By Kim Fuller Published in EAT Magazine
There’s a food train you’ll want to jump on in Avon. Boxcar Restaurant & Bar is driven by its chef-owners and always on track with local purveyors and seasonal ingredients. This modern gastropub has been open for almost two years now, and has developed an increased focus on community-style dining and business practices.
Their updated menu highlights bar bites and small plates that can be enjoyed by one person or passed around the table. Along with promoting a sense of culinary camaraderie among its guests, the Boxcar kitchen works closely with local companies like the nearby neighborhood butcher shop, Colorado Meat Company, to source farm-to-table products. The restaurant’s recent menu re-design was completed by 970 Design, a local creative marketing team.
“We like to create a collaboration that emphasizes community, and the menu emphasizes that as well,” says Hunter Chamness, chef-owner of Boxcar with other chef-owner, Cara Luff.
Walk into the restaurant and the spacious entrance leads into a handsome horseshoe bar, fireplace lounge and a long central community table. It’s certainly a place you’ll want to linger for a cocktail, and then perhaps venture into the dining room that sidles up to Chamness and Luff’s open kitchen.
Boxcar’s decor — all the way to the show-stopping wallpaper in the bathrooms — and most of Boxcar’s food and cocktail list takes on this vintage motif, a contemporary and creative initiative has stayed with the establishment from its fruition.
“It’s comfort food with a twist,” Chamness explains. “We create everything to be a little bit more special for an overall better experience.”
To start, a London Swizzle cocktail looks sweet but comes through with the perfect balance of bitter. It’s made with gin, Campari, bitters and lemon juice, and is nice alongside a bowl of popcorn to munch. This carnival-inspired treat is topped with a modern and unique flavor of brewer’s yeast and sweet jalapeño.
Pick some selections of house-made charcuterie for the table to share. From pâtés to sausages and rillettes, the delicious renditions are inspired from chicken liver, corned beef, duck confit and smoked salmon.
All the succulent fat on these cured delicacies pair nicely with a grilled radicchio salad. This small plate has a strong bitter angle that cuts through your palate, but the dish stays balanced as a whole with pickled kale, quinoa and golden raisins.
The entrées at Boxcar really put protein on a pedestal. Then when you order a round of sides for the table, everyone gets to try a little bit of everything.
“From the grill, we just wanted to do something where we showcase the protein itself, rather than have so much composition within each entrée,” says Chamness.
Try the 10-ounce New York strip, topped with a rich slab of gorgonzola butter. Fish lovers will dive right in to the half-grilled Idaho trout, prepared with toasted almond and fennel.
Don’t leave without trying a dessert, namely the banana cinnamon roll bread pudding with bacon maple ice cream, pecan and bourbon caramel. The best part about community dining is that you’ll have friends to roll you out the door, or just stay for another round. •
Bar bites and
small plates: $5-$18;
sausages and rillettes
to share; 10-ounce
New York Strip