Last night, the team from Boulder's popular Oak at Fourteenth restaurant opened Acorn, their new eatery at The Source in the RiNo neighborhood. Chef Steve Redzikowski and beverage director Bryan Dayton, co-owners of the two restaurants, are now dishing out eclectic American cooking and creative crafted cocktails in an approachable and more casual format that what guests have previously experienced in Boulder.
Redzikowski has spent 15 years in the food industry, notably working at Aspen's Little Nell and helping to open Boulder's acclaimed Frasca Food & Wine. The chef also worked in California's Sonoma Valley at Cyrus. Dayton is a certified sommelier and graduate of the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) program who used to oversee the beverage program at Frasca Food & Wine since the opening of the Friulian restaurant.
The two opened Oak at Fourteenth in November of 2010 and re-emerged a year later after a fire that ravaged the restaurant in March of 2011. Now there is a second location, one that offers the chance to be more casual, try new things, and expand on something that was recently launched at the Boulder outpost: shared plates.
Sharing seems to be the food philosophy at Acorn, which boasts a menu split into smaller plates and larger plates, all conducive to being enjoyed by the whole table. The family-style nature of the food presents opportunities for items like shrimp and grits, whole roasted chicken, and whole roasted pork shoulder (56-ounce of it!). At the core of the menu is the restaurant's rustic wood-fired grill. Redzikowski plans to install a wood-fired rotisserie for whole-animal roasting on the patio.
Acorn's cocktail menu is more expansive than the one at Oak, featuring, among others, a cocktail on tap— a whiskey soda flavored with apples and spices. Guests should not miss the Momo RiNo and Crossing the Tracks. Also available are craft beer on tap and a small-batch wine list.
One of the goals of the design at The Source, an artisan food-centric market featuring 15 businesses, is to keep an open communal space between vendors and customers. In that vein, Acorn offers 15-seat bar opposite the open kitchen or dine in the 30-seat mezzanine space which overlooks the kitchen and chef's counter. Whether it's pork roasting or cocktail mixing, patrons get to watch it all in the making.
Acorn will be open daily for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. In a couple of weeks, the restaurant will also open for lunch.