European fare brought to Montrose’s Blue Table

The Blue Table head chef Santiago Estrada displays his “Pork two ways,” a seared tenderloin and braised belly with apple cider “air,” Swiss chard and mascarpone polenta.

A simple menu, elegant plating and a return to traditional European-style service is what chef Santiago Estrada is striving for in The Blue Table, a new restaurant in downtown Montrose.

Estrada, 29, is the head chef of The Blue Table, 1135 E. Main St., which opened Oct. 1, featuring a simple, one-page menu of seasonal appetizers and entrees.

Estrada was 15, a dishwasher at an Outback Steakhouse in his native El Paso, N.M., when his desire to thrive in the restaurant business began.

Trained at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Scottsdale, Ariz., Estrada’s journey has taken him to kitchens in Hamburg, Germany; Paris; New York; Boston; Austin, Texas; and Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, Estrada was the head chef of the French bistro Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Resort and Casino.

As for how he landed in Montrose, Estrada said he was approached by investors, and he wanted to be in charge, creating his own lavish, signature dishes at affordable prices.

“My food, I don’t want to call it fancy, but it’s driven by technique. It’s executed very well. It’s well-crafted food,” Estrada said.

What Estrada is most proud of is the high quality of his ingredients. He said the restaurant tries to buy everything it can locally and within season.

“Simple, modern, driven by the seasons for sure, we try to source as much locally as we can. It’s what real cooking is,” Estrada said.

If dining at The Blue Table for the first time, Estrada recommends for starters a traditional French onion soup “to whet your palate,” along with some parmesan truffle fries, before moving on to entrees highlighted by a pair of pork dishes, cherry beer braised short ribs or the natural pork two ways.

The natural pork two ways consists of a seared tenderloin and braised belly served with a reduced braised sauce, Swiss chard and mascarpone polenta. The plate is also finished with an apple foam that brings a burst of apple flavor before dissolving quickly.

The menu also features handmade, made-to-order, wood-oven pizzas at reasonable prices of $6 and $8.

The restaurant is separated into two different areas, one for fine dinning and the other created for large parties and social gatherings. Two different color schemes separate the two areas, but the entire building is bonded together with the deep color blue to represent its name.

The restaurant is available for holiday parties and private functions. For information, call The Blue Table at 970-249-4446.

The restaurant can be found on Facebook, where new menu specials and promotions can be found.


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