Category Archives: Boulder

Fourth Flatirons Food Film Festival

Celluloid celebration of all things food plus great speakers.

flatironsfoodfilmfest-squareThe fourth annual Flatirons Food Film Festival is coming right up (Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, October 24), but since I’m flying off to China on the 16th, I will miss it all this year —  both literally and figuratively.

In addition to films, local and visiting speakers and samples, Saturday is geared to young foodies with kid-friendly food films and pettable goats from a local dairy. Tickets to individual events and the economical and convenient, and  all-film passes are available through eventBrite.

Festival schedule

Thursday, Oct. 20
DOUGH screening, 7:30 p.m., Boulder Public Library
Speaker: Josh Pollack of Rosenberg’s Bagels, just reopened after a devastating fire

Friday, Oct. 21
Chefs Night at eTown Hall: A Celebration of Munchies Films,
6 to 7:30 p.m., VIP party
7:30 p.m., short films screening
Speakers: Chef Theo Adley, Hosea Rosenberg, chef and co-owner of Blackbelly market, Bryan Dayton of OAK at fourteenth, Chad Pettrone of Northeast Seafood Products
Munchies After Party. Dakota Soifer of Cafe Aion, Theo Adley, and Michael DeBoer of the French Twist food truck are cooking dishes that were created by some of the chefs in a film about a pop-up in honor of the Mission Chinese cookbook (Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese, Andy Ricker of the Pok Pok restaurants, and Jessica Koslow of Sqirl).

Saturday, Oct. 22 (all film screenings at the Boulder Public Library)
Children’s Tour of the Boulder Farmers Market. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Food Films for Children, screening with presentations from Tim Brod of Highland Honey Bees, Dan Hayward of Savory Spice Shop – Boulder and Taber Ward and her Mountain Flower Goat Dairy goats, 10:45 a.m.

FEAR NO FRUIT screening, 1:30pm
Speaker: Hass Hassan, co-founder of the original Alfalfa’s Market
SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE screening, 4 p.m. (followed by a wine sampling at 6 p.m. for SOMM and CITY OF GOLD ticket holders)
Speaker: Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine. He is a master sommelier and therefore has gone through the arduous process.
CITY OF GOLD screening, 7:15p.m.
Speakers: Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times, Amanda Faison of 5280 Magazine
After party, 10 p.m., Bramble and Hare restaurant

Sunday, Oct.23  (both screenings at International Film Series, Muenzinger Auditorium, CU-Boulder campus; free shuttle available from downtown)
JUST EAT IT screening, 12 p.m.
Speaker: Philip Taylor of Mad Agriculture
THEATER OF LIFE screening, 2 p.m.
Speaker: Peter Svatek, director

Monday, October 24
Taste the Wild: Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Dinner, 6 p.m., Basta (co-sponsored by Chefs Collaborative and the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association)
Salmon dish chefs: Josh Pollack, Kelly Whitaker of Basta, Kyle Mendenhall of Arcana

Happy News of 3 Reopenings

Conor O’Neill’s, Rosenberg’s & The Campus Lounge comeback tales.

reopeningjpgI recently posted news of the shuttering of two longtime metro area standbys, Boulder’s Conor O’Neill’s and The Campus Lounge in Denver, but couldn’t bear to write about the devastating fatal fire that closed Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen in Five Points. These three are or soon will be back. I suspect there won’t be Grand Reopenings (that was all I could find online), but the reopenings of these favorites will be grand.

Conor O’Neill’s reopened just a week after it closed, thanks to a deal struck with the Irish pub’s landlord.  The Irish pub rehired staff who rushed to put back everything they had taken down just a few days earlier. The new owners of The Campus Lounge in Denver’s Bonnie Brae area say they are keeping the name, the horseshoe bar and even the landmark sign but are redoing much else.

Rosenberg’s is to rise again in mid-October, having satisfied their loyal customers and perhaps finding new ones with a pop-up at the Slow Food Famers Market in The Source in RiNo and elsewhere , and also donated money, time and effort to various good causes.

Beard Celebrity Chefs in Colorado

1515 Restaurant and Devil’s Thumb Ranch to host some of the best.

JamesBeardFoundation-logoThe James Beard House in New York is one of America’s culinary holy places, and the James Beard Foundation located there is the keeper of the flame. Dining there is a WOW! experience, no matter who is cooking, and the foundation is increasingly spreading the epicurean wealth with events elsewhere.

Coming right up (October 20) is the JBF’s Celebrity Chef Tour at 1515 Restaurant in Denver, when chef/restaurateur Gene Tang  hosts the  following kitchen wizards in what I understand is the only Denver event this year:

  • Gene Tang, Restaurant 1515, Denver
  • Jeff Cleary, Grateful Bread, Denver
  • Stephen Fried,  Gullo Specialty Foods, Hicksville, NY
  • Laurent Mechin,  St Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
  • Mark Monette, Flagstaff House, Boulder
  • Kevin Nashan, The Peacemaker and Sidney Street Cafe, St. Louis
  • Martin Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
  • Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate, Chicago
    JBF Award–Winning Pastry Chef

Click here to buy tickets, which are $115 per person with U.S. Bank FlexPerks Rewards and $175 for everyone else for the dinner, paired wines, gratuities and taxes.

And at Devil’s Thumb Ranch

On Saturday, November 19, Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Taberbash hosts the sixth annual James Beard Foundation Fundraising Dinner, which in format is similar to the Celebrity Chef Tour. Its purpose is to support the JBF’s scholarship fund.

This year’s event will be held in memoriam of the late Chef Evan Treadwell, who was killed in a boating accident on September 6. Like the mission of the James Beard Foundation, Chef Treadwell was dedicated to mentoring professional chefs. His legacy will be honored by his peers from Denver and by the culinary team at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, who — like Chef Treadwell — demonstrate talent, expertise and most importantly, passion for what they do.  Their inventive dishes will be shared with guests, elegantly paired with wines from Joseph Phelps Winery of Napa, presented by Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski.

Participating chefs are:

  • Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
  • Justin Brunson, Ole Major, Denver
  • Jeff Osaka, Osaka Ramen, Denver
  • Paul Reilly, Beast + Bottle, Denver
  • Natalie, Basarov, Devil’s Thumb Ranch

Tickets cost $150 per person for JBF winners and $200 for the rest of us. Call  970-726-5633 to reserve.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is at 3530 County Road 83, Tabernash; 970-726-5632.

Ali Baba Now in Boulder

Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurant’s newest location.

p1120190When we come back from the Western Slope, we often stop at the Ali Baba Grill in Golden for Lebanese/Middle Eastern food that is tasty, healthy, moderately priced and served quickly. Boulder has  its own Ali Baba Grill — the fourth location. We’re happy.

It is on the same block with the new (and instantly popular) Rayback Collective. The décor is beyond simple — just a few Middle Eastern touches, but this is a place you don’t visit for its appearance.  We seem to have neglected photographing the chicken kabobs, here are pieces of most and tender chicken served off the skewer. Sorry. Portions are generous at Ali Baba — always enough to bring some home.

Hummus -- house-made and nicely presented.
Tahini -forward hummus topped with olive oil and paprika  — house-made and nicely presented.
Muhamara, a tangy puree of walnut, red bell peppers, cracked wheat, onion, and lemon juice, topped with olive oil.
Muhamara, a tangy puree of walnut, red bell peppers, cracked wheat, onion and lemon juice, topped with olive oil.
Soft, chewy pita, ready to tear into pieces and eat with just about everything on the menu.
Soft, chewy pita, ready to tear into pieces and eat with just about everything on the menu.
Cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes comprise the Ali Baba side salad.
Cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes comprise the Ali Baba side salad.

Price check: At dinner, appetizers, $4.95-$9.95; entrées, $12.95-$19.95 (plus Lebanese meats, $29.95 for two); soups and salads, $4.25-$5.95); “pies” (savory empanada-like pastries), $2-$3 (plus 6-iem combos, $10-$12.

 It is located in the building once occupied by the Siamese Plate Too and since then, a couple of other short-lived eateries. 3033 28th Street, Boulder; 303- 440-1393.

Zomato hasn’t yet discovered the Boulder location, so this box is for Golden.
Ali Baba Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

‘5280’ Reveals Top 25 Restaurants of 2016

New list features returning and new restaurants.

5280-cover-oct2016The new issue of 5280 Magazine features its annual list of the 25 best restaurants in the Denver area — “area” meaning that Boulder is well represented. It is also the swan song for food editor Amanda Faison piloting this formidable project. After 20 years in the Denver office, she is leaving an in-house staff position and moving to the mountains, but she will still be contributing investigative and other features to the magazine.

The list, which must be more difficult every year as the local food scene keeps growing and improving, includes new names and  returning ones as well:

  1. Hop Alley
  2. Basta
  3. Frasca Food and Wine
  4. Mercantile Dining Room & Provision
  5. Acorn
  6. Bar Dough
  7. The Plimoth
  8. Beast + Bottle
  9. Sushi Ronin
  10. Work & Class
  11. Oak at Fourteenth
  12. Fruition Restaurant
  13. Guard and Grace
  14. Blackbelly Market
  15. Pizzeria Locale Boulder
  16. To the Wind Bistro
  17. Sushi Den
  18. The Populist
  19. Stoic & Genuine
  20. Bittersweet
  21. Old Major
  22. Barolo Grill
  23. Mizuna
  24. Bistro Barbès



The Bell Tolls for Conor O’Neill’s

Boulder Irish pub to close after 17 years.

conoroneill-logoConor O’Neill’s, downtown Boulder’s Irish pub, has that time-worn ambiance of a place that’s been around for decades. In truth, became an instant institution a mere 17 years ago. It is closing on October 2, collateral damage from Boulder’s construction boom. First, its cozy back room and congenial patio fell victim to demolition/construction virtually in its backyard.

Little wonder that it felt so genuinely Irish. The owners has the whole restaurant built in Ireland. “The light fixtures, the furniture, the antiques and even the paintings on the walls were all made in Ireland and shipped over,” co-founder Colm O`Neill told the Daily Camera in 1999. “We even have four Irish bartenders who have come over to the states to work for us.”

With the shuttering of the pub, the fate of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade that “marches up and down the block is in  question. Meanwhile, the other Conor ONeiil’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan presumably will remain open.1922 13th Street, Boulder; 303- 449-1922.

…and in Denver
The Campus Lounge, a popular Bonnie Brae watering hole, closed yesterday after 40 years. Click here for the local CBS News report on its last day.


Cosmo’s on Best College Town Pizza List

Thrillist-logoThrillist’s selection of the “21 Best College Town Pizza Joints in America” naturally included the University of Colorado, which means best pizza in Boulder. The site selected , writing:

You will not find the best pizza slice of your life in Boulder. But if it’s 2am and you’re a 21-year-old CU student with a powerful hunger after a powerful night of drinking, Cosmo’s slices are National site singles out “spicy ranch” (also on pizzeria’s own website).hard to beat. While plenty of students eat (and work!) there, locals often swing by for a cheap, quick bite. Each slice runs about $3, and is about the size of former CU basketball star Chauncey Billups’ leg. Don’t forget the spicy ranch, which elevates every bite of pizza. There’s a reason Cosmo began bottling this stuff and selling it in local supermarkets: it’s got a heat that lingers without being overpowering, and it meshes beautifully with the NY-style thin crust. You can dip without judgment at Cosmo’s. In fact, it’s encouraged.

The national site singles out “spicy ranch,” which also on pizzeria’s own website’s home page. Coincidence? I think not .Both Boulder locations are near campus (one east, one west), and there’s one each in Denver and Fort Collins.

Meanwhile, Travel & Leisure assembled a list of the country’s 30 most beautiful college campuses. CU-Boulder  is one, but the magazine picked a particularly unlovely photograph — an empty mottled field in the foreground, a jumble of buildings behind and the rounded lump of Flagstaff Mountain behind those. No signature sandstone buildings that the write-up lauds, no Old Main, no tree-studded Nolin quad, no Flatirons in the background, now snowcapped peaks referred to.  Not much thinking on the part of T&L.