Hot Sulphur Springs: New chefs add Italian flair to Riverside menu
Throughout its years, the charm and good service at the historic Riverside Hotel and restaurant in Hot Sulphur Springs has attracted many repeat clientele and this summers new owners, who announce a new fall menu and two new chefs, aim to keep it that way.Like the majestic Colorado River that runs by its dining room windows, the Riverside Hotel has endured the changing of many seasons. Diners in the hotel, built in 1903, are still treated to friendly service and an unmatched view of a fair stretch of the famed river.On Dec. 28, 2007, after a quarter-centurys worth of hospitality, owner Abraham Rodriguez sold the hotel to Richard and Julie Paradise. The two, who began running the place with help from family, moved from Kansas and have made Grand County their full-time home. Daughter Rachel came out from Belgium to help run the hotel until her parents settled in, and Nephew Thomas Paradise worked as the restaurants main cook (he recently went to North Carolina to open a new restaurant for McCormick & Schmicks in Raleigh).The new owners wished their nephew the best of luck and welcomed Daniel Walker and Damoun Nikbakht to the kitchen staff, all the way from Kansas City, Mo. Walker (23) has previous experience to include Grozzos Ristorante, what Richard says has been a Kansas City Italian icon. Nikbakht (31) worked as a chef at Room 39, for the nationally acclaimed Lidias in Kansas City owned and operated by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and most recently for the Avelluto familys Il Trullo Ristorante, Kansas Citys highest-rated Italian eatery.The Paradise family is excited to change the menu up for their first fall season in Grand County. Customers have said the new menu items are super simple yet really tasty and that the new cooks flavors are spot-on. Gone are the pan-seared scallops, pan-fried parmesan sole and fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp and scallops with new items to include veal saltimbocca, braised beef short ribs, prime rib, and the trout almandine took the place of the grilled salmon.Theres also the new pasta and fish of the day and the Riversides signature ribeye and chicken spedini dishes can still be found on the dinner menu. Favorite off the lunchtime menu, which features standard sandwich fare and hasnt changed much, is still the Kansas City brisket sandwich.Richard said, he and Julie are thrilled to have two young, but experienced, chefs help bring the Riverside back as a fine dining option in Grand County. We’ve already seen the impact with many locals returning on a weekly basis to see what new daily specials are being offered.With Walker and Nikbakhts 22 years combined experience, the Riverside restaurants fare adds more of a northern-Italian influence, with the trout and steak dishes still the best sellers. All of the pasta is made fresh in-house with a pasta special featured daily. They also make their own mozzarella cheese.Richard said the restaurant is now at the point where weekend reservations are strongly recommended. I can’t tell you how exciting that is to Julie and I as new business owners, he said, and I owe it to these two talented young men.”
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