It’s easy for Front Range restaurants to rest on the laurels of awe-inspiring mountain views. At Acreage, the Lafayette restaurant run by Stem Ciders, the sight from the patio stands out even in a region saturated with destination-worthy vistas. But here, the menu is far from an afterthought.
Acreage is perched on a hill on the fittingly named Horizon Avenue. The restaurant abuts the Stem Ciders production facility and is surrounded by a patio with outdoor seating, event space, and Adirondack chairs and fire pits facing the mountains. Inside, the vibe is modern mountain town chic with tables sandwiched between a long bar and a bustling open kitchen. It’s outside in the warmer months, however, where the diverse menu and all-important location best complement each other.
Acreage’s current seasonal menu pays tribute to Colorado staples while bringing in a taste of fresh coastal flavors. Small plates like the white fish ceviche with mango and jalapeño play with moderate heat and a backbone of acidity. The Thai shrimp is covered in black sesame and ginger aioli and served on a bed of Thai pickled cucumber, watermelon radish, and red cabbage.
Cider is an obvious throughline on more than the drinks menu. Here, cider doughnuts aren’t limited to autumn apple picking. One invigorating and balanced vinaigrette is made with Stem Chile Guava cider, and brats are poached in cider rather than water for an extra layer of flavor. Bratwursts are taken to another level with the Sonoran bratwurst, which is wrapped in bacon and topped with caramelized onion, pico de gallo, and tomato aioli—an elevated nod to the style of hot dogs common in Sonora, Mexico, and the bacon-wrapped and topping- heavy hot dogs served in Chile. Even a burger can be elevated beyond just beef and cheese. Acreage serves a Colorado lamb burger made with meat from Boulder County that’s topped with goat cheese, lemon and mint arugula, tomato, and pickled red onion.
Fine dining elements make their way onto the menu in other ways as well, like with the seared salmon served with Israeli couscous and herb-butter-roasted root vegetables, and the Frenched pork chop served with Cabot cheddar polenta and herbed Brussels sprouts.
The warmer months are when Acreage really shines. Plans for sunset yoga sessions and music sets are in the works this year, helping make Acreage just as much an event space as it is a dining space.
Even without these additions, Acreage’s menu speaks for itself. The view, after all, is just a bonus.