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The Gift of Farm-Fresh Dining

By: Gina Cronin, Gina.Cronin@Gazette.com
December 5, 2016 Updated: December 5, 2016 at 11:18 am
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Freshen up your holiday eats this year at Till Farm-Inspired Open Kitchen and Mercantile in the Briargate area of Colorado Springs. The stunning 17,000 square foot farm-to-table open kitchen and market features artisan-crafted meals and light bites that are regionally and sustainably sourced. Upon entering the open kitchen, guests are greeted by a beautiful wood fire pizza oven. Even the sourdough for the delectable selection of sourdough pizzas is made using wild yeast that was born and bred here in Colorado Springs. Because the hand-crafted sourdough ferments for three to five days, it makes the bread easier to digest; even for many who are gluten-sensitive.

 

Till uses an open kitchen concept so guests can see everything in operation as their food is prepared. “The chef’s counter is my favorite place to seat guests. We are not trying to hide anything. We don’t have to worry about people seeing us opening packages of frozen and premade food and throwing it in the microwave, because we do not do that,” says Mike Ortelle, Director of Retail Operations. “You see us putting raw meat on the grill to cook a burger to your taste, and cutting fresh veggies and fruit on a wood block for your salad and carefully placing fresh fish into your sushi.” All the fish used on-site is flown in fresh every day from Santa Barbara, CA. The restaurant pays a premium for the fresh-caught salmon, crab and more to be flown in, but guests celebrate the top-notch quality.

 

The kitchen works directly with many local and regional farms and purveyors for its meat and produce, including Corner Post Meats, Arkansas Valley Organic Growers, Milberger Farms, Black Forest Aquaponics and One Town Farm. Till buys the whole chicken from the farm and breaks it down right in the shop, consciously using every part for different menu items. The same sustainable concept goes for the beef and pork, “We don’t purchase filet mignon or rib eye every day because it’s not sustainable,” says Ortelle. “If you have a herd of cattle you can’t just use one part every time. We want to be conscious of using the whole animal.” The restaurant serves a Colorado cut of the day, which may be a hangar steak, ribeye, filet mignon or flat iron, depending on availability. Some everyday menu favorites include pecan smoked beef short ribs, house made bread with whipped honey butter, and pancetta, pecorino, crema, egg and black pepper sourdough pizza.

 

Guests also have the option to sit at the exquisite bar and enjoy a nice beverage from a local distiller, or even lounge on the heated patio with fireplace that overlooks Pikes Peak and the Front Range. The bartenders use Axe and the Oak bourbon and whiskey and other locally-sourced spirits to craft thoughtful, homemade drinks. There is also a wide selection of local beers as well as an extensive and enticing wine list. On Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m, Till Kitchen serves a fantastic brunch. Offerings include mimosas, quiche of the day, hash of the day, eggs, biscuits and gravy, gluten-free cast iron pancakes and even lesser-known items like chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican breakfast food.

 

The mercantile end of the space focuses on cakes, French macarons, gelato, croissants and breads that are made fresh by hand daily. Also in this area of the building is The Roost at Till, which boasts a fast casual dining and community-oriented atmosphere using the same local-centric and region-centric approach. The Roost features grab-and-go pastries, steel cut oats, breakfast sandwiches, paninis, fresh squeezed juice and coffee from the local Switchback Coffee Roasters, among many other items.  “This city deserves a place where people can go enjoy the freshest food,” says Ortelle. “Everything we make in our market and kitchen is all touched by human hands, and that has a purpose and a passion behind it. It’s wonderful to know that the food people are putting in their body started as a whole ingredient that can be traced to its source.”

 

Check for traditional holiday classics on the menu this season and enjoy the greatest gift of all: pure, fresh, local and delicious food with loved ones.

 

Till Kitchen, 9633 Prominent Point, Colorado Springs. 719-282-8004. TillKitchen.com

 

 

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