Retro-Franco Fare Rules at Jill’s

St. Julien Hotel’s restaurant rewinds to fine, classic French fare

The last time I dined at Jill’s Restaurant in the St. Julien Hotel, the menu had a strong Mediterranean-Italian accent. Now, with Philippe Antoine, a native of France’s Languedoc and the third generation of his family in the restaurant business (and the first in the US), as general manager and Laurent Mechin from the French Jura as executive chef and culinary director, Jill’s has changed its provenance. Except for breakfast and the ever-popular Tuscan Table at lunch, Jill’s remains a fine-dining restaurant in an excellent hotel, but its focus is now on dishes that are more classic and more French —  dishes that veteran foodies might not realize they’ve miss until they have them again.

The warm and elegant ambiance of the restaurant remains  — and for a couple of hours, we food bloggers had it all to ourselves. Since my last visit, Jill’s Frenchmen shifted culinary gears and introduced a Gallic version of comfort food. Rather than such American comfort food as meatloaf, mashed potatoes and mac-and-cheese (which growing up with my Austrian grandmother’s and mother’s cooking. I never much cared for anyway), Jill’s does French comfort food that back in day was considered haute cuisine in the US. Jill’s invited local food bloggers to sample some dishes from the current menu.

Boulder Food Media Event at Jill’s Restaurant
Tuesday, December 4     6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Passed hors d’oeuvres and welcome toast

 Welcome Cocktail
Leopold Blackberry Kir Royal

Passed Appetizer
Jill’s Bistro Tots
truffle caviar and aioli, reggiano cheese, chervil

~Dining Event~
Farm table display and sampling & action demonstration stations

 Farm Table
Rocky Mountain Cured Charcuterie and Colorado Cheese Board
cornichons, mustard, nuts, grapes, grilled bread

Baby Kale Salad
pine nuts, pears, parsnip chips, pickled onions, Tuscan olive oil

Action stations
E&J Farm Trout Amandine
roasted fall vegetables

Pumpkin Ravioli
sage brown butter, toasted pepitas, cipollini onions, reggiano, crumbled amaretto

Bananas Foster
bananas sautéed tableside with brown sugar, rum, crème de banane, cinnamon, vanilla ice cream

 Here are just a few images from the blogger event:


Jill’s elaborate charcuterie tray — cheeses at the right temperature, charcuterie and fresh veggies and fruits of various sorts. Off to the right is a selection of grilled breads.


A platter of Jill’s Bistro Tots.


A Jill’s cook and his saute pan, preparing the trout.


Trout almondine and roasted vegetables on a pool of subtle, sublime sauce. I added a Bistro Tot to the presentation.


Philippe Antoine deftly preparing the bananas Foster. From this angle, you have to look to see his Dali-esque moustache.
Voilà! Bananas Foster.

Price check: At dinner, starters and small plates, $7.95-$15.95; entrées, $14.95-$29-95; side dishes, $4.95; $3.95-$11.95.

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2 thoughts on “Retro-Franco Fare Rules at Jill’s”

  1. What a great evening! I was positively surprised when first becoming reacquainted with Jill’s recently, remembering a sad, vacant feel when they first opened years ago. The new ‘Team France’ management has delivered a welcome joie de vivre along with their great eats I think!

  2. Hotel restaurants have particular challenges. They must serve 3 meals a day to guests and locals alike, and often also provide room service — frequently 24/7. Some are also involved with banquet service too. I give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to flaws but cheer when the manage a high level of service and food.

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