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This weekend, take advantage of a patio less than an hour from the city.  Indulge in the warm sunlight, filtered through 100 year old tree branches while you enjoy what I refer to as “Colorado Comfort Food,” healthy, Colorado-grown (and raised) ingredients paired with a sort of “rib-sticking” creationism.   The local components, sometimes as local as an arm’s reach from the patio, paired with the expertise of Chef Bradford Heap, owner of SALT the Bistro in Boulder and of this well-hidden gem in Niwot, are sure to fill your belly with close-to-home creations crafted after the legacies of Classic French and Northern Italian cuisines.

Colterra, a derivative of the Latin words “Collo” and Terra,” which, combined, mean “to cultivate the earth,” proves true to the origin of its name.  With an evolving menu, based on the availability of local produce, meat and herbs, and an on-site garden featuring vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, Chef Heap’s relatively new endeavor is after the hearts of those true to the “Colorado” way of life.  In addition to supporting our indulgences in local cuisine seven days a week for lunch and dinner and on Saturday and Sunday for a “free range” brunch, this place is also after our Coloradoan-indulgent livers…With happy hour seven days a week.

This weekend, satisfy mid-day hunger pains with an extensive brunch menu, featuring “Never Never” steak and eggs or a burger of the same Peter Pan tendencies, Grand Marnier Beignets or Smoked Wild Salmon Eggs Benedict.  For dinner, try a salad, picked fresh from the patio garden, or an assortment of Colorado-raised meats ranging from lamb to New York Strip to pork.  Sample an assortment of classic cocktails made with Spring 44 vodkas or gins; distilled from a spring in Roosevelt National Forest.

If you don’t have much time this weekend to get out and smell the roses, take a few hours and drive up to Colterra.  As you wind into the quiet town of Niwot, let the warm glow of the patio lights draw you in for an evening, or afternoon, of relaxation and culinary indulgence. – Hiliary Bonner

Colterra is located at 210 Franklin Street  Niwot, CO 80544 (303) 652-0777.