The three-week-old Colt & Gray bills itself as a gastro pub—a public house with high-end eats—but even so, I didn’t expect to find a dish as delicate and sweet as the scallop carpaccio. Chef-owner Nelson Perkins prepares the paper-thin mollusks so simply that they still taste like the sea. The judicious sprinkling of black tobiko and lemony microgreens add just enough texture and interest, while still allowing the scallops to shine.

Staying true to the main ingredient was a theme I found throughout the dinner and lunch menus. Be it the herb-crusted rack of lamb with glazed lamb belly, decadent lobster “bangers” & “mash,” or the truffle turkey burger—each dish tasted, blissfully, of itself. But make no mistake: This is not plain, what-you-see-is-what-you-get dining. Instead, Colt & Gray’s cuisine is exciting and compelling—to the point that it reminds me of the excellent Publican in Chicago.

1553 Platte St., 303-477-1447