Last November, Boulder chef Bradford Heap announced he was taking over the PastaVino space (prime Pearl Street real estate that sits between the Kitchen and Heap’s restaurant Salt the Bistro). Since that time, the seafood-focused restaurant had remained unnamed—until now. Wild Standard is slated to open September 12, and Boulder hasn’t seen anything like it before.

For those who have dined at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, the concept will seem familiar. Wild Standard will feature a full menu and an exquisite raw bar but the real draw, Heap believes, will be the ever-changing collection of small-bite appetizers that will circulate the dining room via trays and hand carts. The plates will run $3 to $8 and they will constantly change throughout the evening. “It’ll be the best hors d’oeuvres party you’ve ever been to,” says Heap, who expects to do something along the lines of 1,000 to 1,200 of these plates a night. His intention is to sell out of selections so that diners never seen the same tray twice.

Heap is transparent about his muse: He and his staff have dined at State Bird (which has won multiple accolades, including James Beard awards for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef: West), and Heap and chef/co-owner Stuart Brioza have become friendly. “I told Stuart ‘I’m so inspired by your idea that I want to emulate it for my seafood restaurant,’ ” Heap says. “It’s a great innovation for the restaurant industry.”

Rather than a traditional, sit-down spot where you order from the menu and wait to be served, Wild Standard’s experience will be more spontaneous (fun) and less scripted (staid). “It’s almost like a fish swimming by—if you don’t pluck it out of the water, you won’t get it.”

Having dined at State Bird myself, I can hardly wait to see how Heap and his team put their own spin on the concept. One thing is for sure, with Heap’s undying dedication to nonGMO products and the best possible ingredients, Wild Standard’s food will be of the utmost quality.

1043 Pearl St., Boulder

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.