Harvest by Kelly Liken | VailDaily.com

Harvest by Kelly Liken

If Restaurant Kelly Liken is where you went for special occasion dinners, then Harvest by Kelly Liken is where you'll want to hang out on a weekly basis. It's a fun, community-gathering place with tasty food offered at approachable prices. And just like at Restaurant Kelly Liken, there's a big focus on seasonal, Colorado cuisine.

The new restaurant opened at the Singletree Golf Club in mid-June. The space, formerly occupied by Balata, underwent a full remodel and is now bright and airy, featuring beautiful barn-wood tables — including two community tables — dark wood floors, white marble countertops and bar tops, and modern light fixtures juxtaposed with wicker basket light fixtures.

The menu is filled with the sort of food Liken, a Top Chef alum and Food Network Iron Chef competitor, would cook for you at her own home: "homey, approachable, comforting," she says.

There's a selection of "Toasts" on the menu; thick-sliced multi-grain bread from Avon Bakery & Deli topped with combinations like tomato jam, fried egg and arugula. For lunch, opt for something that screams summer, like the heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, sprinkled with fresh mint, pickled red onions, arugula and feta cheese.

On the dinner menu, Liken is especially excited about the Snacks and Small Plates section, which she hopes will encourage folks to grab a beer or a glass of wine and a few small plates — perhaps a cheese or charcuterie plate, a pot of homemade pickles, a trio of deviled eggs — and hang out, without a big commitment.

"It creates a whole new reason to come to a restaurant," she says. "What I'm going for here is to create a neighborhood gathering place where folks feel good, are welcomed and want to spend a lot of time."

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With seven items under the "Vegetables" small plates section, the dedication to seasonal produce is clear. One of Liken's very favorites is the tempura baby artichoke, served with preserved lemon aioli, Castelvetrano olives and fresh parsley. "Salty and sweet, it's just the perfect starter," Liken says.

Craving more protein? A signature appetizer from Kelly Liken — the elk Carpaccio — is back. Or try the whole grilled chicken wings — an item Liken's made on television and for her family. The crispy, meaty wings have a sweet-and-spicy buffalo glaze and come with carrot, celery and blue cheese slaw.

Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to the large plates: think slow roasted pork shoulder, pot roasted organic chicken thighs and finally, the Harvest Burger, which merits highlighting.

"Everyone's favorite burger — but no one wants to admit it — tastes like a Big Mac," Liken says. And so, a mixture of chuck and short rib Colorado beef is topped with "everything everyone loves," namely Vermont cheddar, shredded lettuce, pickles, onion and special sauce, all on a sesame seed bun.

Snacks and small plates: $4-$18;
large plates: $14-$30

Modern, refined farmhouse
Signature dish
Tempura baby artichoke; whole grilled chicken wings; roast pork shoulder; Harvest Burger
kid friendly?
Yes, most definitely, including a very thoughtful, healthy kids’ menu and homemade popsicles for dessert