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Kale, the Trendiest of the Greens, Makes its Mark in Denver Restaurants

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True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen
Photo: Adam Larkey

Time Magazine listed kale in its top 10 food trends of 2012 and Bon Appetit recognized the leafy green's influence when it chose Battersby's Kale Salad as its life-altering dish of the year. Kale has been popping up on menus everywhere in countless variations and Denver's eateries have joined the kale games featuring the green in everything from chips to juices, pasta fillings and countless salads. Here is what Eater found.

The Kitchen [Next Door] introduced Kale Chips on its opening menu in June 2011 and the item has been and remains one of the most popular ones. True Food Kitchen launched its Denver location with the Kale Aid (a kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger combo) on its fresh juice menu and it seems like every party in the restaurant has one of the green drinks on the table.

At Luca d'Italia, the Ricotta Cavatelli feature duck sausage, kale pesto, Pecorino Romano, and gigante beans Bittersweet's Maple Leaf Duck includes sautéed Tuscan kale, as well as smoked duck breast confit, figs, shallots, and a golden raisin reduction. At Central Bistro and Bar, kale makes it into the filling for the goat-cheese dumplings, a filling that also includes a lemony mascarpone. Chef Matt Marcheselli at Satchel's on 6th uses braised kale in the Lamb Ragu with freshly made pappardelle, tomatoes, Nicoise olives, and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Then there are the salads. By many accounts, the best kale salad around is Steve Redzikowski's creation at Oak at Fourteenth, featuring shaved kale and honeycrisp apple, parmesan, togarashi, candied almonds. Another crowd favorite is Udi's Power Salad, made with charred kale and tandoori sauce topped with Udi's hazelnut cranberry quinoa and complemented by julienned beets, carrots, radishes, arugula and edamame beans.

At TAG, chef Guard serves a Black Kale Salad with toasted almonds, heirloom carrot, shaved Pecorino cheese, Fuji apple, and a lemon confit Sriracha vinaigrette. Luca's d'Italia prepares a Tuscan Kale Salad with shaved Pecorino, pickled raisins, and crispy coppa. Uptown at Ace, guests can enjoy a salad made with lightly steamed kale, Asian pear, cucumber, and a cilantro tamari vinaigrette. And farther out, in Aspen at the St. Regis, Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE features chef Jenn Louis who launched a Raw Kale Salad with grapefruit, sheep's milk feta and pine nuts. There are many more, without a doubt.

· Bryan Dayton of Oak at Fourteenth On Trends And Light Alcohol Cocktails [EDen]
· Ryan Conklin of Euclid Hall On Beer Cocktails And Beyond [EDen]
· Trends: Fat-Washed Cocktails [EDen]
· Trends: Boozy Milkshakes [EDen]


16 East Martin Street, , NC 27601 (919) 977-3829 Visit Website

True Food Kitchen

2800 East 2nd Avenue, , CO 80206 (720) 509-7661 Visit Website

Tag Restaurant

1441 Larimer Street, , CO 80202 (303) 996-9985 Visit Website


1400 Pearl Street, , CO 80302 (303) 444-3622 Visit Website

Luca D'Italia

711 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203 303 832 6600