's patio party had bid their adieus, but the party was still going strong, with the stragglers joining the staff for a couple of rounds of poker and one last glass of cachaca punch.

Over the course of seven hours, the restaurant brought summer in with style, celebrating the opening of outdoor dining with 150 guests who noshed on smoked pork and barbecued chicken and tiny carrot-cake cupcakes, washed down with Avery beers or a cocktail or two. The staff joined the party, too. Chefs tossed a Frisbee with restaurant regulars, and the barmen posted up at picnic tables and indulged in an IPA with drinkers.

The event carried the air of the best backyard barbecue of the summer -- only the food and drinks were better. That left party-goers hungry for more, loudly musing that Colt & Gray should host a $35 all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair every weekend.

"Maybe we'll do another one to close it down in the fall," said chef-owner Nelson Perkins, "The restaurant might smell like the smoker for weeks."

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk