When Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk opened their Boulder flagship, called simply The Kitchen, nearly 10 years ago, the ethicurean movement had just begun to take shape. Today, concepts like sourcing from local farms, recycling, composting and giving back to the community are mainstream - but they're still at the core of what's now a full-fledged restaurant group, encompassing The Kitchen Denver, and Upstairs and The Kitchen Next Door, also in Boulder. As of tomorrow, another Next Door will join the family when it opens at the City Set development in Glendale. And come summer, a third will have opened in Union Station, while The Kitchen's latest outpost will be up and running in Fort Collins.
The newcomer shares much in common with its older sibling - from its airy, streamlined vibe to its rotating selection of 10 Colorado craft beers, supplemented by kegged wines and cocktails. Executive chef Kyle Mendenhall's gastropub-y menu, too, is basically the same, though Anthony "Sal" Salazar is manning the stoves here. And as at the Boulder branch, Matheson and Musk will reserve a portion of the proceeds for their nonprofit efforts to plant Learning Gardens in area schools, so you can eat well and do good at the same time. Now, a slide show full of dishes to look forward to.
658 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale; 303-757-0878
The ever-popular beet burger comes with feta, arugula and balsamic onions on an Udi's bun.
Kale chips, another signature, are fried in peanut oil in a dedicated fryer to ensure they're gluten-free.
The English-born Matheson based these addictive garlic smashers, sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley, on a potato dish he used to enjoy at a pub across the pond in Devon.
Coated in a honey-sriracha sauce, Next Door's wings undergo a three-step process of poaching, frying and grilling.
Chunky tomato sauce and sautéed greens lighten this grilled veggie loaf filled with mushrooms and carrots, then set atop cheese-flecked soft polenta.
Rich, soothing bangers and mash features housemade sausages made with braised pork shoulder and oats. Pictured in back is the Learning Garden kale salad, with carrots and almonds in apple vinaigrette. $2 from each sale goes toward the namesake nonprofit.
Whether served on a bun, alongside coleslaw or atop an arugula salad, the tangy sockeye-salmon salad is one of Matheson's personal favorites.
The slow-roasted pork sandwich gets its kick from salsa verde.
Stop by on Mondays for the weekly special: fish tacos with all the classic Baja-style trimmings.