=" /> The Mile High Eater: 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Black Cat in Boulder

We are now back home in Colorado and have been for a month or so. We really enjoyed the tasting menu's and decided that we will try to go to a new (to us) restaurant once a month. The first place we chose was the Black Cat in Boulder. http://www.blackcatboulder.com/ with chef Eric Skokan. The space is pretty small and tables set close together so sometimes you feel a bit crowded, but the food and the service more than made up for the close quarters and the fun "sofa" chairs would be great for a date. We decided starting with this meal that we are going to rate the restaurants with our own personal 1-10 scale with the base being Per SE as a 10. Overall we both came away very happy with our meal here and would go again. Well I will talk a bit more on the overall experience at the end - but for now on with the meal.
****************We have a interview in September with Chef Skokan*****************
Course 1


Roasted artichoke with pine nut crumbles and mint from the chefs garden.

This was very tasty and just the right size. The mint flavor just mixed in very well with the flavors of the artichoke. A great start to a meal.I also want to add before we were given this we were both offered fresh white or wheat bread and the choice of olive oil or butter, both the breads and the butter were fantastic and we were told the bread came from a local bakery

Course 2


Homemade mozzarella with rosemary coulis and capers.

This was VERY good. The rosemary was very prominent and the cheese was smooth and just wonderful tasting. This also included a small piece of bread and I used it to soak up the last of the coulis. This is one of 2 dishes that really had me wishing for more and when I think back on the evening it is one of the first items I think of.

Course 3


Diver scallop with blue crab quenelle with a lemon sauce and fresh greens from the chef’s garden.

Another big winner. I am not a huge scallop fan and my wife even less so but the taste of this with the crab was great and it had a surprisingly rich texture. Barb did get a bit of grit in her's however. Regardless this ended up being a great dish. HOWEVER there was one major problem. When the meal started we were asked if there was anything special we wanted off the menu and we picked two items (more on that latter), but we also mentioned that Barb is somewhat allergic to scallops and we requested to make sure we did not get any for her. But they brought this out any way and had completly forgot we had said that. Just so you know, there was no allergic reaction to this....

Course 4


Blue crab soufflé and lump blue crab with a watercress coulis.

The soufflé was my wife’s favorite dish of the evening and was up there with mine. Never really thought of putting crab together with a pastry but darn it was good. It was served nice and warm and seemed nearly like a crab desert. The lump crab teamed well with it as it was served cold and the contrasting temperatures and textures was very nice.

Course 5


Duck comfit with red onion and barley.

The duck had a great rich flavor and the barley just seemed to add to the overall taste but I did not care much for the onion that came with it. My wife’s duck had a very large piece of skin and that took away a lot of the pleasure from the dish for her.

Course 6


Braised Salmon with red lentils and curry emulsion.

Ok, here was the one and only loser of the evening. The salmon did not seem well cooked at all and the curry emulsion was just way too powerful. One up side of this was the very top of the salmon. It was seared very well and if the whole dish had the flavor of that crisp top it would have been great. Another downer of this one was the server asked us if there was anything on the menu we definately wanted
included as I said earlier and we pointed at a salmon dish that was on the menu but this is not what was listed but it was what we were given.

Course 7


Quail Farsi with toasted zucchini and fried potatoes.

I loved the rich gamey flavors of the quail and the zucchini and the potatoes complimented it well.

Course 8


Miso duck and duck comfit spring roll.

Ok we thought we were finished with that last dish and we were both pretty full but thought it was odd we had not received a desert. The waitress came by and replaced our silverware with a new set including a meat knife so were like “whoa there is more”? A definite double edged sword on one side as it’s wonderful to get extra courses from such a talented chef but already being fairly full, more rich meat courses were hard to fully enjoy. What we had for number eight was Miso duck and a duck comfit spring roll. The miso duck for me was a big WOW, YUMMM - my favorite of the evening. My wife enjoyed the spring roll more but I found it to be a bit tough.

Course 9


"Steak and Eggs” braised veal with a poached egg with farmhouse greens.

We were very full at this point and my wife could only eat a few bites. I enjoyed the great taste of the perfectly cooked braised veal and of course a poached egg is always nice. If I had not been as full I think this would of been a highlite as well but as it was I was entirely too full to truly enjoy it.

Course 10


Desert course: Coffee ice cream, 2 small cookies and chocolate pot o crème.

OK, we were stuffed up to the eyeballs but we had to find room for this, lol. The pot o crème was so very chocolaty and rich it almost made you gasp at the taste. The ice cream and cookies were both good but that chocolate was a taste bud explosion.

That was the meal with the exception of the salmon we loved every course. The only quips are the scallop incident and 2 minor quips at first-the pacing seemed very fast and almost rushed but as the meal went on it got slower and slower till near the end felt far too slow but in all reality that is just a minor thing.

Two other little things of note-the ice teas we had was a choice of were Earl grey and a peppermint tea. I tried both and enjoyed them greatly. The total cost of our little trip for the two of us was $159.22 not bad really when you consider all that we were given it was slightly cheaper than degustation in New York City (see previous post) and over all a better meal and though this meal did not have any perfect 10s it did have several 8's and 2 9's.

Our overall rating was a 8.15 out of 10 ( edit: after a bit of talk we decided to add .75 to any meal that had a 5 course or larger tasting menu due to difficulty) which isnt bad when you consider it is being weighed against Per Se :) Well anyway this catches us up on the blog except for some fixes here and there you probably wont hear from me again till next month unless something strange happens and we go out before then. If anyone has any questions or
suggestions for places to visit please let us know and thanks for stopping by.


7/21/2008 Wanted to add a side note I decided to write to the chef of the Black Cat regarding the incident with the scallop he very promptly wrote me back and let us know it was a miss communication in the kitchen and he has talked with his staff to help prevent problems in the future. I really was torn on writing to him with this because I did not wish it to sound like we did not have a great meal but in the end I decided he would probably want to know and I was very pleased with his quick response to the issue!

Black Cat on Urbanspoon

Per Se

This was our last day in New York and also our best meal. This meal is the one all other meals will be judged by from here on out because this was just about perfect all the way around. A few notes before I get started if you plan on dining here you need to call 2 months to the day before you plan on eating at exactly 10 am est. If you do not do this you dont stand much of a chance of getting a table. They do require a jacket here and it does feel kind of odd walking into a mall dressed to the nines but once you get to the third floor and see the famous blue door and the little garden out side of the restaurant the mall fades away. Though this was a very formal place the feel was more realaxed and the wait staff went out of their way to make you feel comfortable and at home. Your menu is customized to each customer and ours had mention of our birthday on them which was cool,you also get to take those home with you if you wish. The menu here changes every day and 2 times a day when they serve lunch. One thing that is very different here is that thereis only 2 menus the chefs 9 course tasting and the 9 course tasting of vegtables. There is no ala cart at all. With the pictures and posts following I am not going to go into great detail beyond listing what they were just due to the fact they were all Fantastic and YUM if something was even better than the rest I will mention it but other that that I will let the picture and description speak for itself. The Chef here is Thomas Keller though I do not believe he was in the kitchen that night. Website is www.perseny.com


per se starter

This was the first dish served basicly little cheese balls the outside crust was nice and crisp and the cheese inside was still hot and molten.

Amuse bouche

per se amuse bouch

This is the 2nd thing served and where our meals seperated with Barb having the vegtable tasting and myself the chef's

These were little sesame cones stuffed with creme frece and topped with very thinly sliced tuna for mine and chick peas for Barbs. They were very pretty to look at but a bit hard to eat to get all the elements in at one time.

Jonathan course 1

Per se chefs tasting course 1

Oysters and pearls
Sabayon of pearl tapioca with island creek oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar

My first OMG of the meal the taste and texture here was just amazing. I finished this and wanted more of the buttery dish of heaven.
I left the picture of the spoon in there because it is made out of mother of pearl because they say a metal spoon would change the flavor of the caviar.

Barbara course 1

per se vegtable tasing course 1

Sweet carrot sorbet
Terrine of greenmarket carrots cilantro coulis and young ginger
For me when the Waiter described this I was thinking carrot ice cream EWWW but as everything here it was great.

Jonathan course 2

per se chefs tasting course 2

gateau of hudson valley moulard duck foie gras
pistachio genoise Black winter truffle-madeira gelee, white wine poached rainier cherries , pickeled ramps and celery branch with toasted brioche.
I really wanted to not like this one just because what it was but WOW WOW WOOOOOOOW this was so incredible it just plain and simple blew my mind Barb and I finished this up and I for one was hoping the next 7 courses were more of this. I think this is the single best tasting piece of food that has ever crossed my lips.

Barbara course 2

per se vegtable tasting course 2

salad of holland white asparagus
croutons de pain de champagne confit of lemon supremes and latiues sauvages with sauce gremolata

Jonathan course 3

per se chefs tasting course 3

sajuteed fillet of ghiga island halibut
olive oil braised green garlic, pattypan squash pesto and parsley shoots with nicoise olive oil

Up till here I had not had a dish that I could compare to other dishes I had previosly eaten but I can say in all honesty best halibut I have eaten anywhere though Barb thought it was at about the same level as the halibut she had the day before at Le Bernardin ( which is saying alot)

Barbaras course 3
per se tasting of vegatables course 3

Globe artichoke fritta
celery branch, carmelized spring onions, yukon gold potatoes and black winter truffle with cipollini onion fondue.

Best way for me to describe this is to say my comment after trying this was if I had this kitchen to make my food I think I could become a vegatarian WOW. If a food dish could make you dream about it this would!

Jonathan course 4

per se chefs tasting course 4

Butter poached nova scotia lobster
split english peas and green market carrots with mousseline gingembre

Barbara course 4
per se vegatable tasting course 4

Fried green tomatoes
persian cucumber, pickled ramps and frisee lettuce with sauce gribiche

I would say this was the least favorite of the evening not to say it was bad the taste was still very good just not a stand out at all. Really it comes down to when you are eating the best meal of your life and something comes out that is just very good it seems a let down.

Jonathan course 5

per se chefs tasting course 5

Four story hills farms milk fed poussin
rillettes de cuisse beech mushrooms purple top turnips and field mizuna with whole grain mustard jus

Barbara course 5

per se vegtable tasting course 5

herb roasted abalone mushroom
compressed asian pears, heirloom radishes and mitsuba with nikiri dressing

mmmmm mushroom very very tastey ! I love mushrooms and this was a wower for sure.

Jonathan course 6

per se chefs tasting course 6

degustation of eden hallow farm's spring lamb
rissolee of yukon gold potatoes, wilted arrowleaf spinach and young leeks with spring lamb jus

Ok must admit a bit of greed overtook me here only course I did not want to share with Barb, the rack piece was the single best tasting piece of meat ( any meat and I was never a big lamb fan before") I had ever tasted. the shoulder,neck, and sausage were very good but that darn rack it almost killed me to let Barb have some lol

Barb course 6

per se vegatable tasting course

Salvatore brooklyn rocotta agnolotti
spring pole beans wirth piccolo basil and olio verde extra virgin olive oil

Jonathan course 7

per se chefs tasting course 7

gabietou cheese
slow baked beets candied walnuts and frisee lettuce with red beet vinaigerette

Barbara course 7

per se vegtable tasting course 7

cabra romero cheese
cauliflower florettes, wood sorrel and rosemary sable with lemon verbena aigre doux
another good cheese but the stand out was the cauliflower florettes yum

Jonathan course 8

per se chefs tasting course 8

apricot sorbet
nyons extra virgin olive oil pate de fruit with tellicherry pepper sable breton

YUM and re yum great sorbet and pallet cleanser

Barbara course 8

per se vegtable tasting course 8

guava sorbet
tamarind genoise , goma nougatine and cream cheese foam

Jonathan Course 9

Per se chefs tasting course 9

glace a la fraise

strawberry biscuit toasted almond panna cotta and mint syrup with tristar strawberry ice cream

wow ( yes wow again) a perfect ending to the meal ( or so I thought)

Barbara course 9

per se vegatable tasting course 9

crepe souffle
carmelized bananas creme patissiere au chocolat and banana crunch with toasted walnut ice cream

Post meal 1
per say bonus course 1

Ok from here on flying on memory alone these are unlisted courses and not sure why not every table got everything we did saw one other that did but other tables just got one or two items. ( mind you I could not see all of the 15 tables but not sure why we got all of this). This was a panacotta and it had a wonderfull creamy texture and there was not a bit of it left when I was done even though my belly was just stuffed.

Post meal 2
per se bonus course 2

creme brulee

Ahh the reverses of fate Barb did not want to share with me ( of course she did though )this was so good pays me back for my lamb gluttony lol

Post meal 3

per say bonus course 3

Coffee and donuts

Freshly made warm cinamon donuts with cappachino ICE CREAM this was once again a big WOW so very good so even though we were full could not leave it be.

Post meal 4

per se bonus course 4

cocco covered hazel nuts

I have run out of words was to full to try more than 1 but it was great

Post meal 5

per se bonus course 5

Then came a huge plate of chocolates we had several choices and picked a few different ones each and nibbled on them I can remember a very rich chocolate and the apple one but the rest are a blur of tastey goodness

Post meal 6

per se bonus course 6

Bottom of dish truffles 2 choclolate and 1 coconut the coconut was like a coconut creame pie exploding in your mouth and the chocolates were just divine. The next level was nougat we were to full to touch them but we put a few in our bag to take home the same with the toffee above ( all are made in this kitchen we were told. Post note ate some of them the next day YUMMY

Post meal 7

per se bonus course 7

Hand spun hard candy done in the kitchen which we took out several with us.

Post meal 8

per se final gift

They give a little bag of cookies to take home We did not have these till a few days after we made it home but once again amazing. They hit just about everything on your tongue.

In overview Per Se was the Best mealof my life then and so far reigns supreme. It was not just the food or the room or the service that made you feel both comfortable and special but the perfect blending of all three. The total cost of this meal was staggering and we did not even have any wine. But this is a once in a life time meal and I cant say it any better that even the vegtable course seemed worth the money and Barbara and I are far from wealthy so this was a huge extravagance. Total price tip and tax included ( the tip is included in meal cost) 628.58 GASP but even now I say was worth it. In fact I was so impressed with the over all experience I added another $20 on the tip even though I was facing severe sticker shock.

I will leave this entry with a few pictures of the restaurant and at least the next several entrys will be on restaurants in my native Colorado. My wife and I have decided once a month we will try to go to a local restaurant finances willing. If you have any questions feel free to ask and thanks as always for coming by!


The famous blue door and the little garden outside

The view from Per SE


Ok this was Day three in New York City and we went to this restaurant based on the rave reviews from chowhound new york ( www. chowhound.com). The chef of this place is Wesley Genovart and he does a great job. What makes this place unique and fun especially for a "foodie" is that there are only 16 spots to eat here and they are aligned around a bar that looks into the very small kitchen. While you are dining you can watch the chefs make your food and see how they go about plating. There is very little room left in the place outside the bar and kitchen but even with the small space you dont feel cramped ( at least untill you try to make it to the rest room). With a place this small I was a bit worried that service may be spotty but it was great and very attentive and the captain was just as helpful and cheerful as you could ask for. While the food was not all home runs but there were several on the other side there were 2 big misses. The over all experience however was wonderful and I woudl highly reccomend it to any heading out that way. They dont have a website but here is the phone number: 212-979-1012

Amuse bouche

degustation amuse bouch

Snails , orange, mint croquent
This was our first taste of snail. I found it to be very tender with a very nice flavor. Barbara found it to be a bit chewy but liked the taste ok.

Course 1

Degustation course 1

Fish and chips

Kaupachi, artichoke, garlic potato chips and chives

WOW WOW one of my two favorite dishes here the combination of the fish and the chips was just incredible ! The tastes just blended well adn popped in your mouth. I wanted more MORE

Course 2

Degustation course 2

Sunchoke and javion serrano soup
This was one of those dishes that you clean the plate then look around for more and the next day keep wanting more. And really a month latter I still want more. At this point I was thinking oh my this meal is going to just crush the other 2 we had tasted in New York and had it managed to keep these high notes it would of but sadly the next course was like a splash of cold water.

Course 3

Degustation course 3

Cured sardine,pickled onion, apple foam and micro cabbage. Sardine sandwich with sweet herbs tarter sauce fresno peppers and micro radish.
This was one of 2 clunkers of the night I enjoyed the sandwich ok but the cured sardine neither Barb or I cared for at all and in fact the cured sardine was more of a ewww and the sandwich was like the lunch you get packed for school where its not great or really what you want but you eat it because its whats there. I do want to say my pictures in here are pretty rough was low light and the plates were very close sue to the size of the bar so sorry about that.

Course 4

Degustation course 4

Carbinero, amarath, crab stock lobster coral
Twas clunker number 2 food and picture was bascily a big shrimp in a think soupish thing and honestly to me it was just blah and Barb felt the same. Ok do you remember the old game show press your luck I felt like I just pulled a double whammy and was now atthe point of going oh crap we have how many courses left. From the high of the high to the low of the lows luckily from here on out it evened out.

Course 5

degustation course 5

Poached egg, Gauniale bread crumbs,Laiubs quatus mustard greens
Ok I looked at this and went well its a egg sigh. Boy I was wrong this combined with the bread crumbs and the sauce was just incredible another dish that left me thinking the next day. I still dont know why this worked so well but it just did the taste was great the textures fantastic and left a lasting impression so much that the next time I saw a poached egg my taste buds jumped up immediately and stood at attention.

Course 6

Degustation course 6

Seared scallop, oatmeal saffron ristto, uni jauio serrano, shieo
The scallop was good for a scallop. As you can tell I am not a scallop fan and Barb pretty much hates them but we forgot to say this at the begginging so no biggie. The rissto however was very good and had a nice texture I still remember well.

Course 7

degustation course 7

Soft shell crab, Fuai chili suace micro green salad
When they brought the crab out and cleaned them right in front of us then dropped them in the fryer both Barb and I were like hmm can we eat it or not after seeing that however BIG BIG YUM! The people next to us were lucky I did not grab theirs off the plates by far the best crab I have had if you look at the picture you can see it is a bit mangled as soon as the smell of this hit me I started in forgetting to take the picture till Barb prodded me !

Course 8

degustation course 8

Pomparro, artichoke, fava beans, manilla clams, salsa verde.

Really good fish very little fish taste at all was cooked just fantasatic with a crisp top and a bold non fishy flavor. Once again just a great course. This meal is a 10 course meal however the pacing and size of the portions make it so you dont feel overly stuffed.

Course 9

Degustation course 9

Squid, stuffed with short rib. Lentils chorizo carrot and onion
Something is very odd when they stuff a piece of octopus with short rib with this just seemed wrong but the taste was great and the lentils went very well with it. Barb again felt the squid was a bit chewy and this as always is a big turn off for her.


Degustation sorbet

Sorbet with ginger and tequilla with apple foam
Wow sorbet with a kick I really enjoyed it and it truly refreashed my pallete. Barbara thought the tequilla a bit strong though.

Course 10

degustation course 10

Spanish turija, grapefruit foam, frozen grapefruit
french toast on crack! Warm with a nice smell and great texture was a light great way to finish the evening.

The overall experience here was great. When we go back to New York one day if we are with fellow foodies we would go again just for the atmophere and how fun it was to watch the chef and crew. The cost of this meal was 150 plus tax for the 2 of us. I will leave this one off with a picture of the outside of the restaurant and a picture of the wonderful captain. As always feel free to ask any questions you may have.