One of my go-to-spots is the Kitchen in Boulder, where head chef Matt Collier’s clean, farm-to-table cuisine shines every time, and servers know exactly how to dote on tables without interrupting the flow of conversation.

Recently I discovered two favorite dishes: The first is the thickly cut, oven-roasted Crego Farm lamb chops (pictured) rubbed with a subtle turmeric spice. The meat’s natural juices play off the dollops of creamy lime yogurt and milk chutney on top, and the glazed root vegetables balance the flavor and texture of fresh greens.

The second is the Royal Red Shrimp risotto where Collier has patiently coaxed the rice to absorb just the right amount of stock. Unlike many restaurants where the dish arrives undercooked, each rice kernel sports the ideal bite. The cozy pasta is enhanced with sweet, tender shrimp and a creamy base of crème fraîche and Parmesan brightened tarragon, Fresno chile, and pickled red onion.

This year when holiday guests arrive at my doorstep, I know just where I’ll take them.

1039 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-544-5973