Tim Payne is a busy man.
His multi-faceted culinary business Farmer Girl is compromised of his Farmer Girl food truck, he’s a caterer, hosts farm and pop-up dinners, runs a stand in Avanti’s food hall and eatery in Denver and as of today, he’s opened the Farmer Girl restaurant on Lyon’s Main Street. I’m not quite sure when he finds the time to sleep.
Diversifying your culinary business is a growing trend with chef / owners nationally and it’s smart business. Payne believes, “that’s the way to do it — to have several different ways to say what you want with your food, out to the public.”
Payne has a traditional culinary background. He received classical training from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona. Throughout culinary school and immediately following, he worked his way up from the bottom, learning the ins and outs of restaurants. He started as a line cook, has been a front-of-the house manager, and even served a stint as pastry chef at well-known restaurants in the Phoenix area. He’s worked at well-known Denver restaurants such as Z Cuisine and from 2007-2012 him and his wife ran Terroir, the fine-dining restaurant in Longmont that was well-loved.
It’s worth noting with all of his work, Payne doesn’t skimp on quality. His passion to bring organic, sustainable food to a greater audience (not just fine dining that not everyone can afford) while also supporting local farmers, is impressive.
When asked about the name Farmer Girl, Payne says it’s a combination of sourcing locally for all his food ventures; an homage to his wife, Melissa, as she farms a small plot of land that she leases from Lone Hawk Farm in Longmont (her farm supplies 30-40 percent of the produce for all Payne’s ventures); and in honor of the “strong women” who are incredible farmers (a traditionally male role) that he works with and greatly respects, in Boulder County.
Farmer Girl [the restaurant]:
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Payne has created a community bistro that’s inviting, small, yet warm.
Although much of the space was left intact from the previous owners, so Payne could open with swiftness, so much of the decor matches so well, to what he’s trying to put out with Farmer Girl.
The accent wall when you enter the restaurant is made mix-matched reclaimed wood, while the color surrounding the restaurant is a vibrant turquoise. In script, “Local” is inscribed along the wall, a nice homage from the previous owner. Hanging baskets act as light covers over rustic Edison light bulbs, the bar is flanked with corrugated metal sheeting and the tables are made of steel with a rust patina finish.
There are nine tables in the intimate space and the L shaped bar seats about 15 people.
Payne added the built in shelving by the door, where he houses inspiring cookbooks from great chefs and decor and he plans to put in a garage door in April, for warmer months and spillover to the sidewalk.
They feature local spirits and only Colorado beers on draft and in the bottle/can (four beers on draft, and seven beers by the bottle/can from Berthoud, to Longmont, to Edwards).
Th food is all certified organic, and for the winter months produce is mostly from California, “the heart of our national organic production,” as Payne shares. The eggs and meat are all local, with the exception of his beef being regional. By spring and summer, Payne expects most of his food to be as local as possible. He plans to rotate his menus seasonally.
For his opening month, February, he features five appetizers, and five entrees. His price point is impressive, for the incredible quality of the food. His most expensive entree (the braised beef) is just $20.
Butternut squash falafel with harissa spiked yogurt, flatbread, house-made pickles, and hummus.
Charcuterie plate with pork rilletes, smoked pork tenderloin, savory apple butter, homemade mustard, and grilled bread.
Braised beef flat iron, gnocchi, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, kale gremolata.
Pan roasted chicken, spätzle, Brussel sprouts, and Gjetost fondue.
The evening ended with a blueberry crisp, that had a healthy dollop of mascarpone cheese. It was fresh and just the right amount of sweet.
You can find them open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 432 Main Street in the beautiful, small town of Lyons, CO | coloradofarmergirl.com/