Fried Chicken Night in Boulder

Under the Sun’s Wednesday evening special.

P1100898Last month, when my husband and I enjoyed the new brunch service at Under the Sun (click here for my post), the buzz around the communal table was for Fried Chicken Wednesdays. The chicken was great, we heard. The lines built up, we were cautioned. We promised ourselves that we’d try it, and now we have, arriving shortly after 4 p.m. to avoid the wait.

We ordered Fried Chicken for One, with three pieces and one side, plus  a couple of additional sides, which sufficed for us to share. My husband is a mashed potato addict, but when he learned that Under the Sun serves its without gravy, he made a comment and ordered biscuits and gravy instead. The waiter brought a complimentary  order of gravy in case the mashed potatoes that they were not sufficiently rich and buttery to stand alone. In my view they were — happily so, since I don’t really care for country gravy. Here’s the array of comfort dishes that we ate:

Lightly battered chicken is very crisp and moist. It comes with two dipping options -- one vinegary. the other sweeter.
Lightly battered chicken is very crisp and moist. It comes with two dipping options — one hot sauce and one honey mustard sauce.
Rich and buttery mashed potatoes on the left, and a side of country gravy with sausage on the right.
Rich and buttery mashed potatoes on the left, and a side of country gravy with sausage on the right.
Cornbread in a hot iron skillet with a big pat of butter on top.
Cornbread in a hot iron skillet with a big pat of butter on top.
Wood-roasted seasonal vegetables include summer squash, sweet peppers and pea pods.
Wood-roasted seasonal vegetables include summer squash, sweet peppers and pea pods.

Price check: On Fried Chicken Wednesdays, Fried Chicken for One (three pieces of chicken, choice of one side), $11.95; Fried Chicken for Two (six pieces of chicken, two sides), $20.95; Fried Chicken for Four (12 pieces of chicken, four sides), $38.95; Fried Chicken for Six (18 pieces of chicken, six sides); additional sides, $2 each.

627-A South Broadway (Table Mesa Shopping Center), Boulder; 303-927-6921.

Under the Sun Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef Joly Buys Mirabelle Land from Vail Resorts

MirabelleVail Resorts is better known for buying  than selling, but the giant resort company has sold the Mirabelle Restaurant site to Chef Daniel Joly and his wife Nathalie, who have operated it since 1992.

The charming restaurant located in an original farmhouse at the entrance to Beaver Creek is now the newest chef-owned, four-star restaurant at the upmarket ski resort.  The three dining rooms are exquisite — and the food and wine match the décor.

“We have worked successfully with Vail Resorts as our landlord for many years,” said Daniel Joly. “Many times we have tried to buy the property as we see ownership in Mirabelle giving us reason to continue to invest in and enhance Mirabelle for generations to come, much as restaurateurs do in Europe.”

Daniel Joly operated the restaurant, which was owned by Vail restaurateur Luc Meyer, who also owned the Left Bank in Vail Village. The Joly family bought the restaurant business (absent the building or the land) in 1999 and has operated it with much acclaim.

“My passion for food and good life are legendary in our community,” Joly said. “Owning Mirabelle, we can carry that passion beyond the valley and farther. The incredible location and spirit of the place is magical and will remain here to for our patrons under the lead of the Joly family.”

Since 2008, Joly and Mirabelle have consistently received four-star/four-diamond  ratings from the Mobil Travel Guide and AAA. Joly and Mirabelle have received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for each of the 15 years he has been chef of the restaurant. I have met him at the Denver International Wine Festival. He recently returned from cooking for the legendary Naples Food and Wine Festival and from Napa Valley where he was chosen to cook for the Antinori Vintners from Italy, the country’s largest Chianti.

Mirabelle will begin serving lunch this summer outside on the deck. FoMoInfo, call 970-949-7728.

Arroyo Seco Ice Cream Parlor on World List

Recognition for Taos Cow’s pure ice cream.

TaosCow-logo I often complain that when compiling lists of “top” this or “best” that, national sites pay scant attention to restaurants in the flyover states of the Mountain West. When some establishment makes such a list, more often than not, it’s in Denver.

So it came as quite a fine surprise when The Daily Meal’s selection of the World’s 35 Best Ice Cream Parlors 2016  included the Taos Cow in tiny Arroyo Seco, a hamlet between Taos and Taos Ski Valley.  It’s actually more than an ice cream parlor but a place to stop for breakfast and lunch offerings, including really good soups.  I have no delusions that The Daily Meal actually had a correspondent try out. Bon Appétit, USA Today and the two Times newspapers (L.A. and New York) previously  wrote about it. The Daily Meal’s words about this ice cream:

Taos Cow, Arroyo Seco, N.M.

Specializing in all-natural, rGBH-free ice cream since 1993, Taos Cow mixes traditional flavors with local ingredients, creating Southwestern-inspired varieties like Buffalo Chip (vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate-covered coffee beans), Maple Walnut (made with real maple extract and walnuts), Cherry Ristra (cherry ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and piñon nuts), and Holstein Sunset (strawberry ice cream with white, dark, and milk chocolate chunks).

In case you’re wondering, rGBH is a growth hormone commonly administered to cattle.

Steuben’s & Park Burger on National List

The Daily Meal includes Denver eateries on best burger list.

DailyMeal-logoI scan every list of “best” and “top” restaurants for Colorado entries. If there is one, it is usually in Denver or occasionally Boulder, but hardly ever in the mountains.  As for the rest of the Rocky Mountain region, those sites do not seem to realize that New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana even exist. Tsk-tsk on coastal provincialism. Enough of that and on to The Daily Meal’s selection of “The 101 Best Burgers in America 2016 .” Steuben’s — a fun Denver spot with Boston roots — makes the list, as do Park Burger’s four locations.


Opened in 2007, but named in honor of a famous restaurant and nightclub co-proprietor Josh Wolkon’s great-uncles owned in Boston for several decades in the middle of the last century, Steuben’s is a neighborhood diner serving American regional specialties. Representing Colorado’s neighbor, New Mexico, the menu presents what is regularly named the best green chile (or chili, as Steuben’s puts it) cheeseburger in Denver. Said to be inspired by the classic version at the Owl Bar in San Antonio, New Mexico, it’s a fat burger patty topped with American cheese into which green chile strips seem to melt. Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and mustard ornament the burger, which is served on a challah bun.

Park Burger

With four Denver locations, Park Burger has made a name for itself by serving fresh-ground, high-quality Angus beef from Harris Ranch on custom-baked buns. The most creative (and delicious) burger on its menu is the Croque Burger, a third-pound patty that’s given a deep crust and topped with ham, Swiss cheese, and a fried egg. Rich yet not overly so, all the components play perfectly off of each other


Top Taco Fest Coming to Denver

Restaurants vie for honors in four categories of Colorado favorite.

TopTaco-logoWe may think of tacos as being cheap, filling and casual food. Hole-in-the-wall taquerias, food trucks and upscale restaurants helmed by gifted chefs crank out this favorite food type, as do such disspiriting mainstream  chains as Taco Bell and Taco .

Top Taco on Thursday, June 23  from 6:30 to 9:30 is a competition where a panel of judges determines the best tacos in three categories (traditional, creative and vegetarian, plus tequila cocktail) . It also provides an opportunity for taco gluttony.  Guests get unlimited taco tastes and also some 100 unique tequila samples from more than 40 brands,  beer, wine and live music from Sambadente.

The event on the Auraria campus is pricy, with general admission tix at $69 and VIP admission for $90 .

Food And Wine’s Best New Chefs 2016

Food and Wine Classic in Aspen showcases new culinary luminaries.

Foos&Wube-Summer2016.-coverBeautiful and well-heeled foodies, celeb chefs, leading winemakers and other VIPs in the culinary world are gathering in Aspen for this weekend’s 2016 Food and Wine Classic in Aspen — without any doubt the most prestigious such event in the US.  The festival, among other things, serves as the national coming-out party for the annual crop of the 10 best new chefs of the year. No Colorado chefs made the cut in 2016, but here are the gifted young titans, several of whom already run more than one restaurant, selected by the magazine:

  • David Barzelay. Lazy Bear, San Francisco
  • Kevin Fink. Emmer & Rye, Austin
  • Michael Gulotta. MoPho and Tana, New Orleans
  • Edouardo Jordan. Salare, Seattle
  • Ravi Kapur, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
  • Brad Kilgore. Alter, Miami
  • Iliana Regan. Elizabeth and Bunny, the micro bakery, Chicago
  • Aaron Silverman. Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls, Washington, D.C.
  • Jeremiah Stone & Fabián von Hausk., Contra and Wildair, New York City
    Kris Yenbamroong. Night + Market and Night + Market Song, Los Angeles

Kelly Liken’s New Edwards Eatery

HarvestKellyLikenChef Kelly Liken’s heart-of-Vail restaurant was one of the resort town’s most acclaimed.  The James Beard Award nominee, TV culinary competitor and personable chef Kelly Liken closed her eponymous restaurant a year ago. Her new venture, Harvest by Kelly Liken, is about to open at the Sonnenalp Club in Edwards.

The buzz is that if will be a neighborhood place with a “community-centric” vibe. The menu is to be seasonal and “approachable” — though for many people any restaurant in the Vail/Beaver Creek orbit is by definition high-end and high-style. Oz Architecure calls it “elevated farmhouse” with indoor/outdoor seating. I rest my case regarding the place on the price and style spectrum. Beyond that, Liken is a gifted chef, and the food will be very, very good.

Signature dishes include Smoked Rocky Mountain Trout with frisée, crisp potatoes, Kalamata olives, haricots verts;  leg  of lamb with slow cooked saag, chickpea mash, sautéed spinach, pickled Fresno chile and carrot salad; and a summery dish of heirloom tomatoes & watermelon with fresh mint, pickled red onions, arugula and feta. She plans to serve Colorado seasonal fare, with plus beer, cocktails and an affordable wine program,  with by-the- glass options on tap.

It is located in the Sonnenalp Club at  1265 Berry Creek Rd., Edwards; 970-477-5353. At roughly the same time, Vintage is taking over the old space at 2 Vail Rd.

Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.