Coming Down the Mountain.
When we last checked in with chef Travis Smith of Bistro Colorado in Evergreen, he was on his way to the 2017 Certified Master Chefs exam for a week of grueling tests of culinary skill and knowledge. Since then, he's closed his Evergreen restaurant, spent a year cooking food for athletes at the University of Wyoming, and helped a friend launch a restaurant in Greeley.
But now Smith and Bistro Colorado are back: He just took over the space at 675 South Broadway previously occupied by Assignments, the student-run eatery that was part of the defunct Art Institute of Colorado's culinary program. Coincidentally, the chef taught classes for the school in 2011 and 2012, just before launching Bistro Colorado, first as a food truck and then as the upscale mountain-town eatery.
While he's still running two Bistro Colorado food trucks, the restaurant is currently only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. Smith's culinary passion is grounded in French technique, so he promises plenty of Hollandaise sauce on the eggs Benedict, as well as omelets and other classic breakfast dishes, plus baked goods from Rebel Bread, which recently relocated from its original home in Curtis Park to right next door to Bistro Colorado.
But you'll also find plated and grab-and-go breakfast burritos with green chile, because Smith is a fan of local food. "I always felt like Colorado cuisine needed to be defined more when I first started out in this business," he explains. So for lunch, he offers a grass-fed beef burger alongside a much more French croque madame and a grilled goat-cheese sandwich with butternut squash soup.
Smith has also restarted his catering service and says he expects business to build quickly, especially considering the size of the kitchen he's working in. Since it was used as a classroom, it covers more square footage than the restaurant's actual dining room. Future plans include adding a liquor license and dinner service.
To reach this Bistro Colorado, head south on Broadway and take a right turn into the Denver Design Center just before the I-25 on-ramp. Lost? Look for "Articulated Wall," the towering yellow Herbert Bayer sculpture that longtime Denver residents call the "French fry stack." Smith will gladly share a few French fries of his own once you reach his place. Visit bistrocolorado.com or call 720-648-8800 for details and catering requests.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.