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Thursday, July 9,2015

Eating local

Kathmandu II joins Boulder’s unique Himalayan food scene

By Matt Cortina
When you travel, one of the first things you tell folks about your trip is how the food was. It’s just a simple way to engage your conversation partners in a talk about your trip, which we care about but don’t really want to hear about, and give them something to latch onto.
Thursday, July 2,2015

A special place

Prime rib night at the Niwot Tavern

By Matt Cortina
It’s prime rib night at the tavern. There’s a happy murmur in the dining room, likely because it’s the kind of place where you can get a fat prime rib and baked potato for ten bucks on a Monday night. The prime rib special is about community. I have driven into the night on some interstate countless times, headed for some easy weekend retreat, and popped into an Al’s or a Roadside or a Moonlight, finding a cheerful community, switching booths, chatting up neighbors and laughing at playful waitress sass.
Thursday, June 25,2015

Surprising seafood

Caf Blue boasts an extensive seafood menu in Gunbarrel

By Matt Cortina
It took a while to find Café Blue in Gunbarrel. It’s hidden in a strip mall, which is in the shadow of another, bigger strip mall, which is in the shadow of a King Soopers… part of a larger strip mall. But inside those doors is a quaint, friendly cafe that serves a variety of lunch and dinner options and has a homey bar set right in the middle of the dining room.
Thursday, June 18,2015

A good representation

Brooklyn Deli does service to the East Coast

By Matt Cortina
There is a lot to like about Brooklyn Deli in Longmont. It imports many of its ingredients from New York or thereabouts. It accurately offers many of the classic sandwiches you’d find in a New York deli. It has a welcoming, East Coast sense of hospitality.
Thursday, June 11,2015

Fresh air

The Riverside Cafe does outdoor dining in style

By Matt Cortina
There might not be a better atmosphere in which to grab brunch in Boulder County than The Riverside Cafe. There are a number of Pearl Street verandas and Dushanbe’s beautiful interior certainly have their claims, but the natural and upscale patio at Food at the Riverside is hard to beat.
Thursday, June 4,2015

The friendly, global curator

Modena Wine Cafe in Longmont brings in the best from elsewhere

By Matt Cortina
I wonder what Teddy Roosevelt would think of a swanky wine bar. You are confronted with that question at Modena Wine Cafe in Longmont. It’s located next to Roosevelt Park, but more pertinently, its large windows open up to a Rough Rider-era Roosevelt, cowboy hat and spectacle on, no doubt ready to storm the hill with nothing but testosterone and an under-manned army behind him. Peering into the other corner of Modena is Roosevelt, the politician, yelling reedy from a train car railing, summoning those who had forgotten his prowess as a leader of state with gritty determination and soul-weakening personality.
Thursday, May 28,2015

Simply satisfying

Tibet’s Restaurant & Bar effects satisfaction in food and atmosphere

By Matt Cortina
Perhaps nowhere else in Boulder County is food tied to a place as much as Tibet’s Restaurant & Bar in Louisville is to the country and perspective of its namesake. The interior is designed with care and intention. The owners Mark Herman, and Kami and Pasang Sherpa, the latter two of whom are from Nepal, have carefully placed artifacts throughout the restaurant to effect calm and pleasure. “Each decoration,” the owners write, “serves as a reminder of Buddhist philosophy. … Tibet’s has been decorated with strategically placed items to create the best energy for the space.”
Thursday, May 21,2015

Authentic import

Chez Thuy continues to bring big, interesting flavor to Boulder

By Matt Cortina
Chez Thuy rewards the brave. The menu is large and varied, representing Vietnamese cuisine that blends French, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian elements. There are myriad noodle dishes, many familiar. There are appetizers, soups, meats and curries that are no doubt delicious, but that are available at about the same quality just about everywhere.
Thursday, May 14,2015

Tracking down perfection

Wayne’s Smoke Shack is bold, confident barbecue

By Matt Cortina
You have to appreciate the moxie of a restaurant that is open until it sells out. Especially when you set up shop at the end of an empty parking lot, triangulated by Buffalo Wild Wings, PetSmart and Super Target, in the perpetually under construction, unglamorous superdevelopment of Superior.
Thursday, May 7,2015

Taste in colors

Busaba in Louisville is vibrant Thai

By Matt Cortina
Each new plate arrived to the table as a twist of a kaleidoscope. When we drained the color from one, another arrived, swirling colors into a different combination and pattern. We remembered the food by its color, not by each dish, when we left Busaba in Louisville.