Best Bites: Trillium’s Pork, Bacon, Herb Terrine

August 2013

Trillium’s smorgasbord is, without a doubt, one of the best dining deals in town. The middle of the restaurant’s menu reads like a collection of appetizer-type snacks—from lemon and dill pickled shrimp to a trio of East Coast oysters—all of which are priced at $7. That’s especially reasonable given the white-tablecloth treatment the dishes receive—no potato skins or wings here, these are carefully conceived arrangements of flavor and texture.

Of particular note is the pork, bacon, and herb terrine (pictured). The make-up of this smooth, layered pâté changes depending on the ingredients chef-owner Ryan Leinonen has on hand. “We cook off the cuff a lot,” Leinonen says. “What hits the menu just depends on what the farmers are bringing us and what’s super-fresh this week.” In this case, the kitchen found itself with extra pork. Into the bacon-draped terrine molds it went.

The accompanying Colorado peach salsa (which I could have eaten with a spoon) came about in a similar manner. With peach season at its height (check our Fresh Picks series for additional seasonal ingredients), Trillium had an abundance of ripe fruit. The kitchen diced the flesh and combined it with a pinch of sea salt and fresh oregano from sous chef Max Rapaport’s garden. “Salsa” doesn’t do the condiment justice, as it’s far more refined.

To eat this beautiful spread, take a slice of the terrine and spread it on a piece of chewy rieska. (The kitchen bakes this traditional Finnish flatbread each day and punches it into circles before griddling the rounds with olive oil before serving.) Add a dollop of the peach, and take a bite. And then another.

Bonus: Don’t miss Trillium’s cinnamon toast panna cotta (also priced at a reasonable $7). The dessert combines fried brioche with a layer of cinnamon-y panna cotta, a scoop of blueberry cream cheese ice cream, and a pool of maple-caramel. Make note of the delicate cookie garnishing the dish—it’s a trillium, the tri-petaled flower for which the restaurant is named.

2134 Larimer St., 303-379-9759

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—Photo by Rachel Nobrega