Single-vineyard wines + single-estate chocolate a fortuitous pairing.
Single sourcing seems to be a thing these days — single-vineyard wines and single-estate coffee, tea and now chocolate are capturing connoisseurs’ fancy. Boulder’s Settembre Cellars hosts a Valentines Weekend pairing of four of its own single-vineyard wines with four sweet bites of Boulder’s Fortuna Chocolates — two bonbons made with single-estate cacao and two ganaches.
I’m familiar with Settembre Cellars’ traditional, Italian-inspired wines, and I learned about Fortuna from a Daily Camera piece called “For the Love of Chocolate.” The take-away is that cacao beans grown in the shade of mango trees possess unique flavor characteristics that have captivated the trio that runs Fortuna Chocolate in its “mobile chocolate lab,” which is a glamorous way of describing a trailer
Frankly, this might all be too subtle for me, but I will rely on the refined tastebuds of those who can judge the merits of single-sourced chocolate or, for that matter, single-vineyard wines. Meanwhile, I do know that nothing says Valentines Day like the combo of wonderful wine and divine chocolate, regardless of the provenance. The Settembre Cellars tasting room is hosting this inspired local pairing this weekend — Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14 from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost is $17 online or $19 at the door. The tasting room is at 1501 Lee Hill Road, Boulder.
Popular summer event back to celebrate Super Bowl.
Yesterday, I wrote about a Bronco Burger created just for Super Bowl — with the crucial caveat that it is necessary to pass through Denver International Airport security to try it at any of the three Lefty’s at the . Marczyk Fine Foods has an easier (and cheaper) way to honor the Denver Broncos with its own burger offering. The market is setting up Burger Night — well Burger Afternoon. On Friday February 5, the crew is rolling out the grill to bring back a favorite summer burger for one winter day only. Cost is $8.99.
The original location on 17th and Clarkson will be grilling the market’s signature hand-pattied Niman Ranch burgers from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Like football itself, this is a snow or sun event.
While you’re there, stock up on Marczyk Fine Foods’ game day favorites — Pete’s famous Pork Green Chili, Disco Jim’s Pimento Cheese Dip (yes it’s orange) and beef-and chicken-fajitas made in-house by the meat crew.
There’s probably a “holiday” celebrating every food from abalone to zucchini, but there’s just one whose Boulder origin is undisputed — and that’s today, January 23 — National Pie Day. Local food/restaurant writer John Lehndorff’s peripatetic column called “Nibbles” started in the Daily Camera and is now at the Boulder Weekly. It is in that paper that he recently wrote “How Boulder became the birthplace of National Pie Day.” He should know, since he founded it along with Charlie Parpazian, who was instrumental in launching both National Pie Day, the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
In advance of National Pie Day, TheDailyMeal.com selected “The Best Pie in Every State,” Colorado’s would be Rocky Road Pie, if it actually existed. Here’s what the site whimsically posted:
“Rocky Road is a beloved ice cream flavor across America, but Colorado’s Rocky Mountains mean it truly belongs to this state. This pie, inspired by the ice cream flavor, is made with delicious ingredients like whipped topping, miniature marshmallows, chocolate pudding, and walnuts. Count us in.”
National Pie Day, BTW, is not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is March 14.
Lift a glass of a special drink to honor David Bowie.
David Bowie’s recent death at the age of 69, just after releasing his final album on last Friday, which was also his birthday, shocked and saddened his legions of fans. To commemorate the loss of this unforgettable icon, The Squeaky Bean created not just one, but for the first time, an entire menu of cocktails — pretty appropriate for a rocker who lived large.
The Squeaky Bean launches its Bowie tribute and shrine by introducing the David Bowie cocktail list on January 19, when it is offered special. The Bean will also play David Bowie’s music from 4 p.m. t o close. Guests are invited to dress “in David Bowie fashion,” which can mean that anything outrageous goes. The special cocktail list will be available from at least until the end of January.
Heroes: Woody Creek vodka, blood orange, honey, pear eau de vie, Moscato
Young Americans: Squeaky Bean Barrel Elmer T Lee bourbon, Amontillado sherry, orange olio sacchrum, bitters
Life on Mars?: Reposado tequila, Nardini Amaro, orgeat, lime
Space Oddity: Pisco, Meyer lemon, mandorla, egg white
Let’s Dance: Lillet Blanc, lemon oil, house apple liquor
Golden Years: Reagan Orange Bitters, Ron Zacapa Rum, Pommadine, lemon
Bowie isn’t the first star to be honored with a Shrine Cocktail. The current one is Meadowlark Limoncello in commemoration of the late Harlem Globetrotters star. And there will be a Shrine Cocktail during Denver Restaurant Week (February 26to March 6) commemorating the passing of Penny Parker, Denver’s beloved woman about town gathering news for her columns in the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News.
Two gourmet mountain dinners & weekend après-ski at slopeside.
It seems that 23 is becoming a lucky number for Aspen foodies. Noteworthy dinners on Aspen area mountains this winter are special evenings at Buttermilk and Snowmass on the 23rd of each of the next three months (and one on the 22nd).
The Cliffhouse at Buttermilk hosts three full-moon dinners (January 23, February 22 and March 23). Guests must skin/hike up the designated uphill route on Tiehack and ski/snowboard/hike down on the designated route. No sleds of any kind are permitted. Headlamps and reflective clothing are strongly recommended. The cost is $145.
If these dream dinners are not in the budget (and they certainly aren’t for most of us), affordable après-ski comes to the Lynn Britt Cabin every Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning Friday, February 12 through the end of the season. Guests can go local with $6 Woody Creek Distillers Gin & Juice Cocktails with food specials starting at $5. Entertainment is to include DJ Naka G and Guest DJs, giveaways and a fire pit with outdoor lounge seating.
Kelly Whitaker’s Basta and Cart-Driver celebrate Sockeye Week.
Chefs Collaborative, a group of influential chefs dedicated to promoting sustainable, natural food sources. The group has declared this to be Sockeye Restaurant Week through November 15. Restaurants and other businesses across the country are featuring wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska, on their menus. No, sockeye isn’t fresh in November, but it was flash-frozen and is just about as good.
Bristol Bay is the world’s largest sockeye fishery. Today, it is celebrated by no less that President Barack Obama, a supporter of Bristol Bay’s pristine nature, who took action to protect the ecosystem and the fishing community. His actions assure that it will remain a sustainable and productive fishery. Until then, there was a long and ugly threat from the proposed development of the Pebble Mine, a porphyry, copper, gold, and molybdenum operation that would have put Bristol Bay and its population of all five types of salmon at risk if the mine were developed and its waste containment were to fail. Think of the Gold King mine mess near Silverton last August and the far worse situation in Brazil right now, where two burst mining dams have already cost 28 lives, safe drinking water and numerous small villages. Imagine that crap spilling into Bristol Bay. Fortunately, the mine project didn’t come to pass, and now, let’s think about delicious salmon again.
Chefs Collaborative member Kelly Whitaker is hosting two sockeye specials at Cart-Driver (Denver) and Basta (Boulder). Cart-Driver is replacing its popular tuna mousse with sockeye mousse, and Basta is they are extending Sockeye Restaurant Week into First Bite Boulder with a sockeye special.
The 40 or so restaurants participating in the 10th annual First Bite Boulder (November 13 to 21) now have their menus online, so if you haven’t yet done so, it’s time to nail down reservations. During this popular nine-day “week,” three-course dinners are $29 plus taxes and gratuities, with a handful offering an $18 menu.
Most restaurants in Boulder and nearby communities offer several choices for each of the courses. Also, by signing up for The Dish@ Dining Out with hot tips about Boulder dining, you’ll be entered into a drawing for dinner for two, offered through November 14. As we have for the past decade, we have our reservations. Wouldn’t miss it.
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.