Go Now: Oak at Fourteenth

November 30 2010, 11:00 AM

The recently opened Oak at Fourteenth is another notch in Boulder's culinary belt, further proving that Boulder is indeed “America’s foodiest town." The restaurant's New American menu combines innovative cocktails, beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages (don't miss the refreshing cucumber soda or the robust, brewed-by-the-cup java from Boulder-based Boxcar Coffee Roasters) with exquisitely prepared, rustic cooking.

Owned by mixologist and Frasca Food and Wine alum Bryan Dayton, talented executive chef Steven Redzikowski (also of Frasca, Montagna at the Little Nell, Cyrus Restaurant, Jean Georges, and Le Cirque), and general manager Annie Polk, Oak hits all the right notes of upscale but cozy. The updated space (once the home of 14th Street Bar & Grill) blends the well-worn feel of Salt Bistro with the patina of The Kitchen—and it's lovely.

The food follows suit with dishes like the crispy rock shrimp—a delicate starter of tender, lightly battered crustaceans touched with a drizzle of sweet-and-spicy basil sauce—or the addictive, fried, farm pickles served with a green goddess aïoli. Another don't-miss  appetizer is the earthy, wood-oven-roasted cauliflower with a caper-and-raisin vinaigrette. Entrées, including the succulent wood-fired Colorado lamb T-bone, are finessed and satisfying.

Bonus: Save room for desserts. We recommend the playful root beer float served with chunks of rich chocolate brownie.

1400 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-3622