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Nov 14, 2010 11:41 AM

Trip Report October 6-10: Denver, Boulder

Wednesday: Rioja: Sat at the bar, noshed on some small plates: the Colorado peach appetizer, which was great but was very rich and would have been better as dessert, the roasted Brussels salad, and the fresh bacon, and a spectacular cheese plate for dessert. I would love to go back here five days in a row and try every single dish.

Thursday: Conference dinner….

Friday: John’s in Boulder. I loved John’s. Tucked into a neat little quiet home, which is great ambiance for a traveler who’s been on the road a few days. I started with champagne and the Italian White Anchovies, which were salty, lemony, and not at all fishy. The Wild Arugula Salad was excellent, and had a good amount of Marcona almonds - which I adore. For my entrée I had the Colorado buffalo ribeye. Huge steak, grilled to a perfect medium rare, nice garlicky chimichurri sauce. I had my heart set on dessert, so I had to leave at least half the steak on my plate. Good decision, as the the Wild Cherries – brandy marinated cherries with chantilly cream sweet chocolate fondue- was amazing. Best dessert I’ve had in years. I loved John’s Restaurant.

Saturday morning: Went to the Boulder Farmer’s Market . Had a very tasty corn and cheese tamale topped with green chili sauce. Bought some apples to nibble on. Bought some ground mushroom powder, dried pasta. Very nice market. I enjoyed strolling down the food alley trying to decide what to sample, listening to music, checking out the local produce. Much like the Minneapolis Mill City Market – the focus is on the food and the community, very few crafters.

Saturday afternoon: Had my first ever Green Chili at the Chautauqua Dining Hall. I am hooked.

Saturday night: I just hated to cancel Black Cat. I tried to move my reservation up to 7:00, but they were packed. I needed to watch the Minnesota Twins in the playoffs. So I had a smoked chicken quesadilla at The Corner Bar (in Hotel Boulderado, where I was staying). It was good. Drank some local beer. Watched my poor Twins lose yet again to the damn Yankees.

Sunday night: The Kitchen: Started with the country terrine with Dijon. It was a coarse style, which I like, framed with bacon, several strong spices. I really liked this dish. For my entrée I had Colorado trout and a side of Brussels with bacon. The fish was simply prepared, very delicate and moist. My dessert was a snifter of brandy back at the Hotel. I really liked the simple, fresh, spot on cooking at The Kitchen. However, I was very tired, and the noise level really did me in. It did look, though, that everyone was having a great time!

Monday afternoon: Went to Juanita’s – found out they are closed Monday’s. Went back to The Kitchen, sat at the bar downstairs, had a nice glass of wine, tomato soup with olive oil, and the Charcuterie Board – Proscuitto and cornichon, chicken liver pate with pickled chard and country terrine (see Sunday night review) with Dijon, served with a dense dark bread. The lunch crowd was lively, but I didn’t mind the noise level at all this time.

I had a great time Boulder. Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and an abundance of great dining places. Thank you, all, for the comments, guidance and recommendations you gave to me in my previous post.

p.s. Places on my list for my next visit: Black Cat, SALT, Arugula, Frasca (closed for renovations), Juanitas (closed Mondays).

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  1. Sounds like an excellent trip! Glad we could help.

    1. Thanks for the great write-up. Always nice to hear reports back from visitors.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rlm

        If you were here now, you could try a 3-course dinner at some of these restaurants for just $26 -- First Bite Boulder bargain. Frasca, which reopened right on schedule, never participates. Doesn't need to! If/when you return and want some company, put a note on Chowhound (if it's allowed), and let's see if we can wrangle some local Hounds to get together.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          Thanks, ClaireWalter! It would be fun to get together with locals. I'm keeping my eye on the Board, very curious toread new reviews on Frasca. Have a great Thanksgiving. -Mary

      2. And so a new green chile convert is born. Congrats!

        4 Replies
        1. re: tatamagouche

          If you're interested in trying your hand at making green chili at home, I love this recipe (not least because it uses the term "cattywompus," which is a favorite of mine):

          1. re: monopod

            Thanks! I've seen that guy's site, I like it. I'm not allowed to make green or red chile at home though--that's strictly my SO's domain. In fact we've got a big pot in the fridge right now.

            1. re: monopod

              Dang, that looks good, and seems like a good candidate for the crock pot.

              1. re: LurkerDan

                Not a spectacular crockpot recipe because it requires too much prep before going into the pot - by the time you've got the onions softened, the tomatillos blackened, the chiles blackened and skinned, the pork cut up and browned, and the whole mess ready to simmer, you've already done 3/4 of the work. At that point it just needs a couple of hours in a pot on the stove, which isn't really any harder than using a crockpot. I suppose you could prep it all the night before and throw it in the crockpot the next morning, but in my mind a good crockpot recipe should have relatively little pre-pot prep - just cut it up, maybe brown the meat, and then throw it all in the pot.

          2. Next time you are in Boulder head on up the Diaganol Hwy to Niwot. We have a GREAT restaurant here, Colterra. If you come during the warmer weather the patio is a nice place to dine. The gardens are trully a sight to see with all the summer vegies growing. I am taking my Mom for her birthday dinner tonight, CAN HARDLY WAIT! The food is right up there with some of the best in Los Angeles.

            210 Franklin St., Niwot, CO 80504

            2 Replies
            1. re: JEN10

              Beautiful menu. My mouth watered thinking about the duck confit gnocchi. Thanks for the recommendation.

              1. re: rp1760

                We went last night and I had the special, duck breast and a duck leg confit, superb!!! Mom gad the lamb shank, it was rich and delicious, hubby had the pork tenderloin over cheesey polenta, need I say more.