The bite is back – Boulder Weekly
Raise your hand if you only eat or order regularly at the same six restaurants. Be honest. Has this list of favorite restaurants gotten shorter? Raise your other hand if you haven’t eaten at a new restaurant in Boulder in the past two years. Just nod your head if your palate is more than a little bothered by the usual suspects.
Don’t shrug your shoulders sheepishly; your food columnist did the same during the pandemic, settling for a few sure and familiar favorites. Now, it’s time to experience new tastes and new scenes, and that’s just one of the reasons I can’t wait to have First Bite. The other is that Boulder’s most popular and longest-running culinary event had to be canceled in 2020, leaving a culinary and emotional void.
First Bite Boulder Restaurant Week, October 8-17, offers multi-course dinners at three price points – $ 29, $ 39, and $ 49 – at 32 restaurants. Participating restaurants range from early-serving locations like Boulder Cork and the Greenbriar Inn to First Bite newbies like Ash’Kara, Corrida, Dry Storage, Ska Street Brewstillery, Boulder Brewery and Chimera.
“COVID has shown us that we must choose to support local independent restaurants or we risk losing them,” says Jessica Benjamin, owner and producer of First Bite. In 2020, First Bite published a cookbook, A Bite of Boulder: cook at home with the best restaurants in Boulder, as a way to encourage community support for restaurants. Since then, three contributors to the tome – Zolo Grill, West Flanders Brewing and Shine – have been shut down.
Time changes necessitated a restart of First Bite in 2021, including moving the event from winter to fall to facilitate alfresco dining.
“There are still a lot of people who want to dine out, and most restaurants have well-established patio layouts,” says Benjamin.
In the past, First Bite focused on multi-course sit-down meals, often with food and wine pairings. “This year we are offering different types of dining experiences for different diners. We didn’t want it to be an elitist gastronomic event, ”says Benjamin. The Ten Days of First Bite allow diners to choose from three, four and five course feasts, all-you-can-eat meals and family-style dinners. The wide range of cuisines and diets range from West End Tavern’s meat-laden barbecue platter to Sugarbeet’s buffalo kebabs with corn cakes to roasted corn soup, arctic char with couscous. pearl and, for the grand finale, a hot sweet and sour chocolate truffle cake with espresso cream ice cream and a chocolate cookie.
For the first time, First Bite includes brunch October 8-10 at The Post, Centro, Boulder Brewery and the new Waffle Lab.
Whether you’re dining inside or out, grabbing take out or delivery, First Bite enables community members to show their support for independent restaurants that have struggled for 18 months and give a boost. financial thumb to the few hard-pressed servers.
Japango, 22, from Boulder, jumped at the chance to compete again. “We’ve been doing First Bite for at least eight years. Our sushi chefs are enthusiastic because it allows them to get creative with the ingredients and flavors and get away from the usual menu, ”explains Erin Banis, co-owner of Japango.
“I love First Bite because I always try new places and we have clients who come to Japango for the first time,” Banis says.
For some guests, the appeal of First Bite is not have to decide what to order. Japango’s First Bite offer is a trio of chefs at $ 29, cool dishes each created by one of their three chefs:
- The tuna sashimi is presented with an aji amarillo yuzu and bayberry sauce as well as hearts of palm, bee pollen, coriander oil, yuzu tobiko and squid ink tile.
- A small seared wagyu steak arrives with garlic soy, garlic crisps, and a creamy miso edamame mash.
- A memorable salad is topped with lots of real crab and infused with heat.
Japango’s $ 49 local upgrade adds a bourbon-based pumpkin spice cocktail Boulder Spirits Sherry Cask and dessert.
First Bite is also in partnership with Table Mountain Farm of Longmont, makers of award-winning goat’s milk caramel sauces featured in desserts at Greenbriar Inn, Dagabi Cucina, Empire Lounge and Restaurant, as well as Japango.
Those who cannot dine in person at the 32 participating restaurants can order delivery. Nosh, the food delivery service owned by the Boulder restaurant, will donate 10 percent of all First Bite delivery orders to Emergency Family Assistance.
When deciding to be a part of First Bite, please follow this catering guideline: wear a mask when asked, be patient, be kind to the waiters, and tip generously.
Other First Bite restaurants include Avery Brewing Co., Bohemian Biergarten, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Café Aion, Chautauqua Dining Hall, Izakya Amu, Jill’s, Leaf, OAK at Fourteenth, River & Woods, Salt, Sforno, Sushi Zanmai, T | aco, and Zucca. (Find the menus and reserve the tables on firstbiteboulder.com)
Local culinary news
Bella La Crema, the famous manufacturer of cultured butter and butter-centric coffee, has closed its original location and will reopen in a new location in Lyon in 2022. Sweet and savory cultured butters are still available online and at Solace, 437 Main St., Lyon. . . Lucky’s Bakehouse Cafe has reopened at 3980 Broadway with a new menu from Chef Jennifer Messinger. . . Pie alert! Tip The best pies in Lafayette and Gunbarrel briefly introduce a truly rare, exotic and delicious variety: the fresh pineapple pie.
Words to chew
“Dinner (verb): to eat a good dinner in good company, and eat it slowly. When dining, unlike just eating, the palate and stomach never ask the hand: “What are you giving us?” “” – writer Ambrose Bierce, (1842-1914)
John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles at 8:20 a.m. Thursday on KGNU (88.5 FM, online at kgnu.org). Comments: m[email protected]