I love Colorado.
C and I have talked, extensively in fact, about moving to Boulder or Denver. We could live quite well in here and we could buy a nice little house on the profit we've made on the loft.
The scary part of all this, which really keeps us from moving forward with the plan, is that once we LEAVE the Bay Area, it's unlikely we'll ever be able to afford to move back again.
So, I suppose I'm a pretty lucky girl to have the Boulder contacts that I do, and to have the luxury to eat as well as I do in the Denver Metro area.
Last night, a group of us went to dinner at the brand-spanking new (we're talking 10 days open) Restaurant 4580 in North Boulder. Martin Hammer, proprieter & Gen. Mgr took incredible care of us, while Kelli Kingsford put a sexy and delicious spin on some very comfortable dishes.
Once we were seated, I ordered a luscious and well-loved bottle of '03 Domaine Pavelot Guettes and an assortment of "small plates" to start our table of six off.
(Side note: There's something so incredibly cool about being the only girl in a team of, say, 15 boys. I love it, and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. So here's a shout-out to TSch., who knows a good thing when he sees it, and doesn't shy away from the 'status quo'.)
The Mussels at 4580 are amongst the best I've had. But, you know... you can get mussels just about everywhere. So, if you're feeling it, you'll order the Bacon-wrapped Chorizo-stuffed Dates (so good that I only got a photo after the plate had been pillaged). Yeah. And then, to supplement, you'll order the Batter-fried Shrimp, happily nesting in their light and delicious batter, loaded with delicate lemon zest.
Now, y'all know I love restaurants who know their audiences. So when I asked if it was possible to get the Black Risotto featured on the "Large Plates" menu in a half order, and received a hearty "Of Course"... well, I knew I was home. This is some pretty special risotto. While I adore Carnaroli rice, I was really pleased that Kingsford uses the more hearty Arborio rice to hold up to the heavier flavors of the black trumpet mushrooms. Everyone else ordered some iteration of salad, all of which were happily scarfed down.
T.Sch almost always orders "Chef's signature dish -- I love exotic stuff". This time, he got a luscious Niman Ranch Pork Shoulder with Black Lentils. Wow. There are so few restaurants who take the time to slow-braise pork shoulder, but when they do... well, Wow.
Now, it's a rare occasion that I will ever order chicken in a restaurant. But when I see Truffle-skin Chicken on the menu... yeah. And, oh my god... if I could cook chicken like this at home, we'd own stock in Foster Farms, I suppose.
With our entrees, we enjoyed one of the most supple Priorats I've ever had -- 2003 Clos Martinet. This wine is blue-black velvet, loaded with lead-pencil graphite, big black fruit, and mouth-filling tannins. It was an exceptional pairing with most of the dishes on the table, and a wine that could easily spend another decade in the bottle, I'd guess.
Desserts continued on a similar path -- I sampled both the Frozen Chocolate Souffle and the assortment of Sorbet's & Gelato's, which we enjoyed with a Paul Jaboulet Baumes de Venise. I think the Pomelo sorbet may have been one of the most exquisite I've ever had - to the point that I had to order an extra scoop to savor all for myself.
Coffee, I was not surprised to find out, is served as a pot of French Press for the whole table.
I will be back. Soon. 4580 is doing some really special things in the kitchen and, along with a few other restaurants in Boulder, makes me rethink my aversion to leaving the Bay Area because "Denver doesn't have great food".
4580 Broadway Blvd
North Boulder, CO