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Jan 7, 2008 04:19 PM

Boulder's Prima has Closed

Just a few weeks ago, L'Absinthe at Broadway and Walnut said au revoir, closing for good. Now Prima, the Kevin Taylor restaurant anchoring the other end of the block at 13th and Walnut has said arrivadercci (sp?) and is also gone for good.

The former L'Absinthe space quickly was taken over by the Scotch Bar (or similar), a pub. Wonder what will become of the Prima space.

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  1. Wow. That's the second KT flame-out I'm aware of in Boulder. I quite liked Dandelion (now occupied by Brasserie 1010). I am surprised that L'Absinthe stayed open as long as it did, as there never seemed to be anyone there (made even more obvious by the fact that they were on such a prominent corner). My lasting memory of that place is how the server ignored me and turned to my husband and asked, "Sir, would you like to see the wine list?" ("Well, the wife who is paying for this meal and knows more about wine would.")

    1 Reply
    1. re: rlm

      Too bad that the server wasn't as savvy as the chef was gifted. I went there a few times for happy hour (lovely small plates and good wine) with husband and/or friends, a few times for lunch w/ friends and one for a really lovely Valentine's Day dinner (Feb 14, 2007, in fact). I figured the restaurant was havinf problems when they introduced a buffet lunch a few months ago but hoped they could ride it out. We'd made tentative plans to return for Feb 14 '08.

    2. Large space, spotty quality + high prices = disaster. I had good and not so good meals at Prima. Didn't seem up to KT's flagship or KT at the Opera.

      Tried the Scotch Corner last week for dinner and was happy. Nice selection of whiskys (no one can match Pint's Pub, though.) The menu was a better than the average pub and execution was good. Service was cheerful but abysmal - I'll chalk it up to newness. All in all, I like the addition to Boulder's scene.

      4 Replies
      1. re: dogbreath

        I supposed I'd ben more enthusiastic about Scotch Corner if A) I liked scotch or B) I didn't regret the loss of Prima. We usually had rather good service once we were seated (the hostesses were sometimes ditsy, but I don't think they are generally hired for the IQs). Maybe we were just lucky, but the food was always good.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          Uh-oh. You realize that you're comment about hostess IQs could land you in big trouble with Boulder's hate thought police!

          Since L'Absinthe was so abysmal, the Scotch Corner was a very welcome replacement, especially since I do love Scotch.

          1. re: dogbreath

            I would just point out that Kevin Taylor's original restaurant empire declared bankruptcy about 5 years ago. The Prima closure could be a reflection of his business acumen as much as the location, service, food, etc.

            I have really enjoyed his Denver restaurants over the years espcially Zenith which is long gone. Oh well.

            1. re: ColoradoFun

              Zenith/Brasserie Z was great. The replacement Nicois(e) was not. I remember he closed that one right after the new year (reportedly without letting staffers know in advance).

              Oh, and I remember we had a couple of fish dishes that were very good at L'Absinthe, but I think they had such constant staff upheaval that consistency was an issue. I'm not into scotch either, so I doubt I'll check out Scotch Corner.

      2. Daily Camera article and reader comments today on this very issue:

        1 Reply
        1. re: rlm

          We never tried Prima, due to a horrible tasting at the Boulder Food and Wine festival last summer. I've heard that the Scotch Bar keeps a separate kitchen for vegetarian cooking which I think is pretty neat. We don't drink Scotch, but I'll give it a try just for that reason. We tried Bimbamboo this week and were pleasantly surprised! My BF loved his Korean Beef rice dish and I really enjoyed the tofu green curry rice dish. The service was crazy bad, but they just opened so are most likely just working out the kinks. The crystal rolls were pretty blah, I'd stay away from that app!

        2. I've been lurking here for quite awhile and have finally decided I should start contributing more!
          This is a good thread for me to start with as I have a strong opinion. My hubby is not a foodie and it can be hard for me to convince him to try a new place. I twisted his arm to go to Prima for Boulder's restaurant week last year and we had a pretty poor experience. The service was pretty poor (he had to flag a waitress down more than once to get his water refilled) and the food was very uninspired and bland. Hubby's comment was "You could have cooked a much better meal for much less money. We won't come here again, will we?" I have a good friend who went, also during restaurant week (her hubby is a foodie and they try new places often) and they had an almost identical experience.
          We aren't sorry to see Prima leave and are hopeful that something better will show up!

          5 Replies
          1. re: frisbeesage

            Restaurant weeks in general are a good way for people to try places they've never been, but it's not always a true test of the total experience. In theory, the kitchen should be able to handle it, because they can concentrate on only a handful of dishes, compared with their regular menu. OTOH, servers are often overwhelmed, esp in a place like Boulder when many servers are new/experienced/part-timers/two-job-holders while going to college -- or just to make ends meet in an expensive community

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              I guess since I've had really great experiences at other restaurants during those weeks I was holding Prima to the same standards. The restaurant was far from full, so the kitchen and our waitress should not have been slamed. We don't go out as often as some of you seem to (I love to cook) so fair or not we don't give a restaurant a second chance if we don't like it.
              I'm really looking forward to Denver's restaurant week end of Feb. We had a fabulous meal at The Fort last year. I'm thinking of trying out Elways or Duo (or maybe both!) this year.

              1. re: frisbeesage

                160+ restaurants are already listed on the Denver Restaurant Week website
                Menus will be posted soon.
                Start thinking about reservations for the busier and smaller places.

                1. re: Pastajohn

                  Ohh, fun! When can you start making reservations?

                  1. re: lavendula

                    You can make reservations now as long as restaurants are willing to take them. Some folks wait until all of the menus are posted before making their decisions but if you have a favorite that you always wanted to try, I would book it now.