As the weather has warmed (it’s hard to believe we were getting a nine inch snow storms just last month) Lyons Fork Chef Ian Rubenoff has been casting a critical eye on the herbs that are now in full bloom in the planting beds on the back patio when he arrives every morning for work. Smelling the redolent aroma of fresh basil, mint, thyme, chives, and tarragon his mind immediately begins to churn. . . “What new dish can I create to take advantage of this early summer bounty?”
The fresh herbs are not only a harbinger of summer, but they are also a sign that the Fork is again open on weekdays for lunch! That’s right, you don’t have to wait until 5 p.m. anymore to satisfy your gastronomic desires. Rubenoff has been putting together his “summer menu,” which he says, “Will be a work in progress, changing from month to month as new herbs and vegetables become available locally throughout the growing season."
Lunch at the Fork will be served Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the back patio is always in demand (weather permitting). The lighter summer fare includes a red leaf lettuce salad with pickled vegetables, Haystack Chevre, toasted almonds, with a basil vinaigrette. Or if you prefer, a pea shoot salad with radicchio, fennel, cornbread croutons with a roasted garlic and scallion dressing. Rubenoff has also come up with a variation on fry bread; his comes replete with housemade ricotta, asparagus, baby beets, and basil.
If you prefer a sandwich for lunch, you can choose from a grilled Colorado beef burger with gouda cheese, a gourmet BLT, a chicken breast sandwich with pablano/apple slaw and chipolte aioli, or a vegetable grilled cheese with Haystack Chevre, crimini mushrooms, pickled red onions, and a basil pesto. You can also opt for the curry-grilled shrimp with Israeli couscous, green beans, and a ginger tomato broth. For the kids, they have chicken strips or a grilled cheese sandwich, both served with green beans.
Proprietors Wayne and Debbie Anderson continue to bring in some of the finest small brewery craft beers from around the state like Upslope Craft Lager, Avery IPA, City Star Red Necktar, and Grimm Brothers Funky Snowdrop. Plenty of fine wines are available if that is what your palate is calling for, and the Fork is specializing in locally distilled spirits for their specialty cocktails. You might try a ginger mojito with Montanya rum, or a peel made with Templeton rye and orange bitters. A local favorite is a toasted almond made with Lyons own Richardo’s coffee liqueur, Amaretto, and cream. Other tasty treats include Lyons lemonade with Caprock vodka and lemon juice, or a gin hound using Spirthound gin, grapefruit juice, and ginger beer.
The Fork is open for dinner nightly from 5 p.m., until closing, and you can get brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.