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Colterra210 Franklin St., Niwot, 303-652-0777
Niwot, a small town in the heart of north Boulder County's organic farmland, seems an apt spot for a locally focused, sustainable-minded chef to open a restaurant. And that's just what chef-owner Bradford Heap has done at Colterra (which means "to cultivate the earth" in Latin). The menu leans heavily on Colorado ingredients, and Heap taps several local farms for produce (Oxford, Cure, and Full Circle), cheese (Haystack and MouCo), and meats (Lassater Ranch, Coleman Ranch, and King Canyon Buffalo). As he cooks he gently coddles and balances each ingredient's flavor and evokes seasonal notes. Case in point: One late-summer meal of crispy duck breast with soft duck confit polenta, local carrots, summer squash, raspberry, and caramelized honey tasted of long sunny days and harvest.
Heap's training with some of the world's best chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Georges Blanc, and Carlo Cioni, perfectly prepared him for this venture. And Colterra's menu, inspired by the classics of Southern France and Northern Italy, brings new sophistication to Niwot.
Opened May 2007
Best Bites Local roasted beets, local greens, chévre, and walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette
Hot Seat Secure a table in the west room, or, in the warmer months, the tree-lined patio.
Don't Miss Colterra's Sunday Suppers, a three-course prix-fixe dinner paired with wine. Wander the streets of quaint downtown Niwot before or after your meal.