What: Seasonal cuisine that brings more to brunch than just omelets and benedicts.

Where: 1691 Central Street in LoHi

When: Now available Saturdays and Sundays 10am-2pm

Pros: Views of downtown, a light and welcoming atmosphere and one of the friendliest staffs in town, although the food itself is the biggest pro highlighted by the Tomato Salad ($12), easily the best salad I’ve tried all year.

Cons: If there was any downfall in Central Bistro’s brunch, it came with the Northside Steak Frites ($15). Though the fries and flavor-packed chimichurri almost saved it, the chewy texture of the steak was the only disappointing moment in a near-perfect meal.

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So you’ve successfully celebrated America’s (or ‘Merica…right?) Independence. Now what? Well if you celebrated right, a recovery brunch should be on your radar. And Central Bistro is the destination of choice if you’re ready for a brunch filled with innovative dishes and the freshest seasonal ingredients.

People often say that brunch is not a meal they like to go out for. Why spend hours waiting for a meal that can often easily be made at home? Central Bistro offers an answer to these people with a brunch that is so much more than typical.

IMG_9890Though the buzz at Central has been all about praising the revamped menu items from their new chef, Matt Selby, Selby himself is all about praising his team, including Chef Bowen Hosford and brunch-dish master, Chef Jesse Vega.

Though they do put out some classics like the Bistro Chilaquiles ($11) and their Fried Egg Sandwich ($11), the magic from this team lies in their ability to take not-so-common brunch items and make them feel comforting through expert execution of classic techniques and a healthy love and respect for seasonal adventure.

IMG_9799Like the Tomato Salad ($12), which takes the typical heirloom tomato salad of the season and adds corn, creamy avocado, and surprisingly in-season strands of spaghetti squash. Dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette and topped with shavings of hard, chili-rubbed goat cheese (aka Queso de Colorado) from Fort Collins’ Jumping Goat, this is easily the best salad I’ve tried all year.

Like the salad, “fresh” is the word that came to mind with every dish I tried, including the Baja Shrimp Tacos ($12).  The plate of three corntortillas filled with plump shrimp coated in a puffy yet crisp tempura batter delivered on Selby’s promise of a “classic done right.”

The Umami Fried Rice ($15), one of Selby’s personal favorites, brings all the comfort of fried rice along with the added bonus of scallops and flaky halibut along with delicate, cloud-like bites of frothed egg. If there was any downfall in Central Bistro’s brunch, it came with the Northside Steak Frites ($15). Though the fries and flavor-packed chimichurri almost saved it, the chewy texture of the steak was the only disappointing moment in a near-perfect meal, so it was a good thing there were plenty of tasty libations to wash it down with.

Central Bistro’s brunch cocktail selection has something for everyone. There’s $10 Endless Mimosas, one of the better bottomless deals in town, along with a solid spicy Bloody Mary for $7. Mules have been all over cocktail menus around town this year, and Central Bistro brings them to brunch with their Morning Mule ($8) that add OJ to this classic cocktail, making it entirely acceptable to drink a couple before noon.

Since Saturday brunch at Central Bistro is a recent addition, you can still catch a table without a wait. Plus they offer views of downtown, a light and welcoming atmosphere and one of the friendliest staffs in town, which makes this an ideal spot for post-holiday recovery.

All photos by Jackie Collins

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