Shamane’s Chicken Pot Pie Top Cheap Eat

Travel & Leisure pegged Boulder bakery.

Travel & Leisure’s latest “In Every State” roundup, “The Best Cheap Eats in Every State,” pegs Boulder’s Shamane’s Bake Shoppe for its chicken pot pie. The Ali Khan cited a noted food blogger and host of “Cheap Eats” on the Cooking Channel.

For an unforgettable comfort meal, head to Shamane’s Bake Shoppe in Boulder to try their chicken pot pie.

The hearty pie, at $8.25, is made with roasted chicken and a stock created from its bones to create an incredibly flavorful dish that Khan says is the best chicken pot pie he has had as of yet.

“What blew me away was the intensely rich and comforting roasted chicken flavors,” Khan said of the dish. “Chicken pot pie is one of those foods we crave often but seldom find done right, let alone done from scratch—not the case here.”

New Chef at Devil’s Thumb Ranch

Veteran chef joins luxurious Colorado high-country ranch and spa resort.

Back in September, the team at Devil’s Thumb Ranch was in shock when chef Evan Treadwell died suddenly in a boating accident. There’s a new executive chef now –Joshua Bettis, an 18-year veteran with other award-winning hotels, resorts and restaurants on his resume. At DTR near Tabernash, he is in now charge of all food and beverage operations, including the Ranch House Restaurant, Heck’s Tavern and Hallowed Grounds coffee shop, catering and banquet operations and sister restaurants, Volario’s Family Ristorante and Caffé Giocondo, both in nearby Winter Park. You might say that he has a full plate.

Joshua Bettis.

Bettis, a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, previously served as executive chef for The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., and held executive sous-chef positions at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Ariz.; the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson . He was the opening executive chef for the French Bistro in Tucson, part of the Metro Restaurants Group and in Ireland, was chef de partie at Killarney Park Hoteland as executive sous-chef at Ballygarry House Hotel, both in County Kerry.

Boulder Food Producers in the Spotlight

New York Times cites Boulder’s positive climate for food entrepreneurs.

Boulder restaurants are frequently featured in publications reporting on communities with great dining. They and their chefs are also recipients of numerous national and regional awards. But The illustrious New York Times business section recently described Boulder’s position as a leading hotbed of rising food businesses.  See “Foodies Know: Boulder Has Become a Hub for New Producers.”

But the it’s not all boutiquey food businesses in and around Boulder.  Smuckers is planning a 200,000-square-foot plant in East Longmont to produce something called Uncrustables, which are frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sounds awful to me. My PB&J of choice crunchy, organic peanut butter, jalapeno jelly and whole grain bread. I’m not the company’s target market, am I?

Restaurant Weeks in the Rockies

One in Denver, three in  northern New Mexico.

All of us who love to eat treasure restaurant weeks. The format is similar: a limited menu of several prix fixe courses (usually three) at very affordable prices. These promotional weeks have become low-season staples in some of the most interesting food cities in the land.

Denver

Denver’s 13th annual Restaurant Week from February 24 through March 5. That’s 10 days of great dining options. Visit Denver is now organizing the promotion The DRW format has evolved over the years. This year, instead of one price point, restaurants have the option of three: $25, $35 and $45 per person. That also gives diners the option of how much to splurge — or not. The bottom line is that some 150 restaurants are participating. The website enables diners to find restaurants by cuisine or neighborhood with just the click of a mouse.

New Mexico

Northern New Mexico’s three main dining destinations have their individual restaurant weeks: Santa Fe Restaurant Week, February 19 – 26; Taos Restaurant Week;  February 26 – March 5, and Albuquerque Restaurant Week,  March 5 – 12. Restaurants offer prix fixe dinners for $15, $25, $35 or $45 per person. Many offer value-priced lunches as well.

New Eatery in Vail Village

SFO-based PlumpJack Group debuts Pendulum in resort town.

Pendulum, a new upscale restaurant opened in the heart of Vail Village on January 18.  Described as “one of the first new restaurant builds to open in Vail Village in eight years,” Pendulum serves what is called “innovative American cuisine accented with Latin influences.” The San Francisco-based PlumpJack Group opened Pendulum after the re-opening of local favorite White Bison.

Pendulum takes the space occupied for nearly half a century by the Ore House, a classic old steak and seafood place. Pendulum’s aesthetic is “modern lodge,” whose interior features rustic light wood walls, dark stone accents, hand-crafted iron, soft lighting and a striking custom-made chandelier. In addition to the dining room, Pendulum has an inviting bar and a standing-only patio.

Executive chef Jake Burkhardt, who also oversees the culinary program at White Bison, which PlumpJack recently reopened, developed a menu is focusing on the rotisserie and wood-fired oven. His dishes also draw technique and flavor inspiration from Argentina, Mexico and Spain.  The dessert program is overseen by pastry chef Natalie Barsov, who also is responsible for the desserts at White Bison. The beverage program at Pendulum emphasizes fine wines, seasonal ingredients, well-balanced drinks and a carefully curated spirits collection including high-end scotches and cognacs.

Pendulum is located in the Gorsuch Building (yes, the same family as Neil) at 232 Bridge Street, Vail Village. Zomato.com has not yet discovered Pendulum.

Free Food & Fitness at Brider

FIT36, a Denver fitness studio, takes over Brider, star chef Steven Redzikowski’s hot new fast-casual rotisserie restaurant on Sunday, January 22, 9:30 a.m. to 12  p.m. to offer a FREE 36-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout led by leading local trainers. Afterwards, FREE brunch is served. While the workout and food are complimentary, guests are encouraged to donate of $20, which goes to LiveWell Colorado, an organization that works to combat Colorado’s obesity issues. All participants will also receive a FREE week of classes at one of FIT36’s Denver studios. Click here to sign up. Brider is at 1644 Platte Street, Denver;  303-455-3084.

Masterpiece Deli Named Leading Sandwich Shop

Thrillist.com’s best in the country includes Denver staple.

Thrillist.com assembled a selection of “The 33 best Sandwich Shops in the Country,” and right there is Masterpiece Deli, of which the site’s senior editor Andy Kryza wrote:

Denver, Colorado

Justin Brunson, the chef behind Masterpiece Deli, also owns one of Denver’s most important restaurants (the acclaimed Old Major), and his culinary talents are equally showcased at this humble deli. One of the major feats of this Mile High shop is its versatility. The menu features a mouthwatering 12-hour-braised beef brisket smothered in a rich Taleggio fondue and served on a baguette. And damn it if Masterpiece’s bland-as-hell-sounding roasted vegetable sandwich isn’t one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat, too. The flavors of the fresh zucchini, wild mushrooms, and piquillo peppers mesh gloriously with the hummus, a zesty tomato tapenade, and aged provolone on a baguette. Though the Cubano — loaded with Black Forest ham and brined mojo pork and glued together with melted Swiss — might be enough to tempt even the president of PETA over to the dark side.

The original is in LoHi, where it was a pioneering good-food presence. There’s a second Masterpiece Deli in Uptown and a related eatery,  Masterpiece Kitchen, in Lowry.

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.