=" /> The Mile High Eater: 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008

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

Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos

Gayot's fort review

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Molecular gastrono-what?

Barb and I are heading out to O's tonight (www.http://www.westindenverboulder.com/page.php?url=restaurant)
to try out Chef Kleinman's molecular gastronomy tasting menu. We have never had the opportunity to dine at a restaurant that really uses these techniques so I thought I would do some research and came across a neat little recipe book I thought I would share with you:

Also Chef Kleinman has a really cool blog that shows many of the items he makes at http://www.food102.blogspot.com/.

We will let you know how the meal went in a posting.

Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back to the Black Cat and a Recipe from Chef Skokan

Back to the Black Cat
A review of our return meal at Eric Skokans Boulder Restaurant.

Make sure to look at the end of the article for Chef Skokan's Duck Confit Recipe!

Barb and I went back to the Blact Cat about a week or so after our chat with Chef Skokan. We were given different seats this time and honestly both of us thought that the change of seating really made the entire experience better as the table we were in the first time was right near the door and just a little small. This time we were seated at was a booth like table against the left wall (these are the ones I would ask for when coming to the Black Cat) with a full view of the kitchen where you can watch the Chef perform his magic.

One thing that really struck me was how intense Eric looked while he was cooking, completely focused on the cooking, hardly ever even pausing to look up, just now and then speaking a few words to his sous chef or the patron or 2 that came up to the window to ask him a question. This was a large contrast to the easy going relaxed attitude we saw with Eric when we visited him at his gardens (see our previous posting -Going Green with Eric Skokan). This time around we chose to go with the 5 course tasting option with wine pairings as last time around, the 7 course ended up having us waiving the white flag well before it was all over).

Looking into the kitchen there are shelves lined with spices and cooking implements as well as a few cook books.

Spices and cookbooks at the Black Cat

BlackCat Kitchen

As we were waiting for the meal to begin we watched Chef Skokan working away in the kitchen.


eric in kitchen 2

First the amuse bouche.

Course 1 bc 2
Chilled Lemon Cucumber Soup with a little bit of olive oil on top.
Wine served was a non vintage Villa Sandi White Wine (this wine was a pairing for the first course - not the amuse bouche).

He says:
I am not a huge cucumber fan so this was kind of meh for me however it did taste just like a cucumber without the crunch. I can only rate on what I think regardless what someone who likes cucumber a lot more than I would. I give it a 6.

She says:
As you may remember, I am not a fan of the cold soups, but this one was head and shoulders above the rest that I've had. I'd give it an 8.

Our server was Jordan and she was very enthusiastic about the food and the chef of the Black Cat and seemed to know everything about any of the courses or the wine that we wanted to know. She told us if we come in again and want to up the adventure level of the food just let her know, we may just have to do that next time though I am not sure what this would entail.

The pacing was pretty well done and shortly after we finished the first item the second came out.

Black cat dish 2

Himachi Crudo with Seafoam, a slice of lemon cucumber and garlic chive flowers and a bit of burnet. Served with the non vintage Villa Sandi White.

He says:
I am starting to like this kind of dish more and more. The fish had a nice almost buttery taste and the lemon cucumber gives it a little citrus kick that stays with you for a bit. The flowers and burnet were a nice little visual touch though I don’t remember them adding much in the way of taste. I will give this a 7.5.

She says:
I too am enjoying this dish more and more. At first, I wasn't a big fan, but the pairings have started to make a big difference. I would give this one a 8.
Third item out
bc2 course 3

Crispy Duck Confit with Plums and Greens from the Chef's Garden

Wine was a Selbach Riesling Cabernet '06

He says:
WOW- Yes I said WOW. I think WOW may trump Mmmmmm or even Yummmmmm. The combination of the Duck Confit and the plums was so darn good. The sweet taste of the plums and the rich slightly gamey flavor of duck just blew me away. The duck was sooo good… How good was it? It was so good I used the greens to try to mop up some of the juice after all the duck was gone. Yes That good. 10 for sure

She says:
OMG! From the first bite to the last, this dish was down right delicious. The mixture of the plums and the duck was so tasty together. I wish the next coureses were the duck confit over and over again. I give it a 10!

Next out:
bc2 course 4

Semolina Flour Gnocchi with Farmer Cheese and a Highland Beef Bolognese Crème Sauce and Rosemary, Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese.
Was told the gnocchi is boiled in the whey from the house made mozzarella!

Wine Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais '06

He says:
Ok, yes, there is only one Gnocchi in that picture. I don’t know if it was the left over enthusiasm from the duck or the mouth watering description of this dish but I forgot to take a picture till it was almost gone. Needless to say it was good, very very good. The Gnocchi had a wonderful soft texture and a great cheesy taste and the sauce added a great meaty overall taste to it. I have been going back and forth on what to give this it meets the 9 rating criteria by making me go Mmmmm out loud, but I am not sure it’s the best I have ever had but Barb is pretty darn sure of it so another 10 here.

She says:
In the past, the Gnocchi I've tried, I have just not liked. Well, guess what: this Gnocchi was awesome. Maybe it's because it's made in the whey, I don't know. But this is the first time I've enjoyed it. It melted in your mouth, so delicate. I would give this a 10.

Next course:
bc2 course 5

Roasted Prawns with Pistachio Risotto and Red Bell Ppepper Puree and Purini on top

Wine: Clos Dula Coutal Loire Valley - 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot

He says:
The Prawns were very meaty and well cooked and the risotto was outstanding with a deep nutty flavor. The red bell pepper sauce had a rich flavor that just enhanced the taste of the shrimp without overpowering it. I will give this one a 8.

She says:
Again, a dish where I haven't liked it in the past: risotto. But the Chef was on this night. The red pepper sauce and the the risotto blended so nicely that I don't think I left any on my plate. I have to say that each dish that came out was just outstanding. I would give this one an 8.5.

Next course:
bc2 course 6

Lamb Two Ways: Roasted Loin with Fennel Puree and Braised Lamb Leg with Grilled Fennel and a Garlic Sauce with Fingerling Potatoes
Wine: Cotes du Rhone 2006 syrah Domaine de la Jardiniere

He says:

The lamb was very good and had a great flavor and I overall enjoyed this. The one turn off for me was the grilled fennel. I took a nibble of this and decided, no thank you. Leaving that aside it was a very good course. I will give it a 7.

She says:
The lamb was very good as Jonathan said, but after the previous dishes this did not hit me the way they did. I guess I was in a Duck Comfit coma still. I would give it a 7 as well.

Last main course:

bc course 7

Confit of Pork Shoulder with a Red Wine Gastrique with Summer Fruits, Creamy Polenta and Dandelion Greens

Wine - Magness Napa Valley cabernet '05

He says:
What can I say, the man does confit well and while this did not reach the heights of the duck, it did pretty darn well. Very tender with a great slightly sweet flavor. Strangely, the one thing that stood out for me was the polenta. The last time I had polenta my reaction was basicly yuck and I really was not happy to see the pork resting on it but to my big surprise I liked it in this setting and it seemed to pair very well with this course. Overall, I would give it a 8.

She says:
As Jonathan mentioned the man can do confit, but agree that the duck was the winner of the night. So much so, that I don't ever remember this dish, so I don't feel right in giving it a score.


bc course 8
Back to Front Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cream and a Malt Crumble, Peach Cobbler with a Maple Sauce and Berry Consommé with Lavender Custard

Wine Kopke Non Vintage Port

He says:
The surprising thing about the dessert course is that the chocolate cake was actually the weakest of the lot, which totally shatters a comment I made a few weeks back about it being hard to impress with a non chocolate dessert. The cake was nice and rich and had a great chocolate taste but nothing really special. The Peach Cobbler was fantastic the peach flavor just bursting out and the maple taste added in very well without over powering the peach flavor. The Berry consommé was the winner for me here. The berryies just exploded with flavor and the lavender custard was something I have never tasted before and it was very pleasing and the only way to describe it I can think of is that it tasted as good as lavender smells. I will give the desserts a 8.

She says:
The Berry Comsomme was my favorite as well. The lavendar custard was light and airy and the mixture with the berries was delightful. The Peach Cobbler was also very tasty. And I do love my chocolate, but this cake was just ok. We started with the chocolate and ended up with the berries and the berries were my winner (which suprised me). I would give the desserts a 9.

Numbers and such: The overall score including the .75 bump for a 5 or more course meal was a 9.09, which is our current best score we have given in Colorado it was just a outstanding meal. The cost for the Black Cat 5 course tasting is $62 per person if you add the outstanding wine pairings it brings it up to $99 per person.

Thanks again for stopping by and if you have any questions, comments or ideas where we should go next; we would love to hear from you. Make sure to look below for Chef Skokans Duck Confit recipe!

Jonathan and Barb

Chef Skokan was nice enough to give us his recipe for duck confit!

Recipe: Duck Confit with Ginger Gastrique

Serves 4

4 duck legs
1 ½ T salt
3 cups rendered duck fat
1 stick cinnamon
1 orange, halved
1 T whole black pepper

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine duck legs and salt. Mix to ensure that legs are evenly coated with salt. Let duck legs stand for 10 minutes.

2. In a casserole dish combine duck, duck fat, spices and orange. Bake at 400 degrees until fat temperature has reached 170 degrees when read on a thermometer (about 20 minutes). Decrease oven temperature to 170 and cook until drumstick bone begins to show, about 6 hours.

3. Remove and drain legs from fat. Duck fat mat be reused multiple times. Serve legs hot with a drizzle of ginger gastrique.

Ginger Gastrique

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger sliced thinly on a mandeline

1. In a stainless small steel pot over high heat, combine vinegar, sugar and ginger. Boil and reduce until it becomes a syrup, about 25 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A talk with Beatrice and Woodsley Chef Pete List.. and a great recipe he gave us.

Hi all

About a month or so ago we had the chance to sit down for a fantastic meal at Beatrice and Woodsley(www.beatriceandwoodsley.com)and recently asked the Executive Chef Pete List if he would have the time to talk to us a little about what drives his cooking. You can find our review of Beatrice and Woodsley at (http://milehigheater.blogspot.com/search?q=In+the+woods)
and here are the questions and his answers. The recipe he shared with us is at the very end.
Here is a picture of Chef List.

1. What attracted you to cooking?

Food has always been important in my life, and I found that I have a desire to create and produce good food. It makes me happy and hopefully the people I cook for as well.

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

Keep it simple, if you have good ingredients, let them speak for themselves. I try not to mess with the natural flavors that make fresh food so good to begin with, only to enhance the experience.

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

I am a very seasonal cook, using products in the peak of freshness, the height of quality.

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

Yes, Thomas Keller from the french laundry and Grant Achutz from alinea in Chicago.

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

Currently pork is the thing for me, a good well treated pig may well hold the most potential for creativity (if only they had eggs!)....... If you go out to Beatrice and Woodsley and the pork belly is on the menu TRY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

A sandwich. Just kidding, Give me a good pad thai or a curry and I am a happy guy.

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

This is a tough one for me to answer because since moving back from Chicago, I have not had a chance to eat around much. I would ask you the same question, where should I try? .... Currently our favorites are Luca D'Italia in Denver and the Black Cat in Boulder

8. How about one restaurant any where in the world? Restaurant Paul Bocuse in Lyon France. The epitome of classic french cuisine.

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

Curried lamb, pearl cous cous salad.

The Lamb:
2# lamb stew meat or shoulder cut into 1/2 inch cubes (you want some fat attached)
1 med yellow onion diced
2-3 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
2 med carrots diced
3 small potatoes diced
1-2 hot chili peppers seeded and chopped
2tbl madras curry powder
1tsp cayenne
2tsp cinnamon
1tbl toasted, ground coriander
1tsp cumin
3tbl kosher salt
1tbl freshly ground pepper
1/3c flour
1/2 bottle cream sherry
1/8 c ea. golden raisins, dried fig and apricot (small dice)
2qt water

season the lamb with the dry spices, coating completely. Let sit out at room temp for 30-45 minutes. get a 6qt pot on medium to high heat add olive oil and a tbl of butter, toss the lamb in the flour to coat, add to the pan carefully it may splatter. Brown the lamb in the pan to form a crust, add the vegetables and saute to get a little color on them. Add the dried fruit and deglaze with the sherry. Reduce the sherry by 2/3 and add the water. Cover and simmer slowly for an hour or so. The cooking liquid should be at a sauce consistency and the lamb fork tender.

The cous cous:
1/2 red onion or 2 shallots small dice
1 clove garlic chopped
1/8c ea dried golden fig, currants and apricot
2c pearl cous cous
1c white wine
3c water
s/p/s tt

In a tbl ea. olive oil and butter, saute the onions and garlic, add the fruit and sweat. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by 1/2, add the water, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often to avoid sticking to the pan. When the liquid is absorbed, cool on a pan or platter. When the cous cous is cool, toss with a good olive oil, lemon juice and fresh chives.

To serve:
arrange the cous cous on a platter with a well in the center for the lamb, put the hot lamb in the center of the plate and garnish with baby arugula, yogurt, mint and lime zest. serve with warm flat bread.

That recipe sounds great we will have to try it soon and when we do I will put up our attempt on the blog. I want to thank Chef List and Kevin Delk for all the time they gave to us for this and hopefully when you get a chance you will stop by this great restaurant.

Thanks as always for stopping by and if you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you.

Jonathan and Barb

Sunday, October 12, 2008

White Chili on a cold day

We have had a few cold rainy days in a row and Barb started to crave one of her favorite winter dishes so I thought I would make it and share the experience on the blog. I will give the recipe first then show pictures of the making,

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Roasted green chilies add spice too this great white chili recipe that is also a great way to us up left over chicken!

1 pound dried small white beans ( I have used canned white beans and it works pretty well and cuts out a overnight step)
8 fresh Anaheim chilies
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 Large onions chopped
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 cups half and half
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon white pepper (regular pepper works fine)
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 oz)
1 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place beans in a heavy large pot with enough cold water to cover by at least 3 inches. Let stand overnight.

Char chilies over gas flame or in a broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop chilies and then set them aside. ( I have used the chilies without roasting it still turns out well but the roasting adds a bit of flavor that is unique)

Drain Beans. Return to pot. Add enough cold water to pot to cover beans by 3 inches. Simmer until beans are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour (add 15 minutes if in high altitude) the drain well.
Melt butter in a clean heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Add flour and stir about 5 minutes (do not brown). Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half and half. Simmer gently to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add in the beans , chilies, shredded chicken, and everything else except the cheese sour cream and cilantro. Simmer gently to blend flavors about 20 minutes. Chill until cold and cover this can be made up to one day ahead of time and the chilling is not essential but will make it much more flavorful.

Reheat before serving add grated cheese and sour cream stir just until chili is heated through and cheese melts (do not boil). Ladle into bowls and garnish with Cilantro.

Makes 10-12 servings.
All the ingredients

Soaking the beans

Roasting the chilies
The onions


Getting the pot ready
In goes the chicken broth
And the beans

Here comes the chili powder
Stirring it up

White chili on a cold day a Happy wife makes.

It was fun documenting the cooking process here. Tuesday our Talk with the chef of Beatrice and Woodsley will be posted and he gave us a Lamb recipe we just have to try I will more than likely put that up when we make it.

Thanks for coming by if have any questions or comments please let us know.

Jonathan and Barb

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rodizio Grill

Chain alert: This restaurant is a chain but its a ton of fun and you never leave hungry!

One note, I dont have many pictures here. I found out quickly moving servers slicing meat on your plate then quickly moving in a dim room makes for very hard photo taking.

Rodizio Grill – the place where meatetarians gather

For a meaty good time, you can’t beat the Rodizio Grill located on Wynkoop (http://www.rodiziogrill.com/). The place is buzzing with activity. Once you’re seated, your server will give you the lowdown for the evening. Placed on your table is this wooden red/green bauble, which they call the “cue”. If the green is placed up, that means food is coming. If the red is up, that means you are so full, you can’t eat another bite. If you lay the bauble on its side, that means you’re ready for dessert or the check. But, you can always go “green” again.

For those of you who haven’t been there, the meat is flowing freely throughout the room with the servers coming to you. All you have to do is raid the salad bar. Everything else is delivered to your table.

You start out with Bananas Frita (deep fried bananas that were delicious), and Pao De Queijo (cheesy bread - not so delicious, but really, you’re there for the meat-a-ganza).


The first server has Assado (Brazilian Pot Roast served with potatoes, carrots and onions) followed by the next server who has Coracao (chicken hearts), then yet another server with Peru Com Bacon (chicken wrapped in bacon). What an auspicious start. But wait, the meat keeps coming (put the green bauble down!). Picanha (sirloin), Tomate Grelhado Com Parmesao (fried tomatoes), 3 x 1 Chef Special (whole sirloin with garlic butter), Abacaxi (fresh glazed pineapple). Red!!

The servers have skewers and slide your meat onto your waiting plate. The top sirloin with garlic was our favorite; you could smell the garlic from across the table. But, we didn’t know what else was to come.

Green again. Sobre Coxa (marinated chicken), Linguica (pork sausage), Fraldinha (beef tenderloin, Presunto (glazed ham), Lombo (pork loin), and Peru Com Bacon (turkey wrapped in bacon). And we did try every single thing. The ham was delicious, moist and tender. I looked over once at my friend’s plate and it was overflowing in meat….he was the last man standing! The rest of us “meatetarians” had given up by then. We were saving room for dessert.


We had six choices for dessert. Our tummies were full, but our eyes were telling us, “dessert”. So, we had to try it. We ordered 3 for the table: Royal Brigadeiro Banana Sundae (Brazilian chocolate cake toppled with ice cream, sliced bananas, an avalanche of Brigadeiro sauce, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and a cherry! Rabanada (warm cinnamon pastry with a creamy center, served with vanilla ice cream and laced with caramel sauce). The last was like a key lime pie (sorry I don’t have the Brazilian name for it).


If you leave the Rodizio Grill hungry, you only have yourself to blame. It’s Meat-a-Palooza every night there with good friends, good food, you can’t afford to not go.

We all had a wonderful time and came away very stuffed and thinking only of salads for a few days afterword. As always thanks for coming by and if you have any questions or comments or just want to chat we would love to hear from you.

Barb and Jonathan

Rodizio Grill, the Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon