To the Wind Bistro sits quietly alongside the noise of East Colfax Avenue, its large windows shielding diners from the commotion of traffic, neighboring bars and the Bluebird Theater, well within earshot. Though the bistro may be a more subtle destination on the block than some of its neighbors, the food and intimate dining room — with only a handful of tables and a four-seat chef's counter — create an experience worthy of a night out on the vibrant street.
The short menu changes often and with the seasons, limiting how hard a customer can fall for menu items, although a few favorites — the roasted marrow bone, for example — have remained to draw you back. To the Wind is a good option for those of us on a budget, because the short roster of creative appetizers gives a clear taste of what Oliveira has to offer, as well as a full stomach, because the portions are a good size for the price.
When eating rich food, an acidic beverage is a good way to balance out the meal. The beer choices at To the Wind are always well thought out, though they do tend to rotate. Look for Birds of Paradise from Cerebral Brewing; the sourness from the fermentation and the use of fruit is balanced by the addition of lactose in the brew. If it's not in stock, ask for a recommendation for something a little tart and a little smooth.
Wrap up the meal with the TTW “poutine,” which replaces the traditional French fries with a light, crusty waffle, which holds up well to a mound of pork shoulder and spicy tomatillo sauce. A cauliflower and arugula salad adds refreshing brightness to the dish.
To the Wind Bistro is an intimate cafe that feels like a home away from home, making it hard to leave once your dining experience is over. It's a rare night that you don't find Oliveira in kitchen and waving to customers between dishes as they walk by.
Have a beer each, share the three dishes between two people — and then have a serious conversation about who gets the bone marrow whiskey luge. The damage is just $53, or $26.50 per person:
Bone marrow: $14
Poached Blake’s Pride pear: $9
TTW “poutine”: $10
Laws whiskey luge: $6
Two Cerebral Brewing Birds of Paradise: $14
To the Wind Bistro is located at 3333 East Colfax Avenue and is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Call 303-316-3333 or visit the restaurant's website for more information.