THE SCOOP: Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery in Manitou Springs celebrates its third year in business this month by offering complimentary dessert crepes (limit two per table) from August 13 through the 20th. Their new 5 p.m. dinner menu includes steaks, pan-seared duck breast, pot pies, fried chicken and more.
THE BACKSTORY: Owners Michelle and her daughter Turu Marx are native New Yorkers steeped in the restaurant business who always dreamed of opening a place of their own. After years spent working separately in the entertainment industry, mother and daughter finally decided to team up on a restaurant endeavor in Colorado Springs, where Michelle had relocated to in 2011. Turu had fallen in love with crepes while living in San Francisco and again on trips to Paris. Michelle, meanwhile, developed a gluten sensitivity. Born of those experiences, the two initially opened as a creperie, using their own gluten-free flour. A year and a half ago, they were ready to expand into sandwiches, cocktails and more. Today’s bistro offers indoor and sidewalk seating six days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also tempt with luscious (and glutenless) pastries. A room inside can accommodate private parties of up to 25. Families welcome.
HIGHLIGHTS: All beef served is from Ranch Foods Direct. “I’ve been interested in the company for a long time,” Michelle says. “I was afraid they would price us out of the market, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.” Everything is made from scratch, down to the syrups in the cocktails. Portions are plentiful; the crepes are thick and hearty. Dishes are healthy but never bland, “gluten-free but gourmet friendly,” so while the place is a godsend to the gluten intolerant, it leaves every guest smiling.