It wouldn’t be unusual for a Boulder chef to bike to local farms to pick up seasonal produce or to seek only natural, humanely raised beef. But when that chef comes from the Boulder Cork, diners do a double take.

The Cork, in business since 1969, may look like an old-fashioned steak house, but its philosophy has always been cutting edge. Executive chef Jim Smailer, the man behind the burners for nearly 30 years, was a pioneer in the local movement, gathering products from nearby farms and farmers’ markets long before it was vogue.

His never-ending commitment to quality has attracted generations of diners, who pack the cozy dining room for timeless favorites such as the slow-roasted prime rib served with silky mashed potatoes, or the sake-marinated salmon accented with ginger-soy butter and seasonal stir-fried vegetables. End with a decadent Aztec chocolate pot de crème or Smailer’s fresh-fruit crisp, and you, too, will be back for more.

Tip: These dishes and many more are featured on the Boulder Cork’s Early Dinner Special menu: From 5 to 6 p.m., three full courses run only $23.95 (plus tax and tip).

3295 30th St., Boulder, 303-443-9505