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Dec 21, 2007 07:58 AM

Denver/Boulder: Please choose my lunch!

In a couple of hours I won't have to work again until January 3rd. Since the better half is off skiing, I am trying to think of a nicer place I could stop at in Denver or Boulder for lunch on the way home that meets the following criteria:
1. Not normally open for lunch except during the week (when I ordinarily would not be able to dine there)
2. Not one of my customary, tempting haunts such as Rioja
3. Not an ultra-casual place like a taco joint
4. I won't be imbibing, so beverages aren't important
5. Points if they have a nice bar area where I would feel comfy dining solo
6. Preferably something new-ish. How is Colterra in Niwot, for example? What about French 250? Anyone? Bueller?

If the parking lots at my office are any guide, most people are probably off of work and travelling by now. However, I figured there may be a few people still stuck online trying to stay awake who could give me some guidance (you know who you slackers are...heh heh).

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  1. Well, shoot, I was going to suggest Tahona in Boulder but it seems they aren't open for lunch. I'd love to try Colterra so my vote would be for that. I wish I was getting out of here in time for a nice lunch!

    1 Reply
    1. re: RobynS

      Thanks for the input! I still haven't decided. Most of the places I'd love to try don't seem to be open for lunch (Izakaya Den, for example). The Sushi Sasa tractor beam may pull me in (which violates my own criteria), although I see that Opus is open for lunch too. Hmmm.

      I must be intimidating or something (or people are actually too busy to give recs). hee hee.

    2. We went to Colterra for dinner during Denver Restaurant Week, and it really WAS good. Alba (in Boulder, next to McGuckin's) is also quite new and carries the Full Moon Grill pedigree. If you like Japanese food, Kasa at 15th and Pearl opened not many months ago.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        Thanks for the suggestions, Claire, although I left before you posted this. I think I'll wait and try Colterra at dinner. I just checked out your blog post on it and it sounds good. Due to impending snow and being unceremoniously cut off in traffic before I-225, I ended up at Osteria Marco yet again. Thought I would do dessert and coffee at Rioja afterwards, but was entirely too full.

        Ran into an acquaintance who told me about a new wine shop at 19th and Market called Sip that I want to check out. They may sell Wine Spectator there so you can pick up a copy like I did the other day and realize your youth is long gone upon seeing a member of Duran Duran in the Wine Talk column at the back. ;)

        1. re: rlm

          Could you share with us your impressions of Osteria Marco?

          1. re: jtc

            I love the small plates at Osteria Marco (the formaggio/salumi bar and antipasti items) the best. I’d recommend going with others and sampling as many of these items as you can. You can’t beat pristine, ethereal, silky strips of prosciutto that melt in your mouth paired with a creamy burrata and grilled toast. I am consistently frustrated that I can’t purchase prosciutto from area markets that tastes this good. I’m not sure if it’s the way the product is sourced or stored or because markets are slicing it on traditional deli equipment instead of one of those funky red salumi-cutting beasts like OM and Frasca have. They do a competent Caesar for people like my better half who seem to never tire of them, and the beet salad’s hazelnuts add a crunchy textural counterpoint which gives it a pleasing mouth-feel. I’ve only sampled a couple of pizzas so far—the four cheese with prosciutto added and the superior Artisan with house-made goat cheese, roasted red peppers, olives, and a bit of hot chili (which adds a nice punch). The rotisserie items are comforting and filling and are perfect for the “meat and potatoes” adherents in your bunch. I am not known to ever finish the greens on my plate (don’t tell my mom), but I can make an exception for their garlic spinach. I haven’t been for their Sunday whole roasted pig special yet, and I haven’t sampled anything from the Panini section of the menu (although I’ve heard good things). I still get evil Del Mar Crab House flashbacks when walking down the stairs, but that will fade as those bad memories are replaced with good ones from Frank Bonanno’s kitchen.

            Their website has been spiffed up (note that you can turn the music off by clicking on the icon in the upper left-hand corner a few times):

            1. re: rlm

              Thanks for the report. I look forward to trying it.

      2. Have you been to Domo on 10th & Osage in Denver? I think that nothing is better on a winters day than a big bowl of soba noodles.. and theirs are divine. Its the kind of place you want to linger, perfect for those lazy days after Christmas.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bongomama

          Yes, I had an outstanding Japanese Curry with Tonkatsu there once, but I always seem to forget about this place. You're right about the perfection of noodles on a winter day though. I should have at least thought about grabbing some pho somewhere.

        2. The Kitchen in Boulder on Pearl next to Juanita's is excellent for lunch

          1 Reply
          1. re: ddaniel

            The Kitchen is also good for bkfst.