The Pinyon a worthy entry into Boulder’s East Pearl restaurant scene


It’s time for you to put The Pinyon, a newer entry on the East Pearl Street area, a notch higher on your list of good Boulder restaurants to try out.

We were looking last minute for a reservation for dinner over the 4th of July weekend, and while many of the more well-known restaurants here were booked until late, The Pinyon was available. Turns out, we very much enjoyed our first time to this restaurant.

The Pinyon has been renovated from the last restaurant (Bimbamboo) that occupied the space, with a nice bar area where you can watch the chefs preparing your food. We chose a seat along the windows to do a little Pearl Street watching. But just a word of warning here, if it’s early evening, beware of the sun and glare from the large windows. So far, the restaurant does not have any shades installed, and the setting sun in the summer comes directly in.

Nevertheless, the wait staff was very friendly, and even offered to move us if the sun was bothering us.

The Pinyon lists itself as contemporary American, focused on “small batch, craft driven food and drink.” You have choices of small plates, although we all chose items off the large plate menu, which range in the $18 to $24 price. Salads and some sides are extra.

I tried the grilled flank steak, tender and tasty, which came with delicious padron peppers, grilled spring onions and confit tomato. The arugula salad, with some fresh strawberries and tiny Oregon huckleberries, was a delicious starter.

Others with me tried two different hand-made pasta dishes, one served with summer vegetables, another with shredded lamb. Both were mouth-watering and worth sharing bites around the table.

It was a great summer weekend, so we started with a bottle Oregon Rose that was recommended, and it was perfect for the summer heat.

It wasn’t terribly busy for a holiday weekend Sunday evening, but that might just be part of Boulder getting to know The Pinyon a little better. Chef and owner Theo Adley was busy cooking and chatting to a few customers, but it might be nice to see him come out and mingle with guests a little if the pace is slow since he’s cooking right in the main room of the restaurant anyway.

It’s those small friendly touches that pay off big in the extremely competitive Boulder restaurant market.

I’ll definitely be back. The Pinyon does offer a happy hour with small plate specials, and that could be fun to try out if you’re not looking for a full dinner.

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