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Eureka! – Crooked Stave Dinner Excels

The right venue, the right menu, paired with the right craft beers, leads to more than harmony; it can lead one plus one to equal three. Unique contributions by a beer can reveal new facets of familiar foods, and the true artistry of a beer can breathe anew between bites of seasoned morsels. This is the sweet spot of synchronization Eureka! Restaurant recently struck with its Crooked Stave Beer Dinner in five courses of internationally-inspired small plates.

As Matt Gilman of Crooked Stave Artisan Brewing welcomed each guest to the dark barrel-wood lined restaurant on west Pearl Street, the evening light slowly fell, and the modern American grill came alive. Live folk and R&B guitar rifts punctuating his remarks about the softer side of Crooked Stave, whose reputation lies in robustly sour style beers, and the night’s showcase of the brewery’s most approachable projects.

Dinner began with a palate-cleansing “pepper roulette”– a dozen Shishito peppers, flash fried with lemon zest and tossed with tobiko-flying fish eggs. The golden roe glistened on the lightly toasted dark green peppers, one in about 50 of which can pack a real kick. On the plates I shared with my companion, we each had one pepper exuded a deep earthy heat similar to a Habanero.

Crooked Stave paired its Von Pilsner with the peppers, a golden lager with light yeast esters and a kiss of lemongrass, highlighting a common lemon flavor with the food. A crisp floral hop finish on each sip gently cleared the palate for the next bite.

The second course delivered an enlightened Mahi Mahi street taco beside a vinous wine-inspired beer. The taco burst with color and flavor, adorned with ruby watermelon radish staves, bright mango salsa and a creamy avocado-tomatillo sauce. Juxtaposed to the light char on the fish, the Petite Sour Rosé beer introduced tannins and fruits with a golden sour base. Gilman described the unique technique behind the beer as melding the practices of vintners and brewers. It starts with a lager base to which blueberry and raspberry skins are added, which lightly tint the beer a ruby orange. The aged beer’s fruity tart nose belied its low acidity, dry finish and light bacterial funk, mingling complex Old World sour characters with the spiciness of the New World fish taco.

In the third course, Eureka! introduced a fresh salad beside Cooked Stave’s Just Hazy India Pale Ale, a special project of brewery founder Chad Yakobsen.

The salad of rice noodles, arugula, carrots, bell peppers, and peanuts came lightly dressed in a sweet soy, ginger and sesame mixture. The beer style suggested a departure from Crooked Stave’s sour line-up, and surprised with a cross-style embodiment that could have stood on its own as well as in the pairing. The cloudy orange IPA opened with a floral citrus nose and malty background, as expected of the style, then inconspicuously slid into a tart fruitiness more familiar in a Lactobacillus sour. The delicate balance of bright hoppy notes and sour tartness lifted and intensified the myriad subtleties of the salad components, and made the evening worth it.

The dinner returned to fish in the fourth course with pan-seared salmon sautéed in Sauvignon blanc and herb butter. Lemon drizzled across the modest steak, zucchini and beet piqued the dish with freshness. Though the expertly prepared fish carried no oily feel or character, if it had, the bright L’Brett d’Or beer could have handled it. The care put into preparing the fish was equaled by that put into the beer, as Gilman explained the history of this “house gem” of Crooked Stave. The beer exuded a cheery fruitiness with curt acidity that cut through the earthy beet and aromatic salmon, while accentuating the fish’s seasoning. Layered and nuanced, this was the rarest and finest pairing of the night.

The fifth course completed the night in a traditional fashion– a sweet with a slow deep-oaked drink. The bourbon barrel cake, drizzled with caramel, and fresh vanilla bean ice cream delivered a soft sweet pillow to close a richly crafted meal. The aromatic dark sponge cake also surprised with a dense mouthfeel and exotic date character. Beside the cake, Gilman presented what he considered to be Crooked Stave’s finest dark beer: Serenata Nocturna 2016. The small batch brew released in November 2016 was aged six months prior to its release and had bottle conditioned at the restaurant for another eight months prior to the dinner.

The beer poured a ruddy gold, built on a Belgian Trippel base and enriched with barrel aging and fruit to become a Flemish Red tribute. Mushroom and dank barrel notes kissed the surface of the beer’s thick mouthfeel and wrapped with the cake’s caramel sweetness around the tongue. Stone fruit flavors and firm malts masked the beer’s light funk and accentuated the grainy vanilla ice cream in a sweet crescendo.

Pairings of unique beers and unique foods can either compete, complement, or pass each other in the night. The food-beer pairing skill at Eureka demonstrated by the recent dinner with Crooked Stave revealed they can do any of the above and you’ll always come away with a great experience. Expertly-prepared dishes bringing together new flavors and rich colors, beside complex layered beers crafted over years, this was more than a great meal; it was the type of experience foodies and beer geeks deserve.

 

Craft and artisanship from end to end!

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Boulder’s Movers and Shakers Names “Best Cocktail” in Mixologist Showdown

Boulder’s reputation for having a competitive restaurant scene provides us with so many opportunities to experience good-spirited, albeit heated competition. Movers and Shakers, a competition focused on naming ‘Boulder’s Best Cocktail,’ has been influential in ranking some of our city’s best since 2013. This year, Montanya’s Plantino Rum was the spirit inspiration for Boulder’s best mixologists to create […]

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The Taco Report: T/aco has untamed flavors ready to scarf

Once upon a time there was a bear that loved tacos. The bear loved tacos so much that he pursued them regardless of danger. So one day the hungry bear wandered into Boulder, confused by traffic, bewildered by loud noises, but hungry and determined. Soon he had ambled to the northwest corner of Walnut and […]

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The Queen of Cuisine - Ella Brennan

CineCHEF – A Dining and Movie Experience

The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF)  returns again this weekend with the creative and delicious CineCHEF competition on Friday, March 3rd @ 5pm. Since the festival started in 2005, BIFF co-founder, Kathy Beek, along with her sister Robin, have wanted to integrate the festival with Boulder chefs who have successfully put Boulder cuisine on the map. […]

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24 Carrot-A Gem Uncovered

There is life outside of the Boulder Bubble, and it shines in places like 24 Carrot. Located just 30 minutes away, in historic downtown Erie, 24 Carrot is a hidden gem. Named East County’s Best New Restaurant by the Boulder Weekly, 24 Carrot doesn’t disappoint. Shortly before six, on a blustery Monday night, the dining […]

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Roadhouse Boulder Depot – A Reason to Visit Boulder Junction

For many of us in Boulder, we have read much but had little reason to visit the area called Boulder Junction. We just discovered a delicious reason, provided you let your tastebuds take charge. According to the city’s website, “Boulder Junction (previously known as the Transit Village) is a 160-acre redevelopment area located in the geographic […]

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A New Standard, Still Wild

In the last year many a Pearl Street boulevardier may have peeked inquiringly into the doorway at Wild Standard, Bradford Heap’s high end seafood establishment, only to feel daunted by its exclusive seafood menu and a “dim sum style” table service that took some serious risks.  (See our previous post on Wild Standard’s changes.) The […]

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Eureka Restaurant on Pearl Street is Now Open

The Eureka! restaurant in the new building at 1048 Pearl Street (the old Daily Camera site) is open as of Labor Day, 2016. It is sometimes easy to predict what restaurants in Boulder will fail before their first birthday. The Pearl Street Steak Room was selling $80 steaks, Lyfe Kitchen was a super interesting restaurant with […]

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New Element to Explore

Boiled down, an ideal dinner or cocktail out has three essential elements: location, product, and atmosphere. The new Element Bistro in Gunbarrel has hit fairly high marks on these goals in its first month. The location is unique– amid the trees and birds above the suburban traffic. The cocktail list is extensive and food menu […]

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Wild Standard restaurant in Boulder

The Best Restaurant in Boulder You Have Never Tried

“Best” is naturally relative to your own palate and some of our readers surely have been there but Wild Standard at 1043 Pearl Street is an amazing restaurant that we, at least, had not tried before this week. It is sort of amazing that Wild Standard has not become more popular, given its famous owner (Bradford […]

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The Organic Dish: Your Personal Sous Chef

People of Boulder love to keep busy. Sometimes, 24 hours doesn’t  feel like enough time to squeeze in cooking dinner. That is why the The Organic Dish wants to do the meal prep for you. All you have to do is thaw, cook and eat! “We want to be your sous chef,” says Dan Sorrells, […]

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Eureka! No Crap on Tap in Former Daily Camera Location

We have all been waiting to see what public spaces are upcoming in the new building on the former Daily Camera site on west Pearl Street. We recently received a press release about a new restaurant, Eureka!, that will be opening September 5th. It is not typical we rehash press releases here at Eat Drink […]

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Over the Moon for Under the Sun

Incoming bombs shriek by, exploding with terrifying cracks and booms. You dive for cover in the gritty trench, gasping and wondering if you will live through the night, much less kiss your lover, or even drink another beer. And in that scary moment, your brain actually slows down and considers the seemingly arbitrary notion: Your […]

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Quick Buzz: Boulder County Craft Beer Pours May – June

Welcome to QUICK BUZZ – where we highlight upcoming craft beer releases throughout Boulder County. Note: We will continue to update this page, so please check periodically to receive the most current info.   Now Pouring (May 23, 2016) Liquid Mechanics, Lafayette: New England Sucka Punch (NE Style American IPA), Merica (Session IPA, gluten reduced) […]

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Articles

The Med – Patio dining at its finest

With the return of sunny afternoons and warm spring temperatures, the restaurant patio is an increasingly inviting venue. Among the hidden gems of the Pearl Street merchant district is just such a perfect dining patio. The Mediterranean Restaurant (“the Med” as it’s locally known) offers an intimate tiered approach to patio dining, squeezed amid multi-story […]

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Boulder’s West End Tavern delivers big, bold flavors on BBQ & Bourbon

Spring is here and beer and bourbon are flowing at The West End Tavern, a great place to start if you’re looking for a stiff drink and a piece of meat in Boulder. With 25 taps and 75 whiskeys on the menu, ordering can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily for you, we’re here to walk you […]

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Arugula Bar e Ristorante: A Harmonious Helping of Delicious in Boulder

Ask Boulderites what they care most about when choosing a restaurant and you’re sure to get a variety of responses and considerations. Is the food healthy? Are the ingredients local and organic? Is the food made with sustainability in mind? Will I be supporting local businesses and suppliers by eating here? Is the restaurant dynamic […]

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Vindaloo

Spicy goat and more on North 28th

North 28th Street at Valmont Road bustles with activity any Friday evening. Car dealer windows aglow offer cyclists a glimpse at another life. Gas stations bathe pedestrians in spheres of daylight cast beneath pure white LEDs. Pale pink hangs in the western sky, silhouetting our iconic local foothills. And goat is on the menu at Curry-N-Kebob, […]

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CineCHEF: An Upscale Take on Dinner and a Movie

The combo of “dinner and a movie” will never go out of style. However, the “same old” can get boring. In its second year, as part of the Boulder International Film Festival, CineCHEF is a creative iteration of “dinner and a movie.” A gourmet culinary experience, CineCHEF showcases chefs from some of Boulder’s most recognized restaurants. […]

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Man v. Mollusk meet again at Jax Boulder’s High West Oyster Fest

The festival, presented by Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, returns next Wednesday, March 2 at Boulder Theater. There is sure to be a whole lotta Shuckin’ goin’ on during the biggest oyster celebration in Boulder County. The fourth annual High West Oyster Fest (#HWOF2016) is said to bring forth “an Intergalactic Shucking & Eating […]

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The Ghost BBQ & Spirits – Worth Trying Even When Not At The Boulder Theater

The Ghost BBQ & Spirits has taken over the space previously occupied by George’s, immediately adjacent and connected to the Boulder Theater. As we previously wrote about George’s over four years ago, it is not easy in this space to create a restaurant that becomes anything other than a Boulder Theater afterthought for both locals and […]

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Riverside Renaissance: Per La Gente Fuses Fine Dining with a Folk Ethic

We reported a few weeks ago on the talented characters behind the Riverside Building’s newest culinary destination, Per La Gente. On that occasion, Executive Chef /co-founder Lewis Guarasci and his General Manager/co-founder Charese Borgerson shared their backgrounds and aspirations for the new establishment, while plying us with samplings off their dinner menu. The vision of […]

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Next Stop: Roadhouse Boulder Depot

Roadhouse Boulder Depot recently opened, and last weekend I stopped in to have some lunch and check it out. I was very excited to visit the restaurant for multiple reasons. First, the historical aspect of it–the building itself used to serve as the Boulder Train Depot, from 1890-1957. Secondly, there were several items on the […]

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Per La Gente: New Restaurant in Creekside Building to Serve Fine Dining for the Masses

Boulder has a strong contender to reverse the seeming jinx of the Riverside Building that hovers over Boulder Creek on Broadway. Per La Gente is an amazing new restaurant that is an awesome combination of fine dining and Boulder casual and has everything it needs to be successful. The restaurant was started by a team […]

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GoodBird Kitchen serves “Supreme Casual” at Longmont location

Restaurateur Dave Query has another victory to add to his ever-growing quest to dominate the restaurant – and the fried chicken – scene in Boulder County. The newest feat for the Big Red F founder includes trademarking the concept “Supreme Casual” – which is being executed at the first standalone location of GoodBird Kitchen outside […]

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Articles

Freshii–Fast casual on The Hill

Freshii, a fast casual restaurant opened on the Hill last August. It offers a diverse menu of soups, salads, wraps, bowls and sandwiches along with a wide array of fresh pressed juices. The happy news is that Freshii manages to live up to its promise to deliver a healthy meal that pops with flavor. All the dishes have been designed to […]

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BRU Boulder Beer Dinner pushes all boundaries with ‘Brewed Food’ meal

Chefs Ian Clark of BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats and Jensen Cummings, an experimental chef who founded “Brewed Food”, performed a balancing act of epic proportions as the pair collaborated on a six-course paired menu exhibiting “fermentation at its finest”, where beer meets food at the most recent Beer Dinner at BRU Boulder. Beer Chef Clark, who oversees […]

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Film & culinary buffs together for 3rd Flatirons Food Film Festival in Boulder

Unite your passion of all things slow food through the lens of documentary and short films at this year’s Flatirons Food Film Festival happening Monday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 25 in Boulder. The film festival is the initiative of film and culinary buff Julia Joun, whose passion for the International Film Series at UC-Boulder […]

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Fresh Thymes: Eating With Power!

It is powerful to be able to have whatever you want when ordering at a restaurant. Unfortunately, people with dietary allergies and intolerances do not always have that luxury. After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, Christine Ruch found that the best solution to conquering the fear of eating out was opening a restaurant […]

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Upslope announces plans for S’PARK brewery and restaurant in Boulder

Boulder-based Upslope Brewing Company announced today that the brewery plans to open an all-new experimental facility in east Boulder in conjunction with central Boulder’s S’PARK development. The 11,000 square foot brewpub at 34th Street and Valmont is scheduled for completion Fall 2017. The new facility will be home to all of Upslope’s experimental brewing and […]

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PizzaRev The newest restaurant at the 29th Street Mall

PizzaRev   is the new pizza place in town. Located in the 29th Street Mall,  it is a fast casual, build your own pizza and salad restaurant. Started in Southern California in 2012, this is the first outlet in Colorado. It is a simple concept of a build your own with multiple choices (similar to […]

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5 Reasons You Gotta Have “FATE”

Boulder’s FATE Brewing Company hits all the high notes The story behind the name FATE is essentially the same story told across many cultures. According to Wikipedia, Moirai is a name of the 3 sisters – or fates – who in Greek Mythology were said to have the power used to control the destiny of […]

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Sustainable Farm-to-Fork Guide

In June, New York-based GRACE Communications Foundation launched the EAT WELL GUIDE, an online directory of over 25,000 hand-picked restaurants, farms, farmers’ markets, food co-ops and other purveyors of local, sustainably produced food. The goal of the Guide is to help conscientious food enthusiasts find new options close to home, or lead the way to […]

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Sancho’s Gives Reason to Eat Steak

People often ask me why I don’t eat beef. I simply don’t like the texture and taste. However, the Plato de Carne Asada at Sancho’s is the exception to my beef avoidance. Sancho’s is a small, Mexican restaurant hidden in the shopping center on Iris and 28th by the DMV. It used to be called […]

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Sugarbeet Restaurant – Eclectic New American Cuisine

Neatly tucked in just shy of southwest Old Town Longmont, The Sugarbeet Restaurant is an eclectic blend of chef-prepared New American Cuisine, cocktails and fine wines in a destination which will entice and attract even the most selective foodie away from Boulder. Downtown parking issues and congestion are replaced with a high quality, small town […]

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Music in the Yard: Friends, food, brews at The Post

“Sarah-bbean Queen, now we’re sharing the same dream…and our hearts they beat as one.” No, this isn’t Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen,” it’s a parody that’s been stuck in my head ever since I heard it sung from the ever-so-entertaining group, Jethro Codeine & The Stool Pigeons, who put on a spectacular show last Sunday at […]

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PMG: Broadening Boulder’s Horizons

There is a stigma that wine can only be enjoyed if the drinker has a broad knowledge and understanding of wine. Emily Gold would like to break that stereotype, which is why PMG is about comfort, fun and approachability to wine and food. On a quiet Monday evening, I walk into PMG and am instantly […]

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Ella Recaptures Her Audience

  There is a rebirth happening in (almost) North Boulder.  Modest; yet noteworthy.  If you live or work or spend an extended amount of time in downtown Boulder (let’s say the 4 square miles surrounding the pedestrian mall) the pace of interaction in North Boulder may feel foreign.  To my taste it’s a bit calmer, […]

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Fast Casual Faves – Half Fast Subs

Fast Casual Faves – Half Fast Subs

Half Fast Subs is that rare restaurant concept, a fast casual joint that is highly successful with years of experience (19) and yet that only has one location – right here on The Hill in Boulder. The most amazing thing about Half Fast Subs is its menu, which has exactly 100 options on its menu […]

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Fast Casual Faves – Larkburger

At Eat Drink Boulder, several of the writers got together to talk about our Larkburger experiences and to taste some of their offerings. Larkburger touts giving its customers “the flavors you appreciate most, with the care you expect.”  Overall, those who frequent Larkburger agreed that it lives up to this claim.  The restaurant menu offers […]

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Fast Casual Faves – Moe’s Better

Our town is an unusual one, sporting more-than-its-share of contradictions and oddball behavior— that is widely known. And one such quirk is that, while on the one hand we support a colossal percentage of vegetarian, non-dairy, all-organic glutards, we simultaneously have a relenteless appetite for things that (arguably) aren’t so…ummm…health conscious. Beer. Ice cream. Meat. […]

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Fast Causal Faves – Modmarket for the Calorie Conscious

Modmarket was started by two people who wanted tasty, fresh, simple, quick but well-priced and healthy food. This resulted in the nine currently open Colorado locations as well as three restaurants in Texas. The menu offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, soups and home-style plates. The menu accommodates gluten-free eaters like myself, and all […]

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Boulder Fast Casual Faves

One of the pleasures of publishing Eat Drink Boulder is the chance to get together regularly with our writers and hear their informed, sensitive, always opinionated and often hilarious takes on the Boulder food and drink scene. The feature articles they write are masterful condensations of their views, but at our gatherings, the opinions come […]

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Walnut Brewery – Worth Another Visit

Most Boulderites have been to the Walnut Brewery at least once. After all, it was established 25 years ago in 1990 and considers itself “Boulder’s Original Brewpub”.  (Boulder Beer Company was founded in 1979 as Boulder’s – and Colorado’s – first microbrewery.) However, I find many of my Boulder friends don’t often want to go […]

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Boulder’s Quest for the Best – Indian Food

  Indian food is one of the most iconic cultural cuisines officially embraced by American taste buds across all 50 states. There is nothing quite like the powerful combination of spices, meats and vegetables that Indian fare delivers, especially when fresh out of a tandoori oven. Indian food is not only delicious but is healthy. […]

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Tequila 101: Slow Down and Smell the Agave

As we walked into the swirly snow outside, a hint of tequila on our tongues, my friend proclaimed that she was going to the liquor store to buy a bottle of añejo.  I’d say her proclamation was testament to a good “tasting.” Zolo Grill has offered Tequila 101 a few times over the years, and […]

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Pairings from a Pro

2020 – not just an address (2020 Ionosphere Street, Longmont), not just the name of a great new establishment … but the gold standard for vinous acuity in wine pairing.  So lets dive in with some imagery: Owner, chef, buyer, GM, and generally gregarious and sweet individual Matthew Koury is electric. 2020 volts of culinary energy […]

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Mindful slurping: Pho for one at Chez Thuy

I was paying for my ginger and daikon radishes, lamenting the fact that Maria Nguyen didn’t sell any home-cooking at her Asian Seafood Market.  “Where should I go for good Vietnamese?” I asked her.  “You go to Chez Thuy!” she barked at me (read this for context).  So, to Chez Thuy I went. Wondering if […]

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Lyfe Kitchen an Excellent Addition to Boulder’s East Pearl Street

The most unique thing about the new Lyfe Kitchen at 16th and Pearl Street in Boulder is situated right as you walk in the door. Diners are greeted by four separate menus: vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, wine & beer, and one that has everything the chefs prepare. As a vegetarian, it is pretty nice to not […]

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Break Your Fast at ModMarket (29th Street mall)

The email came into my inbox as I was brainstorming ideas for my next food write-up; naturally, I took note of the words “Breakfast is on us.” The email was from ModMarket—purveyor of “fast casual” salads, sandwiches, soup, pizza, and now, breakfast—and offered a 2-for-1 breakfast and an introduction to Chef Nate’s magic. So I rounded […]

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