Cafe Society

Reader: Lance Barto's departure from Central Bistro & Bar is "shameful"

Lance Barto left Central Bistro & Bar, the six-month-old restaurant he helped create, "on good terms," says Isiah Salazar, Central's owner, who decided to let Barto go on New Year's Eve -- right before Barto cooked for a full house.

But even if Barto's departure was amicable, diners aren't feeling too friendly toward Central -- which Gretchen Kurtz just gave a very positive review last month -- and Salazar right now. Oh, and the "Hot" sign came in for some heat, too. See also: - Executive chef Lance Barto gets "pushed out" from Central Bistro & Bar - Review: Hot damn! Central Bistro & Bar redefines what a neighborhood restaurant can be - Slide show: a closer look at Central Bistro & Bar

Says Denver Dave:

Well, I guess having one of the most favorably reviewed restaurants in the city just isn't good enough for Mr. Salazar. Clearly, he doesn't understand what made his restaurant such an immediate hit with serious diners in Denver (it certainly wasn't Salazar's design sensibilities). I, for one, will never set foot in his restaurant again and I'm deleting my two 5 star Yelp reviews. Shameful way to treat a talented chef who put you on the map.

At least Barto landed on his feet: He's back cooking at Linger, where he'd worked before. "We definitely parted ways amicably," he tells Lori Midson, "but I'm heartbroken. It was my baby and I lost it, and the most heartbreaking part is that we've had nothing but super-positive feedback from guests and media, and it's so sad that I was pushed out of something that I helped create and was really proud of."

How did you like the food Bardo created at Central? Post your thoughts below or join the conversation already under way here.

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