At Root Down last week, the moment the server set down a white bowl of rhubarb risotto, I knew I was in for a layered sensory experience.

It started with the colorful visuals: crimson cubes of rhubarb, deep green peas and spears of spring asparagus, frilly strips of radicchio, and burnished brown walnut halves. It continued with the textural interplay: crunchy-cold slices of Asian pear atop chewy-warm spoonfuls of al dente risotto. Add in the various flavors—the sour fruit, the buttery rice, the candied nuts—and you’ve got a dish that takes honors as this year’s most memorable late-spring, early-summer celebration. Food doesn’t get any more satisfying than this.

Tip: Reserve (well in advance) a seat on Root Down’s downtown-facing patio.

1600 W. 33rd Ave., 303-993-4200