Uncooked: Root Down rolls out raw food every Tuesday night

"I've been doing raw food for six years and was shocked when I moved from meat-and-potatoes Chicago to healthy Boulder and saw that there was such a big gap in raw food restaurants," says Daniel Asher, chef of Root Down and the former chef of Organic Orbit, a vegetable-focused Boulder restaurant that closed last year.

A former vegan, and later, vegetarian, Asher, who's also a certified raw food chef, joined the kitchen of Root Down last spring, and since then, he says, customers have expressed an interest in raw food, which, according to Asher, fits into the fabric of Root Down's menu. "This is such an omnivore-friendly restaurant, where no one feels weird about ordering whatever they want from the menu, and offering raw food is just one more layer of omnivorous cuisine," he explains.

A layer that Root Down now offers every Tuesday night from 6 to 10 p.m. Two weeks ago, the restaurant at 1600 West 33rd Avenue, began preferring a five-course, raw food menu, a decision, says Asher, that's been warmly embraced. "I wasn't sure what to expect, but so far, people are really jazzed up about it," he says. "Its almost as if people have been waiting for something like this to take root -- for a mainstream menu to offer raw food."

The weekly-changing board, which is organically sourced and completely gluten free, will pimp everything from Lacinato kale and citrus salad and fresh pasta primavera to dim sum and 70 percent Cacao mousse. "Raw food preparation is a very pure way of working with food," points out Asher. "There's nothing to manipulate or mask with cooking techniques like grilling or sautéing or steaming. It's all cold-prepping, and the ingredients just speak for themselves." By definition, raw food has not been heated over 118 degrees, leaving all natural enzyme and nutrient activity of the ingredients completely in tact.

The dinners are $42 per person, excluding tax and gratuity; call 303-993-4200 to get healthy.

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