It’s a great day to be a foodie in Colorado Springs. The dining scene is popping, with local chefs and restaurateurs upping the game of creative cuisine and new eateries. Here’s a snapshot of some of your sure-to-be new favorite restaurants.
Sound Bite: High end steakhouse brings chic, Miami-lounge style to town
Co-owners Sam Guadagnoli and Chuck Schafer have candidly called Prime 25 a place for millennials. Confirming that sentiment, 28-year-old executive chef Dylan Montanio is taking a lot of pride in creating Prime’s new spring menu. “Spring has so much variety,” Montanio says. “I want to present something with a lot of complexity, while it doesn’t appear so, with quality ingredients.” As Prime transitions into its first seasonal shift, a new executive pastry chef will be elevating the bakery program. Alaina Kashinskie, formerly of The Olive Branch and Till, will be providing sweet offerings to follow a prime cut. “The guest experience is my focus,” Montanio says. “Simple done right, paying attention to the food and what its going to do for the customer.”
Sampler: Scallops with black garlic sauce, Tokyo turnips, snap peas and fingerling potatoes.
Open: since January
1605 S. Tejon St., prime25.com
The Collective: A Social House
Sound Bite: Owners of east-side favorite restaurant Wobbly Olive launch an elevated dive bar
Sean and Inez Fitzgerald, owners of The Wobbly Olive, are partnering with Philip Arana to build their east-side brand with a corner bar concept, The Collective. “I’m a tremendous sucker for a dive bar,” Sean says. “So that’s ultimately what I wanted for The Collective: a watering hole, come as you are, home away from home for the locals.” But don’t expect another Olive. “We’ll be taking well-known, classic drinks with a twist,” Sean says. “Our inspiration behind the food was to take greasy spoon entrees and make them as fresh as possible: Chicago dogs, hand-dipped corndogs, Irish deviled eggs. It doesn’t need to be swanky to be good.”
Sampler: Specialty Moscow Mule menu including the likes of an Aviation, topped with ginger beer.
7702 Barnes Rd., thecollectivecos.com
IV by Brother Luck
Sound Bite: There’s a whole string of exciting restaurant openings. Here’s where to find your new favorite. Celeb chef explores the cuisine of the Four Corners region
Owner and chef Brother Luck wants to offer “a full sensory experience” in his new anchor restaurant, and this time, things are personal. “I’m researching the ingredients, the story,” says Luck, who is the fourth to bear his family name. His menu will draw from four people—hunter, gatherer, fisherman and farmer; the four seasons; and the four cultures that inhabited the Southwest—Native American, Spanish colonials, Mexican and European settlers. “That’s my identity,” Luck says. “I looked at my own history and realized the Southwestern part of the U.S. is a big part of my career. It’s a unique piece of the world. That’s what I want to cook, and that’s what I do best. I’m learning myself, and I want to be creative.”
Sampler: Duck confit glazed with mole negro with watermelon radish pico de gallo
321 N. Tejon St.—in the old Coquette’s, chefbrotherluck.com
Coquette’s Bistro & Bakery
Sound Bite: The queens of gluten-free actualize their New South End dream space, complete with ample patios
The renowned gluten free restaurant and bakery is growing again and adding to the buzz of south downtown. “People love what we do, and we’re sticking with it,” says co-owner Michelle Marx. “We’re just adding some things: a few more options on the menu and really amping up our bar.” Coquette’s will be offering pizzas, favorite crepes, an expanded wine list and new, fun cocktails. As for ambiance, expect an indoor fireplace and lots of outdoor seating. “This is our dream space, and it’s everything we wanted to be able to give to the community,” Marx says. “It’ll be so good to have everything we do under one roof.”
Sampler: Coquette’s will continue to bake its proprietary flour blend into GF goodies like pumpkin chocolate bread, cake pops and whoopie pies.
616 S. Tejon St., coquettesbistro.com
But Wait, There’s More!
Johnny Nolan closes beloved Southside Johnny’s but will add this chef-driven, west-side industrial gastropub.
The Lyons-based craft beer leader brings one of its chef-inspired, beer-required fooderies to the heart of downtown this summer.
Pub Dog Colorado
The first restaurant in the state where it’s legal to bring your pup indoors while you enjoy that craft brew. Coming in April.