Category Archives: Boulder

Tomorrow, Chef Hosea is on ‘Today’

Boulder chef doing Super Bowl foods on TV.

TodayShow-logoI’ll be watching “The Today Show” tomorrow (that’s Friday, February 4) starting around 9:30 a.m. That’s because Boulder chef/restaurateur Hosea Rosenberg will be on a Super Bowl snacks cook-off against a still-unidentified Carolina cooker.

Rosenberg has said that he plans to prepare two Broncos-inspired dishes. He’ll do “Super Nachos” with blue corn tortillas, shredded cheese, smoked pork green chili, crisp Blackbelly bacon bits, and roasted tomato salsa. Also, “Broncos Sliders,” Bison patties topped with strips of green chile, Blackbelly bacon and melted smoked provolone on a bed of Fritos.

I’m putting my money on Hosea to win the cook-off, no matter whom Carolina comes up with. Not only do I know and like him, but after all, he won “Top Chef,” Season Five and is therefore accustomed to televised competition.  It gives him a chance to put the Blackbelly name in front of a national audience. He carefully parlayed his renown, his winnings and the gigs that followed into Blackbelly Market, Blackbelly Catering, and Blackbelly Farms, all in Boulder.

Winery Colors: Not Just Red & White

Settembre Cellars puts a colorful spin on wine tastings.

SettembreCellarsI didn’t pay too much attention to the adult coloring book phenomenon until I heard a piece about it on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and now, I notice the fad/fashion/trend all over the place.

Blake and Tracy Eliasson, the owners of Settembre Cellars, also noticed. The winery in north Boulder hosts adult coloring sessions every Sunday afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m.  Participants can bring their own coloring books or make a selection from Settembre’s library. While they’re coloring, guests can enjoy they winery’s elegant and balanced wines, available by the glass or flight — or bottle (to take home). I just wonder whether people get wilder as they imbibe — or whether they have problems staying within the lines. If they do, they probably don’t really care.

The tasting room is open Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnic fare while they sample the wines. 1501 Lee Hill Road, #16,  Boulder; 303-532-1892.

The Renaissance of ‘Nibbles”

John Lehndorff’s food column now in the Boulder Weekly.

BoulderWeekly-logo“Nibbles” has been part of my local food consciousness –I think since I moved to Colorado nearly 27½ years ago and if not that long, shortly thereafter. John Lehndorff wrote a column by that name for the Daily Camera for 15 years, then moved it to the late Rocky Mountain News when he reviewed restaurants for that paper, then took it first to Yellow Scene Magazine and then to the Aurora Sentinel. It has found a new home at the Boulder Weeklyand I for one am happy to read it again. Click here for the latest.

NY Times Reviewer Slams Per Se

Boulder’s Frasca an heir to what Thomas Keller’s restaurants once were.

NYTimes-logoLike many foodies — even a low-key one like me whose only snobbism is that I won’t go to big national chain restaurants — I always had a secret wish to dine at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville, CA, or Per Se, his over-the-top restaurant in New York,

Pete Wells, the New York Times dining critic, has experienced the cuisine and service at Per Se on an expense account, of course, and still he found the restaurant lacking and demoted it from four to two stars.  His review is scathing and the comments enlightening because they reflect the thoughts both of people who have dined there and those who are appalled by the price and would never spend that much.

This review is obliquely germane to Colorado. Celeb chef Thomas Keller has often appeared at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, about which he says, “The Classic is in a class by itself. You can’t compare it to other culinary events. This is it. This is the superstar. This is the place to come.”

But beyond that, Frasca Food & Wine, the highly honored Friulian  restaurant that more than any other has put Boulder American culinary map has its roots in Keller’s world. Frasca is owned by chef Lachlan McKinnon-Patterson and Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, who met while working at the French Laundry in its heyday as the country’s best, and then came to Colorado to open their own fine dining restaurant.

We go there now and again for special occasions.  The food has always been exceptional, and the service flawless — at least when Bobby Stuckey is in command of the dining room. We went there once for my birthday when he wasn’t in the room,  and I felt a bit of the surprise that Peter Wells did at Per Se.

Most of the tables at Frasca are set with elegant crisp white linens. The two flanking the kitchen door were bare, and instead of comfortable chairs, seating was on a curved banquette. We were seated at one and at the other was a VERY LOUD party of five. The man at the end of the banquette was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts. One of his butt cheeks hung over the end of the bench, so he stuck out his hairy leg to keep from sliding off. They spoke at a volume usually reserved for sports bars. Other than placing us or them in such proximity, none of this is Frasca’s fault — but it did nothing to enhance the enjoyment of the evening.

What did surprise me was that we did not receive the customary Tajut, a small glass of apéritif wine. Had the restaurant stopped presenting this to every diner? I don’t know, and I was too distracted by the obnoxious group to our left to ask. We’ll be back for another birthday or anniversary or other occasion, and when reserving, I’ll make sure to ask whether Bobby Stuckey is on the floor that evening.

Kilwin’s Coming To Boulder

Franchise fudge shop named one of the best in the US.

Kilwins-logoIn part of the space on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall that once housed Trattoria on Pearl, a Kilwin’s shop is taking shape with a promised January 9 opening. I’ve been to the Kilwin’s in downtown Fort Collins and am therefore looking forward to its appearance in Boulder too.

TheDailyMeal.com just release a list of what it considers “America’s 25 Best Fudge Shops” to be. Eight are in Michigan, but Colorado’s Front Range will soon have two locations of one brand. Here’s what the site says:

Kilwins was founded in 1947 by Don and Katy Kilwin, and today there are nine locations as far and wide as Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Atlanta. The fudge recipe used at all the locations was created by Don and Katy themselves, and crafted on marble slabs. Top selling flavors include classic chocolate, sea salt caramel, and turtle; with seasonal favorites including egg nog and peppermint stick.

The Daily Meal’s writer isn’t much of a reporter, claiming that there are “nine locations far and wide,” when in truth there are more than 100 which would be both farther and wider.

ZEAL a Tasty Antidote to Holiday Excess

Natural, healthy and “clean” food right in mid-holiday season, when we need it most.

001Holidays are the time for eating and drinking and cooking and baking and eating and drinking and…. Today, it all got to me, and I really craved natural, healthy fare — mostly vegetables. We were going for a walk this afternoon as the sun finally showed its warming face, so we headed to Boulder’s East Pearl and ZEAL, where my craving was satisfied. My husband’s steady appetite for beef was also met, with a burger made from first-rate ground meat.

A very green, very nutritious restorative blend made from freshly juiced produce.
A very green, very nutritious restorative blend made from freshly juiced produce.
The Taaahhhd Burger, which stands for something that I can't guess at, is s 100% grass-fed beef patty grilled medium rare and topped with sautéed mushrooms, red cabbage ferments, caramelized onion, grass cheddar tarragon aioli. It comes on a choice of buns: spelt or a gluten-free bun from Kim & Jake's.
The Taaahhhd Burger, which stands for something that I can’t guess at, is s 100% grass-fed beef patty grilled medium rare and topped with sautéed mushrooms,
red cabbage ferments, caramelized onion, grass cheddar tarragon aioli. It comes on a choice of buns: spelt or a gluten-free bun from Kim & Jake’s (the one shown here). A mixed salad comes with the burger.
The Miso Bowl combines a wild mushroom medley, greens, Brussels sprouts, tomato, eggplant, and a bit of tomato in a chickpea-miso broth on rice (here brown rice)
The Miso Bowl combines a wild mushroom medley, greens, Brussels sprouts, tomato, eggplant, and a bit of tomato in a
chickpea-miso broth on rice (here brown rice).

Price check: At lunch and dinner, “Up Front” (which seems to designate small plates, $4-$9; soups and salads, $4-$10; soup or salad add-ins, $1-$6; bowls, $10-$16 for small and $13-$19 for large; Hot Plates (entrées), $14-$21; sandwiches and wraps, $9-$14.

1710 Pearl Street, Boulder; 720-708-6309.

Zeal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Root Down Named DIA’s Best Eatery

In time for the holiday peak, Thrillist.com picks nation’s best.

Thrillist-logoI have a refrigerator magnet with a sad-looking Charlie Brown saying, “Some day, my ship will come in, and with my luck, I’ll be at the airport.” That befalls many people  during the holiday travel peak, and those who are stuck are often hungry or eat our of boredom.”

Thrillist.com comes to the rescue with “The Best Restaurant at 40 Biggest Airports.” One restaurant at 40 airports! How remarkable! Grammar aside, it’s a useful list. At Denver International Airport, Root Down has been deemed the best.

Denver International

Denver, CO
Root Down (Gate C) 
There is something invigorating about drinking a cocktail of gin, coconut, sparkling water, and lime in the airport. And something even more invigorating about eating cranberry-chipotle Buffalo duck wings and a bánh mì turkey burger while drinking that cocktail. By far the best restaurant in an airport filled with pretty solid options.