At Salt the Bistro in Boulder, I sipped the most refreshing cocktail I’ve had all summer: the Fresca con Fuego. Farm-fresh, muddled strawberries mingled with Casa Noble Reposado, serrano peppers, fresh-squeezed lime juice, agave nectar, and a dash of house-made chipotle syrup for the most exciting of flavor combinations. The drink served as a gateway to chef-owner Bradford’s Heap menu, and in particular the ravioli small plate.

Drawn in by the aroma of the nutty brown butter surrounding the single ravioli, I quickly cut into the six-inch pasta round to reveal a filling of softly cooked local duck egg and house-made ricotta with a chiffonade of sautéed local chard and shredded carrot. Topped with a squeeze of lemon and fresh basil, parsley, and tomato, the flavors were the essence of summer. I bolstered the ravioli with a small plate of the crispy duck leg confit (pictured) with Anson Mills blue corn polenta, fresh arugula, and smoked and pickled cherries: It was the crowning touch to a satisfying meal.

Tip: Sign up for chef-owner Bradford Heap’s al fresco farm dinners at the Lyons Farmette.

1047 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-7258