Until the last year or so, small plates or tapas restaurants were plenty, but real Spanish food was harder to come by in Colorado. On Saturday, Boulder got a new such destination in the form of a fourth-story fine dining room with views over the Flatirons. Corrida now adds to the list of brand new Iberian food places along the Front Range, including El Five, Ultreia, Acreage, and Barcelona.
“People tend to forget about (Spanish food),” Corrida owner Bryan Dayton said. When Dayton first thought of the concept, a few years back after visiting Barcelona’s El Nacional market, most restaurants in the Denver area were focusing on cuisines such as Italian, New American, and Mexican, he said. “I was just feeling this void in the marketplace,” he added, “and Spain was the country I kept coming back to.”
For Corrida (the name was inspired by running with the bulls in Pamplona), Dayton secured the glassed-in fourth story of Boulder’s PearlWest building, the longtime former home of the Daily Camera, at 1023 Walnut Street. With a dining room and wrapped patio offering unobstructed views of the Flatiron mountains, Dayton expects it to be the type of place where people come to celebrate.
“The space deserves it,” chef Amos Watts said of creating an occasion restaurant that can be casual, too, with rooftop couches and fire pits. Watts previously served as the chef at Old Major and Acorn in Denver. Dayton also owns Acorn, Brider, and Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. For its part, Corrida is a steakhouse modeled after the cooking traditions of northern Spain’s Basque Country.
Charbroiled cuts are priced per ounce; chicken, fish, and vegetables are cooked over a wood fire. Paella is made in a large pan and served when ready until it runs out for the evening. There are tapas too, of course, ranging from the traditional Andalusian spinach and chickpeas, to a more modern version of Spain’s favorite potato dish, patatas bravas, tossed in beef fat. Watts takes a simple plate like wild mushroom sauté and serves it here with a gel of sous-vide egg yolk. To go with dinner is an impressive list of $60-$120 regional wines by the bottle (or glass), table-side gin tonics, vermouths, cocktails, and Spanish beers and ciders.
Eater photographer Jonathan Phillips captured the space ahead of its weekend opening.
Status: Corrida is open starting at 5:30 nightly for dinner, with brunch and lunch service forthcoming. Find it at 1023 Walnut Street, Suite 400, and for more information, check the website.