The Bindery opened in Highlands, featuring free parking, (what a concept) and a panoramic view of downtown Denver. This new modern building takes its name from its location, as it was built on the site of an old printery. Chef/owner Linda Hampsten Fox has combined a bakery, cafe, bar and fine dining restaurant. Trained in Switzerland, France and Italy, in addition to venues in Mexico, Linda is an artist and her medium of choice is food as a private chef and caterer. Thank goodness those of us in Denver are the beneficiaries of that expertise.
The Bindery serves an eclectic menu of flavors featuring chili-braised beef cheeks over parmesan grits, a deconstructed Coq au Vin, the Secret Garden with its own organic, delectable "dirt" of beet pastrami and maple carrot jerky, along with a rabbit rarebit that had me hopping to grab the last slice.
The beer-braised smoked rabbit with Vermont cheddar, pecans and mustard was perfect for a cold rainy night – and I didn't even know I liked rabbit! Mascarpone and radicchio ravioli in a poppy seed broth must have been born from Linda's Eastern European roots, but in true Linda style she fashioned this dish into something inventively new.
This creativity also helped design dessert and turned a Baked Alaska into a Baked Colorado by highlighting tres leches cake, dulce de latte ice cream, and bitter caramel all coated in dark chocolate and torched meringue. Definitely worth the price of admission alone.
Though I haven't yet had the opportunity to try the bakery, café, or marketplace, the artisanal small-batch products are quite appealing. Jams, syrups, and hot sauce along with delectable baked items, plus takeout dinners and lunches are designed to be convenient and irresistible. The Bindery's sunny atmosphere with tall paned windows, open kitchen and baker's ovens are front and center and add to the appeal of the elegantly casual 4,000-square-foot space. Just like Linda, this space is warm and welcoming. And just like the menu says and we all know, "Food is one of life's great pleasures."