Welcome to Eater Scenes, where Eater photographer Adam Larkey visits some of the city's great restaurants to capture them at a certain, and very specific, point in the evening. Today: Oak at Fourteenth, 7 p.m. on a Friday night.
Friday nights are the busiest nights at this Boulder restaurant, averaging over 250 dining guests and another 40 to 50 that arrive for a late night bite. Over 220 entrees are ordered each Friday and between 350 and 400 shared plates. One of the most popular dishes at Oak at Fourteenth is the Kale Salad so each Friday, before dinner service, the kitchen preps six 1/3rd pans of finely sliced kale. Tables are not easy to get without a reservation, but the restaurant ensures that 35% of seats are always reserved for walk-ins.
Prep in the kitchen, led by chef Steve Redzikowski, starts at 6 a.m. First up for the day is the bread baking - twelve loaves of bread are baked each morning in the wood fired oven - six sourdough and six Avery grain loaves. Then the team, comprised of five cooks, including one steward, goes into production. By the evening, the five cooks are replaced with another five that finish the day with the late night menu.
A highlight of the late night menu is the baked pretzels, which are handed out free of charge at 10:45 p.m. on first come first served every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Must-haves on the late night menu are Pete's chicken leg and the lamb sandwich.
Guests enjoy a variety of cocktails created by co-owner Bryan Dayton who shakes up the drinks alongside an army of bartenders. Look for the Eater Does It, a cocktail Dayton created for Eater Cocktail Week which remained on the menu.