Category Archives: Boulder

Colorado Wine Event on Colorado Day

Celebrate the day Colorado joined the Union on August 1 with Colorado wine.

ColoWineBoard-logoColorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper has been a beer guy, but he presides over a state with a long wine-making history.  These days, there are so many wine  and beer events here that I can’t keep track of them all, but the Governor’s Cup Wine Competition is the only statewide winemaking one exclusively for Colorado wines.

This year’s competition drew 241 entries from 37 local wineries, which were judged by a panel of sommeliers, winemakers, writers and wine experts from around the country. The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board invites the public to attend a tasting of this year’s 16 winners at the History Colorado Center on Saturday, August 1.

The top 16 Governor’s Cup wines included a tie for top honors between Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2013 Anemoi Lips and Turquoise Mesa Winery’s 2013, both Syrahs made from a red grape that originates from the Rhône region of France.  “Syrah often excels in Colorado as a varietal wine and also makes a wonderful component in blended wines,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB. “It is quite a statement that four Syrah-based wines are among the top 12 wines in the competition.” Canyon Wind is one of the Grand Valley’s oldest vineyards and wineries, while the Turquoise Mesa Winery is located in Broomfield but uses Western Slope grapes.

Also new with this year’s Governor’s Cup is a separate judging by a different panel for cider, mead and all “other than standard” and agricultural wines.  Additionally, the event features small plate pairings made from locally sourced ingredients from six noted Colorado chefs.

Tickets ($60 for History Colorado members, and $75 general admission) are available online . The event begins at 7 p.m. for VIP entry; 7:30 p.m. for general public entry.visit .

Chinese Exotica in Boulder

Regional authenticity in North Boulder.

001Where a Subway once catered to staff from the now-shuttered Boulder Community Hospital’s Broadway building there is now a small and fairly new Chinese restaurant that appeals to those seeking more unusual dishes than the usual Cantonese/Szechuan/Hong Kong offerings.  Until I read about it recently (perhaps on another food blog), I hadn’t noticed Flower Pepper in that former Subway space. Its droopy, temporary-looking sign is under an awning and behind some trees is challenging to spot in passing.

Painfully tight space -- room enough for one table by the window. Images of Chinese markets and food hang on the wall.
Painfully tight space — room enough for one table by the window. Images of Chinese markets and food hang on the wall.

The offshoot of a  tea importing business, its menu is presumably limited by the kitchen that could be created in the wide and shallow space on the side of parking garage. Noodle and rice dishes predominate, though sadly not the soup dumpling I had somehow hoped for in this fast-casual spot. The tea, served in a thick white ceramic tumbler, was so hot that I couldn’t pick it up, even with two napkins, until I was finished with my food.

Excellent steamed wontons in delicate wrappers.
Excellent steamed wontons in delicate wrappers.

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Beer Muscling in on Wine Turf

Flagstaff House beer dinner & Parisine beer event with chef competition.

Until recently, chefs tended to devise gourmet meals to pair with wines, and by and large, cooks in this country made far more casual dishes to go well with beer. The lines are blurring, the scene is shifting — and that shift is evident in two special beer-centric culinary evenings that are coming right up.

Flagstaff House Fare and New Belgium Brews

FlagstaffLogoWith its 15,000-bottle cellar and numerous Wine Spectator Grand Awards of Excellence and other honors, Boulder’s Flagstaff House boasts a phenomenal wine program.  Breaking away from its image, this legendary restaurant teams up with Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewery to present top brews paired with the culinary creations of chefs Chris Royster and Mark Monette on Thursday, July 9.

The evening begins with an hors d’oeuvres reception on Flagstaff House’s gorgeous terrace (weather permitting), followed by a sit-down dinner in the spectacular dining room.  New Belgium’s Master Brewers and Flagstaff House chef Royster introduce the food and beer pairings. New Belgium pours rare, cellared and newly released beers, paired with exquisite Flagstaff House cuisine. The event is $95 per person, plus $31  for tips, taxes and online convenience fee.  Buy online. Here’s the mouth-watering menu:

  • Hors d’oeuvres  with Fat Tire & Slow Ride
  • Rabbit Rillette, Frisée Salad, Rosemary Onion Jam, Pear Chips with 
Pear Ginger Beer
  • Kauai White Prawns, Lemon Risotto, Sage Brown Butter Emulsion with 
Snap Shot & Transatlantique Kriek
  • Crisp Duck Confit, Duck Breast Roulade, Orange Braised Barley, Arugula, Dried Cherry Chutney, Black Pepper Gastrique with Rampant & La Folie
  • Banana-Bacon-Chocolate  with Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

Pairsine for Beer

Pairsine-logoWine Country Network, whose Pairsine/Taste of Elegance chefs’ competitions have become Front Range faves with foodies, now also puts on a comparable beer event. It challenges 10 local chefs to prepare two dishes each to pair with 20 winning beers from the 2015 Denver International  Beer Competition. The beer Pairsine takes place on July 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the  Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield. General admission is $75, including tastings of all the beers and all the food, plus a neat complimentary beer glass. Buy online. Here’s the 2015 line-up of participating chefs and restaurants:

  • Eli Odell, Executive Chef, Highland Tap & Burger
  • David Davis, Executive Chef, The Sink
  • William Merwin, Executive Chef, The Blue Star
  • Dylan Zwart, Executive Chef, Low Down Brewery
  • Jean-Luc Vogele, Executive Chef, The Westin Hotel, Tabor Center
  • Joshua Hasho, Executive Chef, Omni Interlocken Resort & Spa
  • Jeffrey Samoska, Chef de Cuisine, Pub 17 on Welton/ Grand Hyatt
  • Tim Berry, Executive Chef Fate Brewing Company
  • Kirk Spare, Executive Chef, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
  • Michael Long, Executive Chef, Le Central French Restaurant

Cured Offers Tour de France Matches

Regional cheeses and drinks echo Grand Tour route.

Cured-logoOnce again, Will Frischkorn is preparing for the Tour de France. The greatest of all the Grand Tour stage races in Europe starts on Saturday in Holland, whisks through a bit of Belgium before its grueling route around France with the traditional finish in Paris. But these days, he’s not getting his body and mind into shape to ride 3,360 kilometers.  Rather, he and his wife, Coral,  who own Cured, have again put together a little Tour of their own. Boulder’s wonderful gourmet shop is set to assemble a special Tour-appropriate offering for who customers with a love of fine cheese, a passion for French wine and a good appetite.

TDF-2015-map

Will broke the Tour into eight stages, each corresponding to 3 to 4 days of racing, and for each region, he has chosen a cheese and a beverage. As the riders make their way around France, it is possible to follow along with region-appropriate cheese and wine and the Tour on the tube or on your computer.

Each stage, available individually for $40 or as part of the whole package for $295, comes with a chunk of cheese and a beverage to pair.  While mostly wine, they also have an exceptional beer and even a bottle of Calvados this year, paying homage to the route that the organizers chose for this 102nd edition of the Tour. Participants in Cured’s entire tour receive a Team Garmin Cannondale musette bag filled with Will’s favorite cycling ride and recovery snacks. This year’s Tour is available for pickup at Cured, or for $90 each week, they’ll deliver a box to  your doorstep with that week’s stages. Call Cured at 720-389-8096 to purchase a Tour and visit their website to learn more and read about the individual stages.

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Blackbelly Market’s New Patio

Small plates, beer, wine and fine cocktails alfresco.

001“The whole is greater than the sum of is parts,” according to Aristotle, millennia before Blackbelly Market, which intertwines several food businesses: a restaurant and bar, a catering operation, a food truck, a farm. It’s the brainchild of Hosea Rosenberg, who will always be identified as the winner of “Top Chef,” Season Five.

I got a sampling of Blackbelly’s style at a media reception when it opened last November, but I was late in getting back from Denver and arrived as the event was winding down. In March, my husband and I had a really dinner there with friends, and we were all impressed with the wonderful food. Click here for my post.

This evening, Blackbelly introduced its new south-facing patio which is serving beverages, small plates and charcuterie boards. Long congenial tables invite socializing with people you’ve come with and those you’ve just met. On a sunny afternoon, find a spot on a bench against the barn-siding wall against the building, because the ones on the Arapahoe Avenue side can get very hot until the sun drops behind the big tree that partially shades the patio.

Twenty-first century mix of people communicating with those at the table and those elsewhere. The patio's informal nature leaves room for both.
Twenty-first century mix of people communicating with those at the table and those elsewhere. The patio’s informal nature leaves room for both.

But it’s the food that counts, and Blackbelly’s counts for a lot.

Board with house-made charcuterie made with locally sourced meats.
Board with house-made charcuterie made with locally sourced meats.
House-made corn dogs, served really hot and really crisp, with good mustard for dipping.
House-made corn dogs, served really hot and really crisp, with good mustard for dipping.

Continue reading Blackbelly Market’s New Patio

Food & Art at Boulder’s Dairy Center

ATasteOfArt-logoBoulder’s Dairy Center for the Arts’ upcoming “A Taste of Art” is a food and art festival inspired and driven by Boulder’s strong food culture driven by the bounty of notable restaurants, activists, chefs and thought leaders in the food world.

The inaugural festival (June 12-15) features events, workshops, seminars, food and wine films, performances and interactive experiences centered on food, plus a national food photography exhibit.

Highlights include:

  •  Chef Ann Cooper, celebrated author, chef, educator and advocate for better food for all children.
  • Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, co-founders of nationwide Edible Communities magazines and winners of the 2012 James Beard Award by an unprecedented unanimous vote.
  • Kimbal Musk, co-founder of The Kitchen restaurants and The Kitchen  Community whose goal is to further ‘Community Through Food.’
  • Iron Chef-style competition hosted at the SRG Culinary Kitchen featuring chefs paired with local artists.
  • Gallery Exhibition featuring a juried show of food photography in the main gallery at The  Dairy.
  •  Barbecue, Blues & Brews on Sunday hosted in the parking lot at McGuckin  Hardware from 12 noon to 5 p.m. featuring barbecue demonstrations, free samples, a beer garden and the Jack Hadley Band.
  • 3rd Law Dance special performance Saturday night in the Performance Space at The Dairy.
  • “A Year in Burgundy” shown in The Dairy’s Boedecker Cinema followed by a Wine Tasting hosted by Hazel’s Beverage World.

The art exhibit and some presentations are free. Other special events and cooking classes are ticketed. FoMoInfo: www.thedairy.org.  The Dairy Center for the Arts is at 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder.

Kathmandu Opens Location in Boulder

Nederland restaurant comes down the hill.

002First Backcountry Pizza,  which started in Nederland, opened a second spot in Boulder. Now Kathmandu has done the same. It took over the space of the shuttered Golden Lotus, changed little except for the addition of a buffet station so typical of restaurants serving the foods of India and neighboring countries. The buffet was all that was offered the first few days it was open, but come Monday, the buffet will be served at lunch with full from-the-menu service at dinner. At this Nepalese restaurant, I expected to see more  acknowledgment of the devastating earthquake that its namessake city suffered, but there was virtually none.

A bit of the buffet.
A bit of the buffet.
My plate.
My plate.

Kathmandu is at 1964 28th Street (the old Golden Lotus location), Boulder. I have no phone number.