The chef continues to draw from her time spent living and working in Italy as well as from her family's Polish heritage (which shows up in a brunch omelet called We're Going Polish!, made with kielbasa and lemon-poppyseed goat cheese). For the dinner menu, Fox started with a list of inspirations that reads almost like a poet's first draft:
rain, wind, moss, grass, wet meadows, warm sunlight, blue skies, elation
buds, blossoms: scent of elderflower, mimosa flowers, hyacinths, lilacs, honeysuckles
the new earth smell of dirt, wild onions, morels, wild asparagus
birth, birds, nests, chicks, baby lambs, eggs, eggs and more eggs
first spring honey, spring butter, spring berries
changing ocean tides and temperatures, alpine melt, cold streams, clean water, white
Nettles foraged in Oregon are puréed with potatoes into an emerald-green soup with a tight coil of roasted porchetta serving as a meaty foil to the bitter herb (don't worry, cooking nettles eliminates the sting). Another foraged ingredient, tiny beech mushrooms, are smoked and marinated in a jar alongside housemade crackers. (You're likely to notice the Bindery's extensive baking program when you walk past the bakery counter on the way to the dining room.)
Proteins on larger entrees are given special attention, too. Lamb chops are soaked in an Earl Grey tea brine, while a sizable tomahawk pork chop is brined in the leftover whey from the burrata; Fox says Italians are fond of using milk to help tenderize meat before cooking. For her New York strip steak, she makes a black-pepper butter by first creating a confit black-pepper oil. The salt-and-pepper theme of the dish is completed with salt-crusted new potatoes.
Because of her experiences working as a chef in Italy, France and Mexico, Fox's food doesn't fit into easy categories. She calls it "hybrid" cuisine, borrowing techniques from influences as diverse as Jewish restaurants in Rome, Spanish tapas bars, Mexican beachfront seafood shacks and Colorado's small-farm bounty.
You can sample the Bindery's spring-dinner menu Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. and Sunday until 9 p.m. The new brunch menu is served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 303-993-2364 or visit the Bindery's website for details and reservations.