=" /> The Mile High Eater: 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

A talk and recipe from Chef Seidel of Fruition

Hi all

This is the second part of our post for our meal at Fruition restaurant in Denver where we asked Chef Alex Seidel a few questions and he was nice enough to even gicve us a recipe to share with you.

Below is a picture of the chef.


1. What attracted you to cooking? At age 14, I started working in kitchens washing dishes and light prep work. When I went to college, I played soccer and the job that fit my free time was night cook. I started at a nice trattoria in Wisconsin. There I had two chefs that had worked in California and they introduced me to simple things like fresh herbs, stocks, and sauces. It was the opportunity to work with these guys and learn about food that I had never been introduced to in Wisconsin. I was hungry for more information. As my love grew for food, I wanted to focus more on it. So I quit college 30 credits shy and saved money to attend culinary school. I have been traveling, eating, and working ever since.

2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen? Whenever I interview someone, one of the first things I share is my philosophy on food and cooking. Most people that I know who love to cook enjoy everything from the shopping to the prepping to cooking and finally seeing the reaction once you serve your food. In the restaurant world sometimes the fun is taken out of it. Stressed out chefs, budgets are tight, employee relations, and a lot of other things that make the restaurant business tough. Through all that, I really try to create a culture that is a positive environment. My cooks and I share many laughs. We talk about food and why things work and why they don't. I hire based on attitude and work ethic, not experience. That way we can learn from each other-together. We are always trying to better understand our craft of cooking food. We don't have the pressure of brain surgery or rocket science. We are applying heat to proteins and vegetables. The bottom line is-if you love cooking-enjoy it and lets have pride in what we do and push ourselves to put out the best possible food that we can. We don't compete with other restaurants, we compete everyday with ourselves.

3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook? Obviously, it is hard to not be influenced by myself. I love food and I also know what I like to eat. Although, in the restaurant business I am not cooking for myself. The customer and the demand from the customer is what influences the way I cook. I think people want to enjoy good food. Sometimes it is hard to find good food without going to a white tablecloth establishment and ordering the 10 course pre-fix. Trust me, I love to eat like that, but it is for a very small niche of people. I try to serve people food that they understand, that is approachable, and that they enjoy for a very reasonable price. I feel very good about the quality, technique, and seasonal approach that we take with our food

4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with? Umm, yeh a few. There are so many great chefs in the world today. I have dined in many of there restaurants. I worked for Hubert Keller when I was in California but never for any other celebrity chefs. Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert, Jean-George, Daniel Bolud, Grant Achutz-just to name a few. These guys have unbelievable talent and knowledge. It would be an honor to work with these guys

5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others? I do like to cook with offal’s. Taking scrap and parts of animals that people don't think of using and turning that into something delicious is rewarding to me. When it comes to most things though, I always like change. People always ask "what is your favorite thing to cook?" and my response has always been I don't have a favorite dish-I like to create new dishes.

6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be? Well's Brothers Pizza. It is a little Italian family-owned pizzaria in Wisconsin. It's the only thing I have to eat when I go back home for visits. Thin semolina crust with a sweet oregano flavor in the sauce. It is so good. You can take the boy out of Wisconsin but not the Wisconsin out of the boy

7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest? Frasca in Boulder and the Little Nell in Aspen.

8. How about one restaurant any where in the world? El Bulli in Spain

9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us? Of course. I am not a really good recipe guy. We try to understand the fundamentals of cooking and why things are balanced. So I try to get my chefs to cook from the heart. I do have a couple of recipes and you are welcome to them all.
Fruition’s Potato Wrapped Oyster Rockefeller Recipe
Recipe Makes 45 oysters
4ea Russet potato (large)
45ea Oysters
3# Baby Spinach
1# Naturally Smoked Bacon
¼cu Sherry Vinegar
2cu Parmesan-Leek Emulsion (recipe follows)

Russet Potato-Colorado Grown in San Luis Valley (certified organic and non-irradiated)
Cut three potatoes lengthwise right down the middle. Working from the middle, with skin still on, thinly slice the potato to about the thickness of a potato chip. Make 45 center-cut chips and hold in cold water. Blanch potatoes in salted boiling water for one minute or just until you can roll the potato without it snapping. Shock in an ice bath, strain, and pat dry.

Oysters-West Coast Variety (preferably Hama-Hama)
Shuck oysters making sure there is no shell debris left over. Roll the oyster in the potato and secure with a toothpick. Fry in peanut oil at 350 degrees for two minutes or until the potato is golden and crispy.

Spinach-Colorado Grown
Cube bacon and render it over medium heat. Pour off excess bacon fat and add the spinach leaves. Wilt the spinach and finish with sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Parmesan-Leek Emulsion
9ea Leeks (medium dice)
1ea Yellow onion (medium dice)
1ea Russet potato (peeled and large diced)
½cu white wine
½qt heavy cream
½cu parmesan
1bu Italian Parsley (finely chopped)
Sweat onion and leeks until translucent. Add the remaining russet potato and deglaze with white wine. Reduce the wine until almost gone and add the heavy cream. Cook the potato in the liquid mixture and use it as a natural thickener for the emulsion. Finish with parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Puree in a blender and hold warm for service.

As always thanks for coming by the blog and if you have any questions or thoughts feel free to leave a comment or email us at barb or jonathan @milehigheater.com.

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Monday, December 8, 2008


Hi all,

Barb, our friend Elena and myself made it out to Chef Alex Seidel’s restaurant Fruition this week (http://www.fruitionrestaurant.com). Chef Siedel was Executive Chef at Mizuna before he opened up Fruition and the food and flavors he put out here are wonderful. In general we found the flavors very straight forward and almost comforting in a way. The dining room is small and cozy; we did not have a cramped feeling even with people at all the tables around us. The wait staff was very knowledgeable about not only the food but the wine available and seemed to genuinely care about your experience at the restaurant.


We decided to split 2 appetizers between the 3 of us the first of which was:


Riesling Poached Pear Warm Pancetta Wrapped Dates, 34º Sheep’s Milk Feta, Candied Pecans

He said: For me the stand out here was the cheese, the sharp feta taste went so very well with the sweet pears and candied pecans. The flavors combined so well together that I almost forgot about the greens even when I was eating them and in fact don’t really have much of a memory of them even though the dinner was just last night. This was great start and I would give it a 7.

She said: This was a great starter. The sweet pears mixed perfectly with the cheese and greens. I'm discovering that I'm enjoying these different cheeses that I would have never tried before. I would also give this a 7.

The Next Appetizer


Crispy Duck Leg Confit Maple-Candied Sweet Potato, Toasted Hazelnut Salad, Golden Raisin Vinaigrette

He Said: This dish was very good by itself. With the very crisp skin that had a nice crunch then just melted away in your mouth and the sweet potatoes went very well with this even though I am not a sweet potato guy. If this would have been served by itself it was good enough to get a 8 but when you combined it with the sweet pear taste of the other dish, OH MY, that was good they should always have these together. But since that’s not the case I will keep with the 8.

She said: Yummy. Duck Confit and sweet potatoes, instant gratification for me. The duck was cooked perfectly and mixed in with the sweet potatoes and hazelnut salad was just the perfect combination for me. I would give it an 9.

Elena’s Main course:

fruition emain

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast
Carnaroli Risotto, Grilled Arugula & Smoked Duck Prosciutto, Red Onion Marmalade

He Said: DING DING WOOP WOOP we have a winner!! This was amazing, the duck had a fantastic flavor and the prosciutto was very nice. But, that risotto was out of this world. I would have been happy to have an entire plate of it. Sadly, Elena also liked this so I could not steal too much - lol. If this had just been a risotto course I would give it a 10 no problem, but I do have to measure the overall course and while every thing on the plate did taste great and it did draw a mmm from 2 of us it was not the best duck I have had, so I will give it a 9. The waiter told us this was the only dish that had been on the menu from the beginning and I can see why.

She said: Yes, I was the naysayer on the risotto. It's just not my thing, and I didn't go all gooey over it. The duck was very good though and I think even on it's on, I would have enjoyed it. I give this a 8.

Barb's Main course

Fruiton Barb Main

Salmon Creek Farms Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Braised Brussel Sprouts, Fingerling Potato Confit, Pommery Mustard Emulsion

He said: Another very nice course. The pork was cooked perfectly and the sauce had a very nice strong taste that was just plain good. I would give this a 7.5

She Said: The tenderloin was juicy and tender, and mixed with all of the ingredients on the plate made me very happy. I'm not usually a mustard fan, but didn't mind it as the emulsion this time. I would give this an 8.

Jonathan's Main Course:

Fruition Jonathan

Braised Colorado Lamb Shank, Crispy Parmesan Polenta, Eggplant & Roasted Pepper Ratatouille, Goat Cheese Vinaigrette

He said: I was of two minds on this before I ordered; I love lamb, so it really called to me, but I have had bad experiences with polenta and have never had a good ratatouille. I talked to our waiter and he said it was a good dish though so I gave it a go. I am so very glad I did. The lamb was cooked like the other dishes we shared that night, perfectly with the meat practically falling off the bone. The polenta was just plain yum. I actually wanted more polenta and that never ever happens and the ratatouille had such a nice flavor I finished all of it even though I had to leave some meat behind as my appetite was reaching its limit. I would give this an 8.

She Said: I don't think I got the opportunity to try Jonathan's dish. At least I really don't remember trying it. Was this because he was hording, or I was just enjoying my tenderloin so much. So, I don't feel I can give this a score. :(

For desserts we decided to split 2 and our first was:


Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean & Malted Milk Shake, Chocolate Ganache
Macadamia Nut Brittle

He said: This was good. Not sure how this kind of dish would not be good unless you did not like chocolate. But no better than good, I will give it a 6.

She said: This was very good, and I do like chocolate! The crunchy brittle mixed in with the warm gooey cake was a winner for me. The malted milk shake was just filler for me, but was tasty. I will give this an 8.

Dessert number 2

fruition dessert1

Warm Sticky Toffee-Date Cake, Gala Apple Compote, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, Hot Toffee Sauce

He said: Now this was very tasty, which surprised me because I am not a huge fan of caramel and its like, but the apple compote was very rich in flavor and the over all taste just warmed you up and satisfied quickly. I would go ahead and give this a 7.5

She Said: Unlike my hubby, I do like caramel and mixed together with all of the other ingredients blended nicely on my spoon. Rich caramel, warm apple compote, cool ice cream....yum! I would give this an 8.5.

The numbers the over all score here was an 7.81 which is a very good score especially for a non tasting menu. (As I have stated before we give a .75 overall boost to any 5 course or more meal.) Fruition is a great place to go for a wonderful meal and as I stated earlier the flavors are spot on and not all that complicated which in some ways just enhances the meal.

We all had a fantastic dinner and would recommend Fruition highly, and if you do stop by, make sure you let them know you read about them here! Chef Seidel also took the time to answer a few questions and to give us a recipe which we will post next week! Thanks again for stopping by our Colorado based food blog. We are very happy to share our experiences at Colorado restaurants with you and of course the restaurants at places we travel. If you have any questions, comments or know a place we should try, please let us know. We would love to hear from you either by leaving a comment here or email us at jonathan@milehigheater.com or barb@milehigheater.com

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Monday, December 1, 2008

A few questions and a recipe with Chef Lindley of St Johns

Hi all

This week we have a question and answer with St John’s chef Daniel Lindley He was also nice enough to share a recipe with us. Sadly we don’t have a picture for you but we do highly suggest you give the ST John a try if you’re in the area.

1. What attracted you to cooking? Cooking involves the senses perhaps more so than any occupation. My first restaurant job was at age seventeen washing dishes and I remember being exhilarated by the smells in the kitchen. I enjoy the pressure and performance aspect of the job as well.

2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen? I am certainly a product driven chef. I like to think of my food as being refined but not too fussy or overdone

3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook? My drive for balance certainly influences the way I cook. My kitchens physical parameters certainly influence the way I cook here at St. John's. We have a very small kitchen. What we do with five cooks in my kitchen, restaurants in New York do with twelve or more (literally).

4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with? I am a huge fan of Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison in NYC

5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others? Mushrooms-morels especially

6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be? . Braised Beef Cheeks with yukon gold potato puree & balsamic onion relish
7. Besides your own what restaurants would you recommend any where in the world. Eleven Madison (NYC)
Osteria La Piana (Siena, Italy)

8. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us?

Roasted "Cinderella" Pumpkin Soup
For the pumpkin- split one pumpkin horizontally, scrape the seeds out, score the flesh, press cubes of butter in scored areas, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until pumpkin is caramelized and very tender. 375 degrees to 425. When finished let it rest for 15 minutes and then scrape out the flesh. Discard the skin and liquid in the pan.
While the pumpkin is roasting- small dice 4 large shallots, 2 peeled winesap apples and one bulb of fennel. Sweat this mixture out until very tender with olive oil and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Pureeing the soup- marry the shallot, apple & fennel mixture with the roasted pumpkin in a blender and puree until smooth. Finish with a touch of heavy cream while in blender and adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve- heat soup and bowl. Garnish with chopped pancetta or guanciale and scoop a quenelle of whipped creme fraiche infused with a touch of nutmeg on top. Finish with minced chives.
Key reminders- pumpkin must be roasted fully. Not Baked! The carmelization makes the soup. Also Veg/apple mixture must be very tender before it is blended.

As always thanks for stopping by and if you happen to stop by one of the restaurants you find in our blog let them know you heard about them here! If you have any questions or comments we would love to here from you at Barb or Jonathan @milehigheater.com

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A little southern comfort, at ST Johns in Chattanoga Tn

A little southern comfort...The St. John's in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Barb and I were recently in Chattanooga to see some relatives and while we were there decided to try out St. John's (www.stjohnsrestaurant.com) on the recommendation from people on the Chowhound boards (www.chowhound.com). The Chef is Daniel Lindley who puts on a fantastic seasonal menu. The night we were there the chef was away but his sous-chef Josh did a great job with our meal.


The restaurant itself is in downtown Chattanooga and is a converted hotel. The space is very open with high ceilings and a very nice feel to it. With 2 floors and the tables spread out nicely you never feel cramped. The staff do a great job of the service with everything being served smoothly and the pacing near perfect. I can only imagine how tired a new wait person must be at the end of the night after running up and down the stairs all night.



We were seated and our server Bethany came over and greeted us and spoke a bit about the menu and a bit about the restaurant itself. She spoke highly about two of the menu items and I decided to go with her recommendations while Barb chose a few others.

The first item that came out was an Amuse Bouche.
Hawaiian Walu fish with Tomatilla sauce, cucumber, radish, and basil.

He says:
The textures here were great with the vegetables giving it a nice crunch and the fish being soft and tender and a great slightly spicy taste of the sauce. I will give this a 7.

She says:
The fish was very delicate and tasty. The veggies were a nice combination and left us hungry for more. I too, give it a 7.


Ok, I normally do not show bread but this came with a nice little story attached. The white bread is the Chef's mothers recipe and from what I am told every time she comes to eat she makes sure to tell the wait staff to make sure they let people know that it's her bread. So, just wanted to pass that along and say yes, it is brag worthy. A great fresh bread is a hard thing to beat.

Barb's First Course


Roasted Texas Cross Quail with Apples and Chorizo Stuffing and a Whisky-maple Glaze

She says:
The quail was cooked perfectly, the presentation of it was cute (with the crossed legs) and the flavors were amazing. The glaze was delicious, and the stuffing was a nice mixture of stuffing, chorizo and apple. This was a great starter to the meal. I would give it an 8.

He says:
The quail was cooked very well, the skin nice and crisp and the glaze has a smoky sweet flavor that was great. The stuffing was good as well but I have to be honest here I was so taken with my first course that I do not have a strong memory of it. I will give this a 7.5

Jonathan's First

Maine Lobster & Saffron Soup - Delicata Squash Ravioli and Celery.

He says:
The soup also had roasted pumpkin seeds in it and a deep woodsy flavor that I just loved and paired with the lobster made for a taste that went together so well that I ended up eating this very slow because I wanted to savor the tastes more and more. The only thing I will say against this dish, and it is a weird thing to complain about is the ravioli really did not need to be there and added almost nothing to the dish. The soup and the lobster were the stars here! This did not pull a yum out of my lips but was very close to it, 8.5 is what I will give it

She says:
I had a very small taste of this as I was enjoying my quail so much. The flavors were deep and smoky, all in all, it was very tasty. I would give it a 7.5.

At this point the kitchen sent out a little bonus for us to enjoy.


Sequacthie Cove Farms Baby Beef, with a Red Wine Vinaigrette, Shallots, Capers, and Parsley with a Fried Egg and Mustard Aioli with some toasted bread.

He says:
I saw this coming out and was not pleased. I have had tartar two times before and both times I have been pretty underwhelmed but decided, well might as well give it a go and this was good. Very good. The meat and vinaigrette has a nice tartish flavor, the egg was still warm and perfectly cooked and the mustard aioli just gave the perfect additional flavor that you just caught at the edge of your tongue. Another 8from me. I would like to note even though this is the best tartar I have had it did not give me a yumm so can't give it a “best of type“ rating.

She says:
When I saw this I was skeptical. I am not a big fan of tartar, but when in Rome. The trick to this dish was getting a little bit of everything. And when done properly, this dish was a delightful surprise. I really didn't think I would like it, but I did. Again, I think it was the combination of all the flavors that made it unique and special. I would give it an 8.

Barb's Main
Smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Gratin and Cherry Cognac Reduction.
He says:
Ok, this intrigued me. You bite into it and a citrus flavor hits you at first followed by a fairly strong flavor that I just could not figure out so I kept on poaching from Barb's plate trying to figure it out. Finally I asked, and the duck is rubbed with a orange rub then is smoked in hickory. This combo just gave a taste I really can't describe, but I liked it and it kept making me want a little more. I am not a big fan of sweet potatoes, so was not a big fan of those. I will give it a 7.

She says:
The duck was cooked perfectly and the mixture of cherry cognac with the duck was spot on. A slight sweetness mixed in with the duck taste. I liked the sweet potatoes, they were a nice contrast to the duck. My only problem was that the duck was a little tough for me, but all in all the dish was very good. I would give it an 8.

Jonathan's Main


Broken Arrow Ranch Axis Venison with Wildwood Farms Delicata Squash, Stone Ground Grits and Summer Truffle Jus.

He says:
MMMM YUMMMM! Ok, deer is not supposed to be this tender, just is not suppose to be. Venision is a little tough and a bit gamey, it is not supposed to melt in your mouth like this did. Tender with an out of this world flavor that just sings. From what I understand, Axis deer are native to India and Nepal and you know it would almost be worth going to live there just to have this again. The grits were very good and the squash was nice but darn that deer was good. A solid 10, I doubt I will ever taste venison that tender again.
She says:
The venison was so tender that it almost melted in your mouth. I actually begged for a couple of more pieces, it was soooo good. The flavorings was perfect and the venison was tasty. I would give it a 9.

Barb's Dessert


Pineapple & Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Coconut Gelato and Run Caramel

He says:
This was nice and rich and different it was nice to see a inventive dessert that breaks the mold at the same time is really good. Too many restaurants seem to have great mains but the desserts are kind of an after thought. These here seem to have had a lot of thought put in to make it as much as an experience as the meal itself. A 7 here.

She says:
My dessert was very good. The bread pudding was nice and warm still, topped with caramel sauce and mixed with the coconut gelato. It was soothing to my mouth. I would give it a 7.

Jonathan’s Dessert


Carrot Cake Souffle with Cream Cheese Anglaise

He says:
This was not your standard carrot cake, this was rich and served warm with a flavor that had a carrot flavor but not a overwhelming one. I really liked it. I give it a 7.

She says:
I wasn't a huge fan of this. The server brought out the dish and then punctured the top of it with a spoon and poured in the cream cheese anglaise so that the flavors would mix together. The tastes were fine, but just didn't blow me away. I would give it a 6.

Bonus Dessert


Banana Split; Banana Ice Cream in a Chocolate Gnosh Bowl with a Strawberry Caramel Sauce and a Chocolate Covered Cherry.

He says;
Very, very good. The house made ice cream was incredibly rich and of course how can you go wrong with a chocolate bowl. I'll give this a 8.

She says:
If I would have known they were going to throw in another dessert, I would have never ordered one - but what a nice surprise. The house made banana ice cream was the real treat in this dessert. I could have had a bowlful of it and been very happy. I would give this dish an 8 as well.

Numbers and such With the .75 add on for a 5 course or more meal St Johns scored a 8.44 score which is pretty good indeed. We had a great time here and would highly suggest you give it a try if your in Chattanooga! The chef answered a few questions for us and gave us a very yummy looking recipe which will be in next weeks post. The over all cost of this meal was 123.45.

Thanks as always for coming by and if have any questions or ideas where we should go in the future feel free to drop us a line at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Chimney Park

Hi all,

We went out to eat in Windsor the other night at the Chimney Park (http://www.chimneypark.com/). I have to say when a reader of the blog suggested I try a spot in Windsor, I did not think I would make it. I normally just don’t travel up that way very often but then I looked at the website and the menu and went hmm that looks good, and then I went to the spot where it talks about the chef and I was hooked. Chef Jason Shaeffer, was a opening sous chef at Per Se for two years. For those of you who don’t know, Per Se is Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant in NYC and frequently regarded as one of the best restaurants in the country. We went to Per Se in May while we visited New York (see earlier blogs). With this information in hand, I went ahead and made reservations for us at Chimney Park with high expectations.

The restaurant is very easy to find. Just get off at the Windsor exit off I-25 and head east. It will be on the left hand side of the road about 4 miles down with very easy parking in front of the restaurant. The building the restaurant is in has been around since the 1800’s and the dining room is very pleasant to look at and to sit in and does not at any moment feel cramped. The restaurant offers a tasting menu and we tried that so we could get a range of items from the kitchen. The tasting menu is 4 courses and one thing that is different from a lot of places each person in your party receives a different item. Instead of everyone getting the same course, we each received something different, and thus, had to share! And very few of the items you receive on the tasting menu are items that are on the menu. Jason just makes you items on the spot. Chef Shaeffer is very willing to work with food preferences and is even happy to make a vegetarian menu which we did not try, but probably will next time as the vegetarian menu at Per Se was fantastic and I would like to see what he learned from there.

The first item out was the amuse bouche and the only item that we all received


He said: A great start. The cheese on the apple was just a great blend of sharp and sweet that just made you even hungrier than you were when you ate it. The “”” mirrored the apple and cheese with a nice sweet taste and a crisp crunch of the bread. This was very good start and I will give it a 7.

She said: This was a fantastic start to a great meal. The apple and cheese were crunchy and sweet. I would give it a 8.

Now, on to the first course
Barb had:

Gnudi with Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Black Truffles and Parmesan.

He said: I am afraid it's here all ready - YUMMMMMMMMMMMM! I love mushroom’s and this smelled fantastic even from across the table. I was hard pressed not to grab Barb's plate and gobble it all up. This had a great mushroom flavor offset by the rich gnudi. I wonder if I asked next time if he would do 4 courses of this. I have to give this a 9.

She said: I agree, YUM!I looked up gnudi and this is what one website said: The Italian term for "nude," these tender little dumplings are a cousin of gnocchi. Made with ricotta rather than potato". I like these better than gnocchi even. The mushroom and sauce made this a wonderful dish (even if I had to share it). I give it a 9 as well.

Elena’s first Course.

Yellowtail Tuna

Honey-Lime Cured Yellowtail, Avocado Mousse, Jicama and Radish, Jalapeno Jelly

He said: When you tried it without the jelly it had a very pleasant lemon flavor which I liked a lot. It always surprises me when I like any raw fish. Something inside me just screams in protest about it, but so far have liked everything I have tried. I think a Sushi bar will soon be in my future. With my second bite I took a big dab of the Jalapeño Jelly (I am silly sometimes) and for a brief instant I did not realize what I had done as the initial sweet flavor started to wash over my tongue....then it came - HOT HOT, ouch, oww, WATER!! After I got done drinking and my companions got done smirking, I decided it really was a good dish and gave it a 7.

She Said: For some reason I wasn't feeling the love of raw fish that night and didn't try this at all. Maybe we should get Elena's opinion on this one!

Jonathan’s First course.

Seared sea scallop

Seared Sea Scallop with Butternut Squash Puree and a ‘Stir Fry” of Boc Choy with a Soy Vinaigrette.

He said: On most occasions I can take or leave a scallop, mostly leave them and so was not that excited when this was laid out in front of me, especially with Barb's Gnudi staring at me from across the table. After assuring myself that jedi mind tricks were not going to make Barb switch plates with me, I dove in. I can’t believe I am saying this about of all things scallop, but Yum, and Wow. Cooked just perfectly and with the flavors of the butternut and soy vinaigrette mixed in, I was in love. Ten, I say yes, a 10 for a scallop. How strange.

She said: For those of you familiar with our blog, you know that I have an allergy to scallops, so again I didn't taste this dish. Elena - please step in with your comments:

Barb's second course

Beat and Pear sald

Roasted Beet and Comice Pear Salad, Blue Cheese, Pecans and Arugula, Apple Cider-Black Pepper Gastrique

He said: Nice combination of flavors once again the sweet pear with the sharp blue cheese. The surprise for me at least was how well the beets went with this, just an all around good tasting dish. A 6 from me.

She Said: This was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. The beets and pears mixed well together, but the gastrique was the winner of the dish for me. I would give it a 7.

Elana’s second course:

Chard and buttenut squash salad

Chard Stem and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Chestnuts, Pomegranate and House Cured Duck Prosciutto.

He said: This was a very nice looking dish and over all the presentation of each and every dish was fantastic. And, what is even better is most dishes tasted as good as they looked! A maple vinaigrette, wow, that was tasty and the duck was great as well. Wasn’t a huge fan of the chestnuts but I really dug this dish overall and will give it a 7.

She said: This was a nice dish. All of the textures mixed well together. And you know I like duck! I agree with Jonathan in that the chestnuts didn't do it for me either. I will agree with his score of 7 and agree that the plating on all our dishes was fantastic!

Jonathan’s second course:
Caesar Salad

Romaine Caesar with Grilled Bread Piquillo Peppers and White Anchovies

He said: The name pretty much says it, and as a Caeser salad it was fine and I liked the peppers but the salty anchovies, meh not so much. Looking at the entire night I would say this was the low point of the meal. It was not bad, but wasn’t anything special really. I give it a 5.

She said: Anchovies? Ok, I've been brave in all lately, but did not try this (I still have some growing to do in my palate...I know).

Barbara's Main Course;

Bison New York Strip

Bison New York Strip, Basil Potatoes, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Green Beans and a Black Olive Sauce.

He said: Huge portion for a tasting menu and cooked perfectly. The basil potatoes were much better than I expected, in fact I would call them great. And even the olive sauce heightened the taste. I would go an 8 for this.

She Said: The meat was juicy and tender and delicious. I didn't want to share this, but I did. Overall, a great dish and truly enjoyed. I would give it a 8.5.

Elena's main course:

Cab filet of rib

Cab Filet of Rib, Goat cheese Polenta, Artichokes and Spinach Tomato Au Jus.

He said: Once again a very large portion for a tasting menu and once again cooked perfectly! I loved the polenta and the filet was amazingly tender. Honestly the artichokes and spinach didn’t do much for me but the meat just melted in your mouth. I have to give this another 8.

She said: I agree with Jonathan, the meat was delicious and melt worthy. I stuggle with too tough of meat, and did not have that problem at all here. The artichokes were nicely cooked as well. I too, would give it an 8.

Jonathan's Main Course.

Duck 2 ways

Duck 2 ways - Duck Breast and Thigh Comfit, Braised Radish and Pearl Onions with Pancetta, served with an Apple Ginger Sauce

He Said: Main courses - 3 for 3. All just fantastic. The crispy skin and tender meat of the comfit and the tender moist meat of the breast. I am a huge onion guy and those onions were devoured quickly. The mixture of tastes here was perfect. The apple ginger sauce blended perfectly in and this was a thoroughly enjoyed dish. Another 8.

She Said: Yummy, duck! I'm surprised Jonathan shared this with me, but he did. I enjoyed the crispy and tender meat just as much, and the onions and radish blended in nicely with the tastes and textures. I would also give this an 8.

Barb's Dessert:

"Pastel de Tres Leches"

Pastel de Tres Leches, Cream Soaked Vanilla Cake with Ripe Mango and Rum Caramel Sauce

He Said: Served warm, the nice rich caramel flavor combined with the mango was really good. I will give it a 6

She Said: I do love caramel, and wasn't sure about the mango, but the combination was good. I kept thinking I was done, but found myself sneaking in another spoonful or two. I would give this a 7.5.

Elena's Dessert:

Carrot cake

Ginger-Almond Carrot Cake, Toasted Almonds and Mascarpone Icing

He said: Another good tasting dessert and I like the icing, however there was a problem with this. As you can see, the dessert is 2 tiered and I am guessing they store the individual cakes wrapped in plastic wrap and put them together right before being served. I say this, because there was a small bit of plastic wrap in between the two cakes. Elena saw it before it made it into her mouth and it did not effect the taste of the item, but after how good the entire meal had been it was a big letdown and took down the overall feeling of the evening. I will give it a 6 but will have to deduct from the over allscore for this.

She said: Another great dessert and except for the mishap well done. I liked the nuts and the cake blended in together, although wasn't a huge fan of the carrot's on top. I would give this a 6.5.

Jonathan's Dessert:


Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding, Butterscotch Anglaise and Macadamia Nut Brittle
and Pomegranate seeds

He Said: This was served warm and was very rich. The pomegranate seeds just drove it up another level with that fresh sweet flavor mixed in with the deep rich chocolate. Yum, I would go ahead and give this a 7

She Said: This was a good dish. We had chocolate bread pudding somewhere else and I didn't like it as much as I liked this one. Rich, chocolately, nutty - where could you go wrong? I would give it a 7.5.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A talk with O's Chef Ian Kleinman

Hi all
NOTE Chef Kleinman has now moved away from O's and has his own catering business where he brings the magic of Molecular gastronomy to your home or party!


After our meal at O's chef Kleinman took the time to answer a few questions for us.

Chef Ian

1. What attracted you to cooking?

My father is a chef and my grandfather was a culinary instructor in Oslo, Norway. My dad would come home in his chef's coat smelling of new flavors I have never tried. He taught me to have an open mind when it comes to ingredients and techniques. My grandmothers German cooking was the nail in the coffin. She made amazing meals with just a few ingredients.

2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen?

Have fun. People take food to seriously. I want you to have a well prepared meal when you eat here but most of all I want you to do is have fun. Those are the meals you remember

3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook?


4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with?

Ferran Adria or Heston Blumenthal

5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others?

Liquid nitrogen. It is a amazing medium that will be utilized much more in kitchens in the next 10 years

6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be?

NY style pizza, the real shit

7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest?

New Saigon and Beatrice & Woodsley, he is doing some real nice stuff down there

8. How about one restaurant any where in the world?

El Bulli or the Fat Duck

9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us? Chef Kleiman runs a blog at www.food102.blogspot.com and you can find many a recipe there! One thing I was curious about was how the Balsamic caviar was made we had that evening he explained it was made by The caviar is made by mixing balsamic vinegar with water and alginate

In a separate container I add calcium chloride to water.

We the put the alginate/balsamic mixture in a squeeze bottle.

We then slowly squeeze small balls into the calcium chloride

After 4 minutes of “cooking” we remove them and rinse with water

We then marinate the caviar in balsamic syrup to get the full flavor

10. Why did you decide to start using molecular gastronomy in your cooking?

I was tired of conventional cooking methods. A lot of cooks that are my age burn out and move onto another career. I love to cook and wanted to find other avenues to keep me interested. As a chef I am a teacher too. If I am not excited about what I do, how do I aspect my cooks to have any passion. These ingredients and techniques have brought the fun back to my kitchen

11. How has it been recieved in Colorado so far.
Molecular cooking has been received very well. We have guest that come from all over the Western United States to try some of our food. Cooking in Colorado my whole life has given me the ability to tell what will sell. As long as my guests are comfortable with the ingredients, they will be willing to try new techniques.

As always thanks for stopping by if have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a line at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Molecular gastronomy at O's

October at O’s

NOTE Chef Kleinman has now moved away from O's and has his own catering business where he brings the magic of Molecular gastronomy to your home or party!


Hi all, Barb and I made it out to O’s in Westminster and had a very fun meal. http://www.westindenverboulder.com/page.php?url=restaurant). Chef Kleinman also has a blog that is alot of fun to look at www.food102.blogspot.com

Chef Ian Kleinman does what he calls a Molecular Gastronomy tasting menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and it is a very fun meal to experience. I say fun, because that’s exactly what it is. A sense of excitement and curiosity is in the air throughout the meal as we talked and wondered what the next item will be even though you have the menu in front of you, made it particularly fun for us. Questions like What is "Space Foam"? "Is it a drink, a dessert? and then finding out when he made it table side.

This sense of excitement and fun goes right along with Chef Kleinman’s thoughts on cooking. While we were speaking to him, he said, "To me it’s just as important for a meal to be fun as good because it’s the fun meal that you will be talking about and thinking about for years to come". I think he is correct at this, because I know that Barb, myself and our friend Elena, who came with us, spoke about the meal and the experience all the way home and days later. Even a few weeks later in other meals, our experience there came up.

One more little note before we get started with the meal after much debate we decided not to rate this meal because there is just no basis for a rating on a lot of the items. I mean how do you rate "space foam" or a foam that has a taste that hits like a truck yes it is very good but we just can’t figure out how to add on for the creative nature and the fun factor this meal had. I say it at the end and I will say it now you just have to give this a try.

Here is a picture of the Dining Room.


We were there pretty early in the evening so the room was still pretty empty. However, the tables are spread out enough you would not feel crowded here regardless.

We went, as I mentioned for the Molecular Gastronomy menu which changes week to week and this week the first thing out was:

o's tomatos

Last of the year's Tomatoes from Chef Kleinman’s garden, Prosciutto Cream, Hazelnuts, and Balsamic Textures.

He said: Balsamic textures? What the heck are Balsamic textures? Well, the brown foam you see on the left side of the picture was Balsamic Foam, and you look at something like that all fluffy and light and expect this will have a very mellow mild taste. I took a fried tomato and very generously dipped it in the foam and SLAM! My goodness, a taste explosion went off in my mouth. My eyes grew wide and I could not connect mentally the foam in front of me with such a bold wonderful taste. I went back again and this time putting just a dab on a bit of cherry tomato and sure enough that foam had more taste in it than any regular sauce I had ever had. I was just amazed. Then came the Balsamic caviar (the little black dots you see on the right and throughout). After the foam, I was thinking, well if foam delivered such a mouthful of flavor these are going to just be over the top. Well, I was wrong. These had a nice soft delicate flavor and a more solid texture. It really changes your expectations of food. The dish was pretty cool and that’s not a phrase I use for food often.

She said: I'm not usually a tomato fan, but this dish was very nice and light. A good mixture of textures and tastes. Unlike my husband, I don't just "dig in" to something I'm not sure of, so I didn't get the overpowering flavors of the balsamic as he did. I daintily dipped my tomato in, and the combination was delightful.

Next course:

o's shrimp

Carbonated Black Plums, Berbere Shrimp, Yuzu, Yogurt Powder, and Baby Corn.

He Said: Ok I always try to get a bite of everything in my first nibble to see how all the elements work together, as it went into my mouth there was mass confusion. I think every taste bud in my mouth fired at one time, the yogurt powder was tart, the yuzu was sweet citrus, the plums very sweet and juicy, then add in the shrimp which going to sound odd almost tasted a little like sausage. With all this going on at one time, I literally sat there kind of stunned for a second while my mouth had the flavor equivalent of a full mouth full of pop rocks going off. After that I went a bit more slowly trying to taste everything by itself, and this with that and way too soon the dish was done. Looking back I can't say that this was a great shrimp dish as the seasoning really made it not taste entirely like shrimp, however, I will say it is a great dish by itself because the flavors were fantastic regardless I really liked this.

She said: This dish was very well presented with the orchid (edible) and the plating. But, once you find out what it is, then you taste it - it doesn't make sense. As Jonathan mentioned it had a sausage taste to it, which was just wrong (not bad mind you, just wrong). This is shrimp, I expected shrimp flavors. But, all in all I enjoyed this dish, but I think with the expectation of shrimp, my taste buds played a trick on me.

3rd course and this one needs several shots

space foam on spoon

Chef getting ready to put the "Space Foam” in the liquid nitrogen.

space foam in liquid nitrogen

Space Foam in the liquid nitrogen

space foam
Space foam on the plate.

He said: We saw this little menu item and honestly had no idea what to think, space foam what the heck it could be. Then the chef came out with the liquid nitrogen and stuff on the cart and we were all just fascinated while he explained that the liquid was at -320 degrees and he had to play around with different textures and mixtures to get the mixture of port wine syrup, heavy cream and gelatin just right so it would come out the way it did. The only way I can really describe this was it tasted like a cream puff. The outside texture was like pastry and the inside was a nice cream flavor. The taste and texture were just great and it does make you go mmmmm.

She said: We were all pondering what on earth Space Foam could be. Was it a fizzy drink, a block of foam? When Ian came out and explained it all, it was interesting to watch as he made it. It was delicious! Like Jonathan said, it tasted like a cream puff. The crunchy pastry with the gooey middle. I could have four courses of Space Foam and be very happy.

Fourth course

steak and chapstick

Sou-vide New York Strip, and Truffle Sauce, Pepper Butter Chapstick, Stewed Cipolin in Duck Fat, and Tarragon.

He said: Yes that is a Chap Stick container on the plate and no I did not put it there myself. It contained a fantastic butter which you put on your steak just like you would use chap stick on your lips. This was the least inventive course of the evening but by no means was it bad. The steak was very tender and cooked perfectly and the butter added a great peppery taste alongside the truffle sauce’s deep rich flavor. The onions were very good and really, how can you go wrong with onions with a ducky flavor.

She said: If you look at the picture closely, you see the chapstick sitting on a tomato shaped like lips (very clever and a little odd all at once). Anyway, this dish was very good, but not out of this world (Space Foam reference). I like the onions and meat mixture. The flavors were nice and easy on the palate. I think after the molecular Space Foam, we were expecting something like that again and our expectations were set too high, because this was a great dish all on its own (but we were getting spoiled by science).


ice cream ingrediants

The cart that came out to make the Ice cream.

o's making the ice cream
Chef Kleinman’s witches brew


Pineapple and Candy Ginger Ice Cream with Baby Kiwi and a Sugar/Macadamia Nut Crumble - made tableside with liquid nitrogen.

He said: Wow, ok if you have never had ice cream made this way you need to and soon. I have never tasted an ice cream that was this smooth and creamy, the baby kiwi was room temperature and of course the ice cream had just been made at -320 degrees, so the temperatures played off each other and the flavors just danced in your mouth.

She said: It's always fun to see your food made, and this was no exception. You can tell that Chef Ian really enjoys this part of his job. He's very engaged and smiling as he works his magic. I've never had kiwi before, so I was a little intrigued and skeptical about this dish. But I do love ice cream, so it couldn't be bad. Wow, what wonderful flavor combinations. The crunchy nut topping, the ginger ice cream and the kiwi were just wonderful mixtures in my mouth. The very cold ice cream, the warm kiwi
were just powerful yummy flavors.

Numbers and such: The meal itself is a set $50 dollars per person and is well worth it for your night’s food and entertainment. Chef Kleinman also took the time to answer a few questions with us and we will have those up in an article next week!

Final words: If you read this article and are on the edge and not sure if you would want to try it, GO, you will like it. If you don't think this is your sort of thing, GO, I bet you will change your mind. If you really liked what you saw, GO, and drag your friends along as well. In short, GO to O's and soon you will be saying "Ooooo that is good. When you go let Chef Kleinman know you heard about the menu here and say hello for us!

Thanks as always for stopping by our Colorado food blog. We enjoy sharing the Colorado restaurants we visit with you as well the restaurants where we travel. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you either by a comment here or by emailing us at jonathan@milehigheater or barb@milehigheater.

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O's Steak & Seafood on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 6, 2008


After an uneventful Saturday, Jonathan and I decided to go out to dinner. We picked Sugarbeet in Longmont, since it was close by and Jonathan had been itching to get there for a while.

Well, the itch has been scratched. All I can say is that Jonathan’s wishes were granted, we finally ate at Sugarbeet. Me, I’m still itching. It wasn’t that the food was bad or the place was unappealing, it was just average. And since we’ve been discovering a life of above average, average just didn’t cut it for me. Now, remember, I’m not a food snob by any means, and when I say that the food was average, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was just alright, and alright just wasn’t what I wanted last night.

The restaurant itself is very charming, from the wooden beams overhead to the brick walls and columns. A small restaurant that is divided into 2 rooms, with a bar area right when you walk in with 3 or 4 tables, to a more spacious area to the right with about 8 tables.

You’ll notice that we have no pictures to post with this meal, as he who will remain nameless forgot to put the memory card into the camera. Oh well, you’ll just have to take our word for it.

Barb and Jonathan

To start with, we had the Gorgonzola stuffed Medjool Dates wrapped in Parma Prosciutto.

He says: Ok, I liked this one. It was good, it had some great textures and taste and a great mix of sharpish cheese flavor and the sweet date. This dish also gave me great hope for the rest of the meal and I give it a 7.5

She says: This was a delightful start to the mean. The dates were warm and chewy with a nice flavor and smell. They were served with radish, spinach and baby tomatoes.

My main course was Cassoulet with Braised Rabbit, Toulouse sausage, Salsify and Cannellini Beans.

She says: Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the southwest of France. This one had lots of beans, some onion and celery and rabbit on top. You all know from previous posts just how much I’ve been enjoying rabbit, but this dish was somewhat of a letdown. All I could taste was the beans. The rabbit wasn’t distinguishable from the cassoulet. The flavors of the rabbit were just lacking. The cassoulet itself was very good, I do like stew, but I really wanted to taste the rabbit more. This is the first meal in a long time that I added any condiments to as well. I would give it a 5.

He says: OK, hmm this had a good taste to it and the taste was beans and as I like white beans, I kinda liked the dish. I think the problem is when I go out I want to feel I ate something memorable, something that makes me think about it later and want more. This was just not it. Dont get me wrong it was fine, the meat could of been anything, it did not add flavor and as Barbara said I thought it needed seasoned. I am going to go with a 5. here.

Jonathan’s main course was Baby Back Pork Ribs with Cantina Mustard Sauce, Mashed Yukon Golds and Sauteed Baby Spinach

He says: A full rack of ribs here and not one of those wimpy little racks either. This was alot of meat with a great smelling sauce. I enjoyed this. The meat was just falling off the bone and the sauce had a good taste to it. However, and I really hate to harp on this point it wasn't out of the ordinary and nothing that I will crave. In the end it was a good solid rack of ribs but nothing to wite home about. I give it a 6.

She ssys: I didn't try Jonathan's dish at all, except for some of his potatoes, which were good. So, I can't really rate his dish.

Barb’s dessert was Cooked Pineapple topped with Coconut Ice Cream.

She says: This dessert was very good. I might even go as far to say it was my favorite dish of the night. The cooked pineapple with the coconut ice cream was a nice mixture of textures and taste. I would give it an 8.

He Says: This was tasty, very tasty. The flavors mixed well together and the pineapple sweetness just went fantastic with this rich ice cream. I will go 7.5.

Jonathan’s dessert was Chocolate Bread Pudding

He says: I like a bread pudding and when you throw chocolate in the mix it was something I just had to try. The flavors were there and it was nice and rich and thick just like a bread pudding should be, but it was not very moist and that took away some of the enjoyment for me, even though the flavor itself was good. I give it a 6.

She says: This dessert was ok. Again, I wasn't blown away by it, but it tasted fine. I like bread pudding, but I think the chocolate took away from it. I would give it a 5.

I have heard alot of great things about Sugarbeet, so I tend to think maybe they had a bad night in the kitchen the day we were there. But, whatever it was, this was just an ok meal. If the main course's could of been as good as the it would have been much better, but as it stands our overall rating is going to be an .....

Overall really this meal was just ok and when I go out and spend money on a meal I expect it to be better than just ok.

Thanks for coming by and visiting our Colorado food blog and if you have any questions and comments feel free to let us know at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com

Monday, November 3, 2008

A talk with Terroir's chef Tim Payne

Hi all

We had a chance to ask a few questions to Tim Payne chef at Longmonts Terroir restaurant. If interested in our previous post of our meal here it is located at our post

1. What attracted you to cooking?

I simply love food. The whole cycle of it, from ordering and menu planning to prep to the finished product, plus since we use so many small farmers we stay connected with the supplier side. It is very satifying.

2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen?

Make everything from scratch, let the ingredient shine and utilize all of the culinary influences within America when making menu changes. Our kitchen is one of respect, it is a small team and we work very closely together, and everyone brings good experience to the table when executing our ever changing menu.

3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook?

What fresh, local and if not local, small farm organic ingredients are available. The seasons are very important too.

4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with?

Melissa Kelly (Primo Restaurant in Maine) on the east cost, Frank Stitt down south ( Highland Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama), Judy Rodgers (Zuni Cafe) out west, or Hugo Matheson at the Kitchen in Boulder

5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others?

I love fresh pasta in all of its forms, from filled pasta such as agnolotti to fresh cut pasta like fettucini to gnocchi. We will always utilize these in our menu. I love seafood as an individual ingredient though particularly scallops.

6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be?

Gnocchi, followed by an arugula salad, followed by seared scallops, followed by braised short ribs followed by sorbet. I would always be full.

7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest?

Aji in Boulder is one of our favorites and I would tell them to go to the Rioja in Denver.

8. How about one restaurant any where in the world?

The French Laundry of course. Other than that Restaurant Daniel or Blue Hill in New York City or The Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.

9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us?


4 large potatoes (russet preferably)
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped thyme and parsley

Bake the potatoes at 450 until soft. Remove the potatoes, slice open and pass through a food mill or potato ricer onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with all purpose flour. Allow steam to die down from the warm potatoes. Make a well in the center and place 1/4 cup of flour in the middle then crack both eggs and place in the middle. Place 1/2 cup more of the flour, the herbs and salt and pepper on top of the potatoes. With a pastry knife or spatula chop the the mixture until it is mixed and resembles pebbles, bring the mixture to a ball and place 1/2 cup more of the flour and gently fold (do not knead) just until the flour is incorporated. If the dough is tacky or sticky place 1 tablespoon more of the flour and repeat the process until it is not tacky or sticky. Let the dough rest for five minutes then divide the dough into 5 balls. Take each ball and gently roll out into a snake approximately 1/2 inch wide the slice the snake into 1/2 inch pieces and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside. Once all of the dough is rolled out the gnocchi can be frozen immediately or placed into lightly boiling salted water. Once the gnocchi float then can be strained out and incorporated into whatever sauté or sauce you choose. We change our ingredients seasonally and it generally consists of a vegetable that can be sautéed immediately without prior cooking (such as sugar snap peas or mushrooms) or a heartier vegetable such as butternut squash that we parboil until al dente that is lightly sautéed with garlic then deglazed with vegetable stock, seasoned, mounted with a small dab of butter, fresh herbs then the gnocchi is added and once plated finished with fresh grated cheese. If you do freeze the gnocchi, once the gnocchi are frozen individually the can be collected and stored in an airtight container for as long as a month. Cook the frozen gnocchi from this state, do not thaw then cook the gnocchi.

As always thanks for coming by our Colorado food blog and if have any questions or comments please let us know at jonathan@milehigheater.com or barb@milehigheater.com.
And if you happen to check out any of the restaurants we have mentioned let them know you heard about them from our blog!

Jonathan and Barb

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Out west at the Fort

Hi all,

We went out to eat at The Fort ( www.thefort.com ) with my father for no particular reason. The reason that is in bold is that for a few years now every time we have tried to get together for a special occasion the sky falls down, the car dies or the restaurant has a bad night and the food is terrible, so we decided to go out this time for no particular reason!

The Fort is one of the restaurants I think about when someone asks me for a uniquely Colorado restaurant.

The restaurant outside is a reproduction of Bents Fort and coming into the courtyard you can almost feel you are leaving the present behind and stepping back into the old west.

Once you come inside, that illusion fades away as the smells from kitchen hit your nose and your mouth starts craving to taste what is coming out of there. The menu itself is very game heavy with buffalo, quail and many other items to tempt you.

We decided to split two appetizers between the three of us. Here is the first.

buffalo egg

Bison Eggs: Pickled quail eggs wrapped in house made buffalo sausage. Served with a
raspberry-jalapeno jam.

He says:This was good on many levels was crunchy on the outside and then you hit the softer sausage and the even softer egg so the textures were very nice and the flavors went together very well also. Nice sage flavor with the sausage along with the egg and finally the sweet and slightly hot flavor of the jam. I will give this a 7.5.
She says: This was a very good start to the night. The soft egg and the hard crusty shell was a nice combination. The raspberry jam was a nice dipping sauce. I give it a 7.

Our second appetizer.

buffalo empanda's

Bison Empanadas. A flakey pasty stuffed with buffalo meat, with two sauces: a chili or chipotle sauce.

He says:These had a good flavor to them but the pastry was a bit sweet which threw off the over all taste for me. I will give it a 6
She says: These were delicious. I liked the sweet pastry taste with the tender buffalo meat inside and the chili sauce. I give it an 8.

My fathers main course.

Bufalo Filet

An 8 oz buffalo filet mignon with ‘fort” potatoes and corn.

The meat was perfectly cooked and tender and was everything you could ask for in a steak. The potatoes were fried potatoes with a bit of spice added in which gave a little bit of heat with the potato and butter flavor. I would go a 7.5 here.

Barb’s main

Barbs stew

Washtunkala Cast Iron Kettle: Tender tips of Buffalo Tenderloin in a rich buffalo demi-glace with roasted green chilies, pearl onions, fresh thyme, fire-roasted corn and sunflower seeds

He says: I wanted to like this I really did but the meat was a bit tough (though Barb says not all of it was) and honestly the overall taste and consistency just did not please. It was not bad but just kind of ehh. This will only rate a 5.5 for me.

She says: When I ordered this, the waiter told me it was like a stew. I thought, ok, sounds good to me. When it arrived then, I thought it would be more stewy in it's look. I was expecting a more soup like texture I guess. The meat for the most part was tender (although there were a couple of harder to chew pieces as well).
The sunflower seeds were a surprise at first. I had forgotten about them in the menu, but once I realized what they were, they were good (but a little too plentiful). I would give this dish a 6.5.

Jonathan Main


Buffalo Ribs, slowly braised, smoked and smothered with our own tangy Jack
Daniels BBQ sauce. Served with historical BBQ heirloom beans and seasonal vegetable.

He says:No, this is not an extreme close, they are that big. If you happen to go to The Fort and order these, order the half rack not the full! These were great, a sweet smoky flavor and meat that just fell off the bone. The beans were ok, but nothing special. The only down side if you can even call it that was the shear size of the platter which ended up being lunch and dinner the next day. This was an 8.

She says: I didn't even try these as Jonathan had them blocked from us (just kidding).

Our dessert.


Peaches topped with an oatmeal streusel served hot with vanilla ice cream and a lime-caramel sauce.

He says: This was good and once again a huge portion the three of us split it but nothing really special just a good solid dessert. I would give it a 6

She says: I enjoyed this dessert. I love the oatmeal cruncy topping that comes in dishes like this. The peaches were delicious. I would give this a 7.

Numbers and such as for the price we were taken out to this meal and so I was not allowed to peek at the check but it is not a cheap place. The overall score was a 6.9 and we had a great time.

Thanks for stopping by if you have any questions or comments please let us know we would love to hear from you.

Jonathan and Barb

Fort on Urbanspoon

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Gayot's fort review