There’s a reason May is National Salad Month – teeny weeny bikini, anyone? – but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a tasteless bowl of ice berg lettuce. Here are eight flavorful salads that will entice you to turn over a new leaf.
Rootdown: This hip Highland mainstay fills the plate with fresh and seasonal ingredients. For an explosion of flavors, try the roasted root vegetable salad created with maple mascarpone crostini, roasted pistachios, smoked prosciutto, herbed oil, balsamic reduction and complemented with apple cider dressed veggies and frisée (curly endive). The salad is available gluten-free as well as vegan.
1600 W. 33rd Ave.
Chianti: The signature Insalata Chianti is the way to go at this intimate Tech Center Italian eatery, with smoked bacon mushrooms, red onions, crumbled gorgonzola and aged ricotta cheese added to a bed of greens and drizzled with warm Champagne vinaigrette.
5121 S Yosemite St, Greenwood Village; 303-796-0611
Mizuna: Featuring chefs Frank Bonanno and Tony Clement, this Capital Hill restaurant offers a bit of crunch with its roasted asparagus salad, adding in crispy goat cheese wrapped egg and Mache greens, sprinkled with truffle vinaigrette. Don’t wait long to try it: The menu changes often based on local resources.
225 E. Seventh Ave.; 303-832-4778
Choppers: With more than 50 ingredients to choose from, you can create a salad at Choppers to please your every taste bud. For a low-cal option with fewer decisions attached, we suggest “The Health Nut” with baby spinach, candied walnuts, blue cheese, Craisins and mandarin oranges, and the recommended cilantro-lime dressing.
1765 Blake St.; 303-292-0748
5302 DTC Blvd., Suite 100, Greenwood Village; 303-771-1843
Denver Diner: Easily found thanks to its glowing pink and green neon on Colfax, this downtown diner offers a perfect chef salad: crisp lettuce and tomato wedges piled high with chopped ham, hardboiled eggs, shredded cheese and more. Crown it with your choice of traditional dressings – we choose a creamy variety for this one. And plan on sharing with a friend; this salad is massive.
740 W. Colfax Ave.
Citron Bistro: For a light meal as filling as any entrée, treat your palate to the chili seared salmon salad at this “new world” bistro. Created with tomatoes, sundried cranberries, roasted red peppers, nuts, cucumbers, spinach and raspberry vinaigrette, it’s accompanied by a toasted sheath of parmesan.
3535 S. Yosemite; 303-771-5800
Devils Food Bakery: You can’t beet this Wash Park cookery’s tasty salad of roasted beets and greens mixed with toasted almonds and cornmeal crusted goat cheese croquet, topped with shallot vinaigrette; add in chicken for $3. Reminder: No ringing cell phone allowed inside.
1020 S. Gaylord St.; 303-733-7448
Pasquini’s: So much more than a pizzeria, Pasquini’s tests our decisiveness with a long list of full-flavored salads. While the Misto may tempt you (arugala, sun dried tomatoes, chicken, artichoke, portobellos and feta), go with the classic Greek (feta, bell peppers, onions, kalamata olives, mushrooms and tomatoes).
1310 S. Broadway; 303-744-0917