We always wonder what goes through Chef Nate’s creative mind when he develops a new seasonal menu. What inspires him? What gets him excited?
While running between new recipe tastings and culinary meetings, Chef Nate gave us the scoop on this summer’s new items:
The BLT+A was such a memorable sandwich and we always get requests to bring it back. The season is right, so here it is! Part of what we love about seasonal menus is the chance to reintroduce awesome items that we can’t offer year round. The opportunity to revisit past favorites is really cool!
The Sausage: I love working with Polidori Sausage and their never-ever meats. They are a Denver-based, family-owned company that’s been producing and selling Italian sausage since 1925, and it is amazing.
The Sausage pizza was born from the idea of combining Polidori’s sausage with a very versatile lettuce called escarole. Its dark green leaves have a pleasantly bitter flavor and texture, and it allows me to use the entire head of lettuce creating little waste. Escarole is not ideal for salad, but it is great on pizza.
When working on the ingredients, I looked for flavors that would compliment both the sausage and escarole, and that is where the rich garlic crème fraiche came in. We make our own roasted garlic then add it to the crème fraiche for just a hint of garlic. Amazing! I love that we can offer a high-end gourmet pizza with upscale ingredients at a fraction of the price you’d pay someplace else.
Steakhouse: The idea for this salad started with co-founder Anthony wanting a premium steak salad. And since Easter I had wanted to do something with homemade horseradish. So we decided to really go over the top with a signature salad.
I incorporated escarole again which pairs nicely with the creamy richness of the blue cheese in the new, homemade dressing. The roasted grape tomatoes and pickled red onions add sweetness, and the horseradish dressing gives it a little bite. We are also very proud of the all-natural, humanely raised Black Angus steak we serve from Creekstone Farms, which we cook fresh all day every day.
The end result from all these quality ingredients is a pretty special salad with many new flavors.
Roman: I always wanted to offer a signature Caesar salad. We actually introduced the Roman a few years ago then moved to the Market Caesar. We thought we could do better, however.
I started by tweaking the dressing to make it more well rounded. Then I moved to the salad itself. The new Roman is more upscale. More refined. Roasted grape tomatoes add sweetness. I love the earthy flavor, depth and dimension the crispy kale adds. (Tip: You can balance rich flavor by adding kale.) Then I added house-made bacon bits. Yum! I love that we use the leftover bacon from the BLT+A in this salad. Everything gets used!
Goji Wheat: Bulgur wheat is one of my favorite ingredients. It is very healthy and easily digestible. It is also simple to cook.
When thinking of a bulgur wheat summer side dish, I knew I wanted to include goji berries. They are considered a superfood, which has made them all the rage right now, but they also taste great. The sweetness of the goji berry and Granny Smith apple combined with fresh, seasonal herbs and the nutty bulgur wheat create a very refreshing, healthy and filling side that nicely compliments any of our entrees.
Rainbow Carrots: These colorful carrots replace our balsamic glazed carrots because they are more in line with our food ideology. Flavor must be at the forefront and the rainbow carrots deliver. They pack a punch of flavor! While they may be more laborious to prepare – we cut the long, leafy green tops off, clean them then hand cut each one – they are well worth it.
I am very excited about our seasonal offerings, perhaps more so than ever before. They are full of complex flavors and textures not yet seen on our menu. I know you are going to love them just as much as I do. Enjoy!
We welcome you to our summer table. Sit down. Stay awhile. And enjoy the fresh flavors of the season. We’ll see you soon.