Two emerging trends I can really get behind are Scandinavian-influenced cuisine (something we're seeing locally at Trillium, Charcoal Restaurant, and Bittersweet) and hard cider. Quaff the dry, barely sweet elixir—no Woodchuck here—at spots such as Ghost Plate & Tap, Osteria Marco, Ale House at Amato's, or Euclid Hall, and experience the next wave of craft brewing.
In June, beer guy Brad Page (a co-founder of CooperSmith's Pub & Brewing in Fort Collins) launched Colorado Cider Company. He's turning out subtle, woodsy ciders—Glider Cider, Dry Glider Cider, Grasshop-Ah, and Ol' Stumpy—that are as food-friendly as beer or wine. I'll be honest: I'd never considered pairing cider with a meal until this summer when I dined at the highly acclaimed L2O in Chicago. One of the dishes (tripes à la mode de caen) on the seven-course tasting menu was served with a goblet of musky Normandy cider. The combination—earthy, heady, and even a little dank-tasting—was riveting.
A couple months later, I sipped Colorado Cider Company's Dry Glider Cider at one of EatDenver's Harvest Week dinners. And now, I scan menus to see if there's a cider listed—if there is, I'll order it.
Try it: Stop by the Colorado Cider Company's tasting room (2650 W. Second Ave., #10, 303-759-3560) Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.