Denver’s “Top Chef,” Carrie Baird, opens Rose’s Classic Americana

Fancy toast is on the menu at Rose’s inside Rosetta Hall. This one is topped in Nutella, housemade blueberry jam and superseeds. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)

First thing’s first: There will be fancy toast.

Longtime Denver chef and “Top Chef” finalist Carrie Baird is beaming about her first restaurant concept, Rose’s Classic Americana, in Boulder.

Starting this week, from inside Rosetta Hall, Baird is building those show-stopping fancy toasts as well as sandwiches, soups, salads and other homey fare with high-level touches.

On straightforward burgers and sandwiches, the breads are toasted in a house butter. And on simple iceberg salads, there’s the curveball flavor of dill and the crunch of an everything bagel.

Baird left her successful head chef position at Denver’s Bar Dough last month to focus on Rose’s, though she still maintains part-ownership of that restaurant.

“It was a no-brainer,” she said of deciding to go with the Boulder food hall for the opening. While she’s been approached by many a food hall operator, Baird said this was the first opportunity that came along that felt worthwhile.

“If you look in the stalls, everybody who owns (each) is here now,” she said of the chef-owners and their first-time concepts.

Baird collaborates on the new project with her hall neighbor, chef Natascha Hess of The Ginger Pig. The two met when Baird mentored Hess in the kitchen at Brazen, then Baird helped Hess to open her own food truck.

Now they’re side-by-side and even starting a new restaurant group for the ventures, called That’s What She Said.

“We would love to do a full-sized breakfast, fancy-toast-forward restaurant, someday, somewhere,” Baird said of their future.

MORE: Carrie Baird of “Top Chef” fame leaves Bar Dough to open her own spot

For now, fans can stop by Rosetta Hall to see Baird cooking like she’s got something to prove again.

Try the huevos rancheros, which she made to beat Bobby Flay in a TV competition ($12); the wedge salad, which she modeled after a hometown favorite dish from growing up in Idaho ($12); and the Nutella and jam toast, which should be too much on top of bread but is just perfect ($7).

1109 Walnut St., Boulder, 8 a.m.-late daily, rosettahall.com

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