Bacon Bleu Burger
The Greenbriar Inn, 8735 N. Foothills Highway, Boulder, greenbriarinn.com
A fireplace at the end of the room, a black-and-white movie on mute, cozy booths, mahogany everywhere and, frankly, alarmingly friendly service — the Greenbriar Inn might have the best bar in the country; or, at least, the most underrated in the county. If oysters, fois gras, beef Wellington, “a ‘study’ of carrots” and other fine dining fare is what you want, the Greenbriar has that for you in its dining room. But if you want a bar that embraces you like a parent’s love or summer campfire smoke, turn left at the entry. The bar menu includes unique cocktails and affordable food classics, including the bacon bleu burger — applewood-smoked bakon, buttermilk bleu cheese, caramelized onion aioli and a mighty, char-grilled beef patty. $16.
Cappellos Grain Free Ravioli
Shine Restaurant and Potion Bar, 2480 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, shineboulder.com
Stuffed with fresh chèvre, arugula and a delightfully robust combination of herbs, these grain-free ravioli pies are the special kind of decadent that won’t leave you feeling heavy or overly full. Served over a bed of massaged and seasoned arugula, the tomato basil and cashew cream sauce covers the ravioli in a coat that’s thick on the palate and light on the stomach. We went with grass-fed lamb over the option of chicken, and enjoyed the combo of savory shredded meat and creamy Italian flavors. The kitchen is 100 percent gluten-free, and everything on the menu is made from scratch. $29.
Flourless Chocolate Torte
The North End at 4580, 4580 Broadway, Boulder, northendboulder.com
If you’re one of those people who “literally can’t stop” with chocolate, then the flourless chocolate torte at the North End at 4580 is for you. If your thoughts on chocolate come in shy of that, then the torte is for you and one to three friends. Decadent chocolate as rich and deep as a forest in a German fable consumes the palate. It’s got a thick, chewy texture close to fudge, which is offset by a tart blackberry custard and creamy vanilla bean ice cream. You want this. $8.
Prime Rib Hash
Spruce Farm & Fish, 2115 13th St., Boulder, spruceboulderado.com
Seeing prime rib hash on Spruce’s menu made us immediately think it should be on every menu. Fortunately, the actual offering lived up to the idea of it. Two eggs over-medium canopy shredded, house-smoked prime rib, onions, red pepper, potatoes and horseradish cream. The prime rib is tender and
peppery, and the horseradish cream is the electricity on the plate the fork is attracted to. $11.95.