For almost five years, Platt Park's Gaia Bistro has been serving to-die-for breakfast and lunch dishes to crowds willing to wait for a table.
Now, there's a new reason to stop by the farm-to-table eatery: the dinner menu. The options epitomize the restaurant's commitment to local and seasonal ingredients, some of which are from the backyard garden. Take the roasted beet salad, for example. Mixed greens conceal three varieties of beets (candy-striped, yellow, and roasted-purple) and a sprinkle of Haystack Mountain goat cheese. Add the drizzle of balsamic-honey vinaigrette, and you've got a perfect warm-weather bite.
On a recent evening, I followed the salad with the seared lamb chop and couscous with mint, spring onions, and peas. The couscous was slightly overcooked, but that minor blunder was completely forgotten after a taste of the blueberry-red-wine sauce, which added a pleasant herb flavor (thanks to hints of rosemary) to the generally rustic dish.
If you go, save room for the $10, made-for-two slice of Grand Ma chocolate cake. The four-layer dessert is a creation of Vollmer's Bakery and manages to be rich without overwhelming the palate.
Note: Dinner is only available Wednesday through Saturday, and the spot closes early (either 8:30 or 9 p.m.).
1551 S. Pearl St., 303-777-5699