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Good eats

New dining venues open at Wind Crest

Created date

February 8th, 2016
Shooting pool in Timberline Tavern
Shooting pool in Timberline Tavern

What’s for dinner tonight? 

Chicken fried steak with country gravy served with mashed potatoes and green beans? Or perhaps pan-seared sea scallops with a ginger-soy glaze served with wasabi mashed potatoes and carrots?  

Those are just two of the specials on the menu at Windows Restaurant, Wind Crest’s newest dining venue of three that opened recently. Timberline Tavern and Blue Sky Café also opened in the Highlands Ranch community’s second neighborhood. 

Seasonal specials

Windows, the 80-seat, reservation-only restaurant located in Wind Crest’s new McHenry’s Crossing building, serves a seasonal dinner menu with two daily chef specials. 

“This type of menu boosts variety and is very popular,” says Director of Dining Services Marcus Cordova. Additionally, he says, “Taking reservations helps us manage the restaurant’s popularity and avoid long waits.”

Edward Kent, head chef at Windows, has cooked at 240 Union and Strings, both popular restaurants in the Denver area. The menu at Windows, designed by Kent, Cordova, and their team of talented chefs, features classic American fare. Kent and his kitchen crew use the highest-quality fresh ingredients and local produce when available. 

This winter, expect to find hearty comfort foods like penne pasta with lobster, prosciutto, grape tomatoes, and peas in creamy Alfredo sauce. Or start with the bianco pizza topped with roasted garlic and olive oil, fresh tomatoes, baby spinach, and fresh mozzarella before moving on to the entrée-sized beef fajita salad.

“Seafood is very popular in Windows,” says Cordova. “We have a fresh seafood item every day.”

Windows also serves delicious desserts like crème brûlée, warm pecan pie à la mode, and New York-style cheesecake. It offers a full bar, including specialty after-dinner drinks like Irish coffee, perfect for a cold winter’s night. 

For holidays, Kent designs specialty menus. For example, last Valentine’s Day the menu at Wind Crest’s original restaurant, the Fireside, featured starters like crab cakes and beef carpaccio, fresh salads of mixed greens and homemade vinaigrettes, and choice of lobster bisque or pink cauliflower soup. Mouthwatering entrées included melted short rib served with bacon-cheddar potato cake and grilled asparagus, maple-and-molasses-glazed seared diver scallops with Chardonnay beurre blanc and carrot whipped potatoes, and prime rib and au jus served with baked potato and winter vegetables.

The special evening and carefully prepared foods were well received by people from all around the community. 

The space in Windows, smaller than Wind Crest’s Fireside Restaurant, creates a more intimate atmosphere. “People seem to really enjoy the atmosphere and linger longer to enjoy conversation with friends and the view,” Kent says.

As the name alludes, a wall of windows overlooks the Denver skyline and High Line Canal. Inside, modern light fixtures hang from a vaulted two-story ceiling. An outdoor patio extends the dining room in warm weather. 

Casual fare

Timberline Tavern also features a stationary seasonal menu, but its lodge-themed décor with flat-screen TVs and pool tables gives it a more casual atmosphere. 

“I love the décor,” says Cordova. 

A great lunch or happy hour spot, Timberline Tavern serves a mean burger and fries, or you can go for lighter fare like an entrée-sized salad. 

Here, the beer is cold and the staff is friendly, always ready to offer a recommendation or turn the channel to your game.

Timberline Tavern is the first venue at Wind Crest that’s open all day. It is currently open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Cordova says it will soon be open Sundays as well.

Quick bite

When all you need is a quick bite or coffee, stop by the Blue Sky Café. It offers specialty coffee drinks, soups, salads, and sandwiches. 

Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday, this is the perfect spot for a book club meeting or morning coffee after a walk along the High Line Canal. It is quiet and peaceful, filled with natural light. 

Thoughtful design

Cordova says adding three new restaurants with completely new concepts took careful planning and insight from Wind Crest residents. 

“We have menu planning committees from neighborhoods one and two to drive the menu and meet all dietary needs of the community,” Cordova says. “They are selected for their dietary demographic, so we have vegetarians, healthy eaters, celiac/gluten intolerance, and meat and potato lovers all represented on the committee.”

Menus feature symbols that identify gluten-free, healthy choice, smart-sweet, spicy, and vegetarian items, as well as those that contain nuts.

Cordova says that although all three restaurants have opened, his dining services team constantly collects feedback and makes changes to satisfy their customers. 

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