Monthly Archives: November, 2011

Where to Eat (Order) this Week: Thanksgiving Made Easier

November 18th, 2011 Posted by Boulder, Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants No Comment yet

With the holiday season officially here, many of us are scrambling to fill in the missing pieces to make Turkey Day a success.  We at Culinary Connectors believe every holiday should be relaxed, and filled with excellent wine and tasty food!  Here are a few ideas to help you accomplish these things. In order to help keep you happy and up-beat when the in-laws arrive, Mondo Vino in the Highlands offers up to15% off for a full case of any one single wine and 5% off for a full case of any one single beer. For easy and delicious appetizers, stop by Pajama Baking Company for freshly baked baguettes and house-made hummus or spinach artichoke spread.  Boulder’s newly opened Cured will hook you up with artisan cheeses, salumi and even wine to help get the party started.  Also in Boulder, The Dish Gourmet  has you covered from turkey to pie and everything in between–order must be in by today for you last minute planners!  Many believe the best part of Thanksgiving is the grand finale pie and we have two dessert divas to end your meal on high note: Happy Cakes is making not only the traditional pumpkin, but also apple, cherry and sweet potato pies.  Boulder’s Piece, Love and Chocolate will have chocolatey variations on holiday favorites such as Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, a traditional pumpkin pie with a chocolate crust and pumpkin chocolate swirls sure to leave your guests bragging (and envious of) of your great find.  So while we can’t promise a completely stress-free Thanksgiving, we hope these culinary gems will help, at least a little.

The Kitchen and Other Master Plans

November 14th, 2011 Posted by Boulder, Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants No Comment yet

 

Since the doors opened at The Kitchen in Boulder, this restaurant group with heart has played an integral part in Boulder’s booming food scene.  The idea behind The Kitchen is one of community and the camaraderie is felt the minute you walk in the door; the cluster of restaurants considers themselves a family. It includes: The Kitchen [Upstairs] a wine, beer, and cocktail lounge complete with a fireplace, an extensive beer list, and wood-fire oven, The Kitchen [Next Door] a community pub with farm-to-table food in a casual and kid friendly atmosphere ($2 from every kids meal is donated to help plant gardens in local schools), and The Kitchen, a bistro with a farm-to-table menu reflecting simple and straightforward preparation of comfortable classics.  Boulderites have been fortunate enough to experience The Kitchen’s charm and Denver will soon be able to catch the bug too; The Kitchen [Denver], is coming to town.

General Manager and Beer Director, Ray Decker was raised in the industry, or above it really, as he and his family lived above his family’s seafood restaurant in Northern New Jersey. He would get up at 4:30 in the morning to make the haul to New York’s Fulton’s Fish Market three days a week and even at a young age, Ray enjoyed it.  He started working for the restaurant as a dishwasher at 13 and worked his way up through the different positions, eventually finding his niche in the Front of House. Ray is no stranger to hard work.  He spoke to us about The Kitchen’s compassionate over-all philosophy and their newest addition arriving this spring.

Where did the idea for The Kitchen come from?

The Kitchen started as an idea between Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk about 9 years ago.  While out on a walk the two connected and learned of their individual passions for both cooking and restaurants and decided to start a venture together.  The key ingredient in their connection was the passion for quality of ingredients and the relationships with the local farmers in town.  This was a way of living for Hugo while growing up in England and it was the way in which he wanted to share this passion with the people of Boulder.

The philosophy behind The Kitchen is…

The grounding philosophy behind The Kitchen is driven by the community.  Whether it’s the farmers that grow our food, the schools in which we plant gardens, or the way we choose to serve our meals, community is the foundation to how we operate.  It’s a founding principal that has become a way of being for us at The Kitchen.

Why is The Kitchen important to Boulder?

Boulder although considered a City, and at times can be quite busy definitely has a very “local” feel to it.  I feel that restaurants like The Kitchen have a way of bringing people together through good food, service and locality.  It’s a place where you’re likely to sit directly next to the person that was picking your vegetables that morning, or possibly brewing the beer that is on your table.

Your favorite Colorado local products or produce?

If I had to choose my favorite Colorado product, it would be the amazing beer that this state produces.  Breweries like Avery, New Belgium and Oskar Blues are currently killing it and serving as mentors/role models for all of the great Micro Breweries that are popping up.

The produce that I love and usually can’t wait for are the peppers that pop up during the late summer/early fall, and then the squash that grow, specifically from Bob Munson.  I haven’t met anyone more passionate about squash then Mr. Munson, and if you ever get yourself in conversation with him regarding this, you’ll surely be entertained and informed.  Such an amazing guy…

What can you tell us about the upcoming Denver location?  How will it be different from the Boulder location? 

The Kitchen [Denver] will be amazing… It’s located on the SW corner of 16th and Wazee (1530 16th Street)  in the old Sugar Building.  Being built in 1906, roughly 7 years after The Kitchen’s Boulder location, Denver will have a very similar feel to it.  Exposed brick and rock, will give the space a very vintage feel, and the designers of the space will do their best to allow the beauty to shine through.  In line with the direction of The Kitchen [Next Door], Denver will showcase 10 different wines on tap.  The Kitchen [Denver] will embrace this trend that is gaining a lot of momentum in California, and it’ll be great to see how it’s received in Denver.  One area that will be different in Denver will be the private dinning room capabilities.  The space will allow for roughly 50 seats to create private parties and events. This will be ideal for our monthly “Beer and Wine Classes”, as well as our popular Beer dinners, especially around the GABF in September. Another area that will be different is the raw bar that will be located out front attached to the bar area.  Oysters, mussels and crab will be visible for all to see as the chef prepares traditional Fruits de Mer.  Definitely very exciting for us.

Us too.

Where to Eat this Weekend: Zoe Ma Ma

November 12th, 2011 Posted by Boulder, Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants No Comment yet

 

 

 

Zoe Ma Ma is a small five-table restaurant in Boulder’s West End that one could easily find on a Taiwanese corner.  Businessmen, college kids, and families sit at the high-top tables facing the street, smiling faces over chopsticks and steaming bowls.  The food is quick and authentic.  Here you won’t find orange chicken, overcooked rice or greasy egg rolls.  Instead, the menu boasts homemade organic noodles, free-range chicken and all natural meats.  The menu favorites are CPR (chicken, potatoes and rice) and the Za Jiang Mian, homemade noodles with seasoned ground pork and vegetables.  Owner Edwin Zoe was lucky enough to grow up eating his mother’s delicious Chinese food.  His missed his mom’s food after living in Boulder for some time, but was fortunate enough to see her a few times a year to indulge in his childhood favorites, as she was then living in the mid-west.  Eventually, an opportunity arose for Edwin to buy the small space on Boulder’s 10th Street.  His mother, Zoe Ma Ma, who also goes by Anna, was excited about doing something she was passionate about, cooking.  Although she was then retired, she jumped right in, working up to sixteen hour days and has shown no signs of slowing down.  Edwin is lucky to have grown up with such amazing food in his life, and now we are lucky enough to enjoy it too.  Stop by any time, Ma Ma will be happy to have you.

Zoe Ma Ma 2010 10th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

303.545.MAMA


A Cool, Fall Day Meets a Hot,Delicious Lunch

November 9th, 2011 Posted by Chefs, Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants No Comment yet

By Becky Creighton

It might be easy to forget that one of the city’s hottest Italian restaurants is also open for lunch during the week. il Posto is a short drive from downtown, making this small, neighborhood restaurant a perfect spot for a great lunch.

I walked in and ran into my “West Virginia brother”, sous chef Ryan Gorby of ChoLon Restaurant, who was there meeting a friend for lunch.  I grabbed a seat at the chefs bar and watched as the dining room slowly filled up.

il Posto has nailed it.  They offer great food, a relaxing atmosphere and attentive service.  The pace is up to you;  you need to be back in an hour – no problem, business lunch – perfect spot, leisurely lunch with friends – great wine list.

The food is up to executive chef/owner Andrea Frizzi and his long term staff.  The chef behind the stove today was Mario, who has been with Andrea for just under three years, and the food was up to him.  (And I was a lucky girl for it.) I love sitting at the chefs counter and talking with them as they cook and I particularly like asking them what to order.  Mario suggested the butternut squash soup with fresh figs and housemade chamomile and apple marsh mellows.  Yep, I said marsh mellows and they were delicious.  The hot soup hit these pillows of fluffly, flavor love and melted to a create a creamy texture in the soup, it was delicious.  And on a cool, fall day, it was perfect.

il Posto Lunch

House made taglierini with manilla clams

Next up was the house made  taglierini with manilla clams in a heirloom tomato broth with a hint of cayenne pepper.  The flavors and textures worked so well together and it was the perfect amount of food.  Both dishes also paired quite nicely with the crisp Falanghina I had ordered when I sat down.

I would like to say I had a wonderful dessert but I was too full and a bit crunched on time.  I would have liked to have stayed to sample some of their confections, drink another glass of wine and continue to chat with chefs Andrea, Mario and Jeff (who has been there for two years) but it was time to move on to my next meeting.

I so enjoyed my lunch experience there I won’t be forgetting about il Posto for lunch and I definitely look forward to returning to this quaint and delicious restaurant.

Ciao!

 

Where to Eat this Weekend: Basil Doc’s

November 4th, 2011 Posted by Culinary Connectors, Denver, restaurants No Comment yet

With an early winter upon us, cozy nights indoors with our most cherished people and favorite bottles of wine are becoming more common.  To accompany these luxuries, you need a good neighborhood take out or delivery joint so you can keep your Snuggie on.

Basil Doc’s is a pizza shop with four neighborhood locations and pie worthy of a stop on your drive home.  Or if you live in the ‘hood you can order delivery by phone or online.  The dough recipe came from the former owners’ favorite pizza place in New Haven, Connecticut, Pepe’s Pizza.  They liked it so much they decided to build their business around the dough, which includes (you guessed it) basil.  Now owned and operated by restaurant veteran Mike Miller, Basil Doc’s is a forward thinking, green, healthy, and neighborhood friendly pizza shop with a pie to please anyone, including a good gluten free option.   Have another glass of wine with your slippers on.  Tonight, dinner is taken care of.

 

Basil Doc’s

Crestmoore – 330 Holly Denver, Colorado 80220, 303.322.5832

Highlands- 3930 West 32nd Ave. Denver, Colorado 80212, 303.477.5400

Washington Park- 2107 E. Virginia Denver, Colorado 80209, 303.778.7747

Virginia Village- 1481 S. Holly Denver, Colorado 80222, 303.782.9900