Encore takes a (spring) break

Joining the throngs of kids on spring break this week is the staff of Encore, who are taking the week off to revive their mojo, while executive chef Paul Reilly creates a new menu and spruces up the joint. "A la Barolo Grill style, I'm giving the staff a week off," says Reilly, referencing the week that Blair Taylor, owner of Barolo, closes his restaurant to jaunt off to Italy with his own staff. "I don't think my staff is going to Italy, but they've been working their asses off, and they deserve a break," he insists.

Encore, which closes today and reopens on April 5, is also undergoing a slight makeover. "We're doing a few wear and tear updates this week, along with a little paint job and cleaning the oven," explains Reilly, whose kitchen is equipped with an oven that's very similar to the one at Oak at Fourteenth, the Boulder restaurant that's rebuilding after a fire broke out in the flue of its wood-fired oven. "We kinda figured that, after that happened, it would be a good idea to clean ours."

Reilly also has a few long-term renovation plans in store for Encore, but those won't happen this week. "We definitely need more room to accommodate our guests, and at some point down the line, we're going to reconfigure the space by taking the middle tables out of the dining room and replacing them with six booths instead," he notes. In addition, says Reilly, the space may get new carpeting, but that, too, is a future fix.

In the meantime, a new spring menu will grace tables when Encore unlocks the doors for lunch on Tuesday. April 5.

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