Located just a block off the main drag in the charming little town of Paonia, the Flying Fork Café specializes in cuisine de Italiano with a rustic, western Colorado flair. The building that houses this fine eatery has a long and colorful history. When I first moved to Paonia in 1980, it was home to Burrell’s Market, a hippie health food store extraordinaire. This remained the theme through several owners until 2003 when Chef Kelly Steinmetz moved to the valley and brought with him the culinary stylings of a seasoned pro.
“As one one of the more established restaurants in the North Fork Valley, the Flying Fork Café & Bakery has a reputation for using the freshest, most local ingredients available. Chef/Owner Kelly Steinmetz uses the words ‘Simple Elegance’ to describe both the cuisine and the ambience.” – Flying Fork Café
To this day, diners can dig into dishes that, just to name a few, include crisp arugula salads, artisan pizzas, and fresh pastas. House specialties, such as tiger shrimp in brown butter, heirloom polenta, and – one of my favorites – perfectly moist and tender chicken piccata, will knock your socks off. I can already feel my mouth watering. And there is a fine selection of local wine and beer available to wash it all down!
During the summer, the Flying Fork’s backyard boasts the prettiest outdoor seating area for dining al fresco under the fruit trees and stars. This place is a treat and absolute must the next time you visit Paonia.
Don’t have time to dine in? You can grab a loaf of artisan-style bread, a dozen homemade cookies, stuffed focaccia breadsticks, fresh sandwiches made with the utmost care, or an assortment of other delicious baked goods. The Flying Fork Café has just about anything you’re looking for to satisfy your starving tastebuds.