Healthy, tasty & almost paleo at downtown Boulder restaurant
I’ve been to Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place any number of times for happy hour and to celebrate friends’ book launches. Click here for a post about my first happy hour visit, including a description of the beguiling décor. The other day, I not only went there for lunch for the first time, but I also had a chance to chat with Jessica, one-third of the Emich triplet team that owns Shine. She is the one who went to culinary school.
The Emichs’ previous downtown Boulder venture, Trilogy, was a restaurant, wine bar and entertainment venue. When they felt they had outgrown the late nights, they sold the restaurant and then took on the challenge of operating the Gold Lake Resort & Spa, a tranquil retreat in the nearby mountains that garnered rave reviews under their guidance. When when the property was sold and ultimately closed, they took a break — if getting married and having babies could be considered a break.
Shine is something of a grown-up version of Trilogy — a restaurant with a focused menu that is healthful, gluten-free, natural, seasonal and on the paleo threshold. I write “threshold” because it is not 100% paleo (also called the “caveman diet”). The main deviation is that sandwiches, which Shine serves, require bread. Turns out that the grinding or milling grains is considered “processing,” and that is not part of the paleo. I had no idea. Jessica says, “It is the way I cook, eat and feed people.”
No surprise that when I went there on a warm fall day with another woman, we both drew a bead on the salads. Two women at lunch = two salads:
There’s nothing exotic these days about “seasonal” food and “local” sourcing, but paleo remains cutting edge, at least in the restaurant realm. I don’t pay much mind to fad diets, so I didn’t recognize it on earlier visits, Shine aces the paleo approach (also called “the caveman diet”) focusing on vegetables, meats and seafoods — with foods either raw or cooked, but otherwise unprocessed.
In addition to sustainably crafted wine and cocktails, and beers brewed on-site, Shine’s elixir bar features age-old tonics combined in potions that are said to be high in antioxidants, great for anti-aging, help digestion and so on. Shine’s potion bar features flower essences and elixirs in unique combinations to pep you up, calm you down or even have aphrodisiac effects.
What’s next? A small retail area that will include potions. Expansion of a food line currently being sold though Mile High Organics. More fermented items. Fermentation, it seems, is has the stamp of paleo approval. Cooking classes. Continuing the welcome community. The sky, it seems, is the limit — is long has there is a health-conscious community up there.
Price check: At lunch, starters, soups and salads, $7-$12.50; sandwiches, $9.75-$12.50; entrees, $9.50-$13.50; protein add-ons, $4.50-$9; sides, $5.50; desserts, $2.25 (raw chocolate truffle) and $7.50 (all others).
Shine seems to have slipped off Urbanspoon’s roster. It is located at 2027 13th Street, Boulder; 303-449-0120.