Cafe Society

First look: Olive & Finch Eatery, Bakery and Market opens Friday in Uptown

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Her prepared salads, which hold center court in the display case near the front door, currently include, among others, a pasta salad with goat cheese, a kale salad and a black bean-and-corn salad, all of which are bright with bold flavors and made daily. "We'll rotate them out depending upon what's in season and what I feel like doing that day," says Nguyen. "What I love about Olive & Finch," she adds, is that "I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, and I get to have a lot of fun -- I'm not committed to doing Asian food, which is what my other restaurants are all about."

And unlike her other restaurants, Olive & Finch is also a market. A floor-to-ceiling, artfully arranged rack exhibits olive oils, chutneys, bags of locally-grown grains, pickles from the Real Dill, jarred preserved fruits from MM Local, picnic wrapping sets, organic spices, the same hand-sewn napkins that grace the tables, potholders and kitchen towels. "They're all my favorite products from Colorado and everywhere else," says Nguyen. And they're all for sale.

Here, too, you can order fresh-squeezed juices, and to coincide with her commitment to offering good-for-you options, Nguyen's menu even features a juicing guide, which outlines the health attributes of the vegetables or fruits that she juices. The juices, says Nguyen, who's been juicing for years, "are offered to help you cleanse, refresh, revive, rejuvenate and detoxify." My recommendation is to go with the "All in One," a blend of beets, apples, carrots, watermelon, cucumbers and ginger. I got one; I could have easily downed too.

And that's not all I drank (Nguyen also offers a small, but well-chosen -- and inexpensive -- beer and wine list)...or ate. In fact, I sampled quite a few things this morning while Nguyen and I talked. The photos of those dishes, along with a first peek at the space, are on the following pages.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson