Cyndi Palmer: Springtime weather inspires bright ideas |

Cyndi Palmer: Springtime weather inspires bright ideas

Cyndi PalmerA Face in the Crowd

If you havent decided where to go for lunch (or Mothers Day) yet, you may first want to read about some interesting changes that are going on in the Grand County restaurant scene.As the sun starts to peek behind those spring clouds a little more, several of the restaurants that took off some mud-season down-time off are starting to sprout back into action like spring flowers. Many of them as well as others who stood their ground and stayed open are switching out those winter-season specialties for lighter fare for the summer. New menus are being announced, and some restaurants are sporting a new look, taking the time off to do a little redecorating.In what has become a tradition, Sagebrush BBQ & Grill just finished remodeling their place on the Grand Lake boardwalk for its spring-cleaning project. Last year, owner Dave Freeman had the kitchen remodeled and put in new bathrooms. This spring, he reconfigured the popular bar area and had the floors redone. The cool new bar space, which I admit could become a tight squeeze before, now has room for at least four more patrons. Theres also a picture window with bar seating, so customers can enjoy the atmosphere inside and outside.Untamed Grill at the Grand Elk Golf Course announced a new menu starting May 5. Highlights on the new breakfast menu include The Birdie breakfast sandwich, as well as Eagle, TeeOff, Fore!, and Mulligan breakfast plates. For lunch, the kitchen will be carrying Morales Farms spinach, grown just northeast of Granby, for one of a handful of fresh salads. Theres also a new twist to the wrap, reuben, and BLT. Stand-outs from their Mothers Day brunch include cheese blintzes, stuffed pork loin and lobster macaroni and cheese.Ive also heard raves about the cold-smoked salmon at Carolines Cuisine, off U.S. Highway 34 at Soda Springs Ranch. I gave owner/chef J.C. a quick call to see what all the hoopla was about and he gave me a Cliff-Notes version. The salmon (right now) is Pacific/Northwest and it is specially marinated and slowly smoked over applewood at a low temperature. The final product, which can now be found in several places around the county as well as at Carolines (including Circle D Foods, Daven Haven, Java Lava and Gathaus Eichler) sells at about $16 a pound. Those interested can check out the Web site at One of his highlights for Carolines Mothers Day brunch is Beef Wellington.Both the Riverside Hotel restaurant and County Seat Cafe in Hot Sulphur Springs have new owners and are already establishing local customer bases, Silverado II now has a new steakhouse already open (stay tuned) and there are several local restaurants who are celebrating anniversaries. Take in a helping of two stories inside this edition of All Access to read about what extravagance the Fat Cat Cafe in Grand Lake is putting on for Mothers Day, which happens to be its two-year anniversary as well; and what changes are in place and in store for the old Colorado Columbine Cafe in Granby, whose owner is celebrating her five-year anniversary running the place.Treat yourself (and your mom) you can probably work off those pounds now without your Sorels or rubber boots. Summer is right around the corner, my friends, and so is go-time for Grand County. I encourage any local musician or organization having music this summer to e-mail ( ASAP to be included in the Sky-Hi Daily News 2008 Summerguide. The calendar is due (complete by me) by next Friday, May 16.Food for thought: Spring is natures way of saying, Lets party! – Actor/comedian Robin Williams