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Photos: Steuben's lightens up with revamped spring menu

With winter finally behind us, Steuben's Food Service has swapped out some of its heavier menu items for lighter springtime dishes that should be as "Steuben's" as the meatloaf and fried chicken in no time.

Executive chef Brandon Biederman looked to his team of chefs and sous-chefs to revamp the menu. And while he says he likes all of the new dishes, he is very fond of the handheld fried apple pie. "The apple pie is a necessity at this point," he notes, adding that he's eaten one every day this week.

See also: -Steuben's debuts a new late-winter cocktail menu -Denver's ten best macaroni and cheese dishes -Just in time for summer, Steuben's introduces a "boozy" milkshake menu

The new pie is the work of chef Cliff Blauvelt, who was challenged to make a fork-free dessert reminiscent of the Hostess fruit pies of days gone by. While the calorie count of this version of the traditionally heavy dessert is unknown, it's light and flaky, with the right ratio of apple and cinnamon filling, and tastes as good as any grandmother's. And it has the bonus of being portable, served in a paper sleeve from the food truck or the brick-and-mortar kitchen.

Sous-chefs Donny Carasco and Kevin Jackson worked their magic on the three-pepper grilled salmon. A piece of cold smoked Atlantic salmon is topped with shaved fennel, shallot and orange salad and laid over a lemon-herb Israeli couscous. The spice from the salmon rub balances with the tang of the couscous for a flavor celebration in every bite.

An exception to the lighter fare is the pork loin sandwich, something that Biederman's father used to eat. Dredged in flour and egg wash and seasoned with panko, the pork loin is served on a challah bun with Dijon mustard and shredded lettuce with a side of housemade bread-and-butter pickles. Order it with the optional fried egg to give it a little juice. Two new nightly specials worked their way onto the menu as well. On Monday, diners have the option to order the cured pork loin with peas and carrots. Created by sous-chef Cameron Mengel, the brown-sugar-and-salt-cured loin is plated on a bed of carrot puree and peas, crowned with pea shoots and seasoned with salt, pepper, apple juice and olive oil. It's a protein-heavy option that will leave you full but not feeling too full. The seafood paella combines sautéed shrimp, mussels and bay scallops over long-grain saffron rice; the rice is cooked with andouille sausage, bacon and onion, seasoned with paprika and smoked sea salt and finished with English peas. Sous-chef Fred Locklear has reinvented a weekend-morning favorite as the salmon lox and bagel salad. Mixing heirloom baby spinach and arugula with a shallot-balsamic vinaigrette, diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, teardrop- shaped sweet peppers, capers, lox and a shredded egg, the salad is sprinkled with bagel chips for added crunch.

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The new menu was launched earlier this month and is served all day Monday through Friday and from 4 p.m. to close on weekends. (Note: The lox and bagel salad is also available on the weekend brunch menu.)

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