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Best of the Springs Expert Picks: Dining

April 17, 2017 Updated: April 19, 2017 at 11:17 am
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photo - Bistro on 2nd "Liver and Onions" - Milk-soaked calves liver double dragged in flour perfectly sautéed medium-rare topped with bacon and sautéed onions served with mashed potatoes and charred Brussels sprouts Thursday April 6, 2017.  Photo by Jeff Kearney.
Bistro on 2nd "Liver and Onions" - Milk-soaked calves liver double dragged in flour perfectly sautéed medium-rare topped with bacon and sautéed onions served with mashed potatoes and charred Brussels sprouts Thursday April 6, 2017. Photo by Jeff Kearney.  

Click here to see the 2017 Best of the Springs winners.

LOBSTER ROLL

BONNY AND READ FRESH SEAFOOD & STEAKS

101 N. Tejon St., 896-4145, bonnyandreadseafood.com

What's not to love about perfectly poached big chunks of juicy lobster mounded into a buttery toasted bun? Josh Kelly, executive chef, knows his way around creating this delicious crustacean treat. The butter-warm roll complements the sweetness of the delicate shellfish. The claw and leg meat are lightly dressed with seasoned mayo before being heaped on a leaf of butter lettuce inside the bun. There you have it. Hand-held lobster love.

 

CHILI EN NOGADA

PROVECHO - FRESH MEXICAN CUISINE

3240 Centennial Blvd., 227-8525, provechocs.com

Chili en nogada is a classic Hispanic dish found in eateries in and around Mexico City. It's delivered here courtesy of restaurant owners Carole and Jorge De La Fuente. Jorge, the chef, oven-roasts a large poblano pepper, which he peels and removes the seeds from inside. A stuffing made of a blend of three ground meats, raisins and walnuts is packed inside the pepper. The oven-hot stuffed chili is drenched with creamy room-temperature white nogada walnut sauce. The finishing touch is a shower of crimson, glistening pomegranate seeds. The combination of spicy meat with a hint of sweet raisins, combined with the mild hotness of the poblano and the velvety texture of the sauce, is amazingly delicious. The tart crunch of pomegranate seeds makes for a fiesta in your mouth. The dish was designed to represent the colors of the Mexican flag: green pepper, white sauce and red pomegranate seeds. ¡Olé!

 

LIVER & ONIONS

THE BISTRO ON 2ND

65 2nd St., Monument, 481-8822, thebistro2nd.com

Calf's liver is one of those love or hate entree options. I get that. I happen to be a fool for this organ meat, along with sweetbreads. When Rick Velliquette, a veteran in the restaurant business, opened his eatery late last year, he didn't have liver on the menu. So on a recent visit when I saw it on the menu, I was surprised. Turns out he's a fan of offal, too. Upon the first bite, I knew this liver was special. Why? First, he sources it from the superior Lombardi Brothers Meat Packers in Denver. Second, he uses his family recipe, which has been passed down for generations. The 8-ounce portion of liver is soaked in milk, double-dredged in flour and perfectly sautéed to medium rare. It's topped with crispy, chopped bacon mixed with sautéed onions. He serves it with buttery mashed potatoes, natch. And veggies to round out the dinner.

 

HAWAIIAN-STYLE POKE

TILL KITCHEN & MERCANTILE

9633 Prominent Point, 282-8004, tillkitchen.com

The stunningly beautiful presentation of this dish is a feast for the eyes. Jerry Castro, executive chef, sources some of the freshest fish that can be found for this lovely restaurant. The ahi tuna is seared to form a delicious crust while leaving the center rosy-red raw. Bright green seaweed is tossed with finely chopped onion and jalapeños, which gets dressed with a fragrant sesame seed dressing. The finishing touch is a tangy paper-thin slice of fried lemon. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

 

GREEN AND RED CHILI

LA ROSA SOUTHWESTERN DINING

25 Colorado 105, Palmer Lake, 368-7676, larosasouthwesterndining.com

"It's all about the chili," says co-owner Marina La Riva, whose family heritage of fine Hispanic cooking is reflected in La Riva's menu. If you are a fan of New Mexico-style food, with soulful, earthy-flavored, brick-red chili and roasted smoky Hatch green chili, this is the place to find it. So like a chili addict, I have to get my fix at this quaint homey cafe as often as possible. And when I learned La Riva was canning the red and green numbers for sale, that was even a better reason to drop in. If you have a notion to purchase the bottled chili for use at home, call before making the drive. It sells out fast.

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