Zeal- Food for Enthusiasts. Three Farms in Three Courses

Zeal has been a great addition to the east end of Pearl Street. Executive Chef Sean Smith, formerly of OAK at Fourteenth, runs a very busy kitchen serving diners who are looking for a healthier dining experience. The organic, non-GMO eatery also partners with Conscious Cleanse by offering daily dishes that are cleanse friendly and periodic three course meals so cleanse participants can enjoy dining out while not breaking the rules of their two week plan.

The August three course farm to table Conscious Cleanse dinner featured freshly picked produce from three great farms: Toohey, Red Wagon, and Munson Farms. Our first bite, or amuse, was deconstructed Toohey Farms Armenian cucumber and dill soup with avocado, dill flowers, and Himalayan pink salt.

Amuse at Zeal

This was a pretty, perfect bite.

Our appetizer was Red Wagon Farm chard wrapped around sautéed Hazel Dell mushrooms with either curried green lentils, the vegan option (left) or a chard wrap stuffed with duck confit (right).

chard wrap

duck confit chard wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two entree options were Munson Farms summer squash “pasta” with either roasted seasonal veggies and herbed shitakes (left), or squash “pasta” topped with bison meatballs and roasted carrots (right).

veggie summer squash pasta

bison meatballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the dessert course offered two options as well: avocado and carob mousse (a strange concoction for vegans) or a Colorado peach and wildflower honey granita.

avocado carob mousse

Peach Granita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a really good, healthy dinner, especially when you consider Chef Smith had to abide by the highly restrictive cleanse guidelines that don’t allow gluten or many of the summer’s bountiful harvest, such as nightshades. And for non-cleanse diners, our only critique is we wanted more of that Himalayan pink salt on our plates.

Cured de France: Enjoy your cycling with cheese.

Just as the World Cup reaches its final days, competitors in another major international sporting event, the Tour de France, begin tearing over mountain passes and through city streets on their bikes. And Cured, Boulder’s premier cheese, charcuterie and wine shop, is helping Tour de France spectators in Colorado celebrate the epic race with food and drink that honors different stages of the race.

The Tour begins this year in Leeds, England, passing through a number of towns – among them, Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge – before crossing the English Channel for the race’s namesake country. For the English leg of the Tour, Cured offers Montgomery cheddar, the most legendary of English cheddar cheeses, and Robinson’s Old Tom Ale, a classic English ale with just enough power, funk and bitterness to pair gorgeously with the cheese.

“Montgomery’s cheddar and Robinson’s Old Tom Ale are made just down the road from each other, and it turns out when the flavors meet, they embrace,” says Will Frischkorn, a former professional cyclist and Tour de France racer who co-owns Cured with his wife, Coral. “Because there are few things better than a good cheddar with a good beer, we are taking a departure from the wines of France. There is something special about proper cheddar and beer pairings. In this case, maybe it’s that the beer and cheese grew up so close to each other – they share similar flavors and richness in profiles. In addition, the carbonation in beer helps create fantastic pairings. This one is especially wonderful.”

Each summer Cured hosts its own Tour de France, a trip much easier to complete than the 21-day trek around France. Will breaks down the Tour into eight stages, each corresponding to between three or four days of racing. Each stage connects the cheeses and beverages with the region the racers are pedaling across. As the riders make their way clockwise around France, Cured de France “racers” follow along with cheese and wine or beer.

The Provisions

Each stage, available individually or as part of the whole package, comes with a healthy chunk of cheese and a drink to pair. Most beverage pairings are wine, but given the English leg of the trip this year, exceptional beer figures into the Cured de France, too. Prices vary between $25 and $50, depending on the stage; the entire bundled tour costs $295. People who go for the gusto by participating in the entire tour receive the newly released Looney Bin bottle cage from Arundel, designed to hold a bottle of wine, beer, or just about anything else, loaded up with a bottle of Cured’s House wine as a thank you and a congratulations on your effort!

Cured de France boxes are available for pick-up at the store, or for $95 a box gets sent to your doorstep at the start of each stage.

Stages:

Stage One: July 5-7 (England)

Stage Two: July 8-10 (Northern France)

Stage Three: July 11-14 (Northeastern France)

Stage Four: July 15-18 (Eastern France and Southeastern France)

Stage Five: July 19-21 (Southeastern France and Southcentral France)

Stage Six: July 22-24 (Pyrenees)

Stage Seven: July 25-26 (Bordeaux)

Finale: July 27 (Paris)

“At the finale,” said Frischkorn, “we guiltily enjoy Champagne and a wedge of Fougerus while the riders finally get off their bikes and bid goodbye to the 101st Tour de France.”

A “Best of” Tour de Boulder

July 2, 2014 – July 2, 2014

1235 Pearl Street

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Description:

Megan is coordinating a Best of Boulder tour for a small group, highlighting the food scene that makes us so well-known and respected. Restaurants, Foodie Specialty Shops, The Wednesday Farmers’ Market, and more. We’re looking forward to this unique tasting tour.

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Becky and Friends Private Lunch-hour Tour

June 6, 2014 – June 6, 2014

1235 Pearl Street

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Description:

Becky had so much fun on tour with us that she’s invited her friends for a lunch-time soiree to some of Megan’s favorite Pearl Street hot-spots.

OZO

Coffee, great food, chocolate, and talking about all things food with Local Table Tours’ Founding Foodie.

Pice Love & Chocolate

 

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Cassie’s Bachelorette Party Progressive Dinner Tour

Cassie has a lovely group of friends, and it was a lot of fun organizing a progressive dinner to some of Boulder’s best restaurants and bars for this group of cocktail-loving foodies.

We started at OAK at Fourteenth for a house-bottled soda as our first cocktail. When the bride-to-be tells me she wants a dinner that features cocktails, it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to include OAK.

OAK soda

I also wanted to start off on the lighter side, so OAK’s Kale and Apple salad made a great first stop.

OAK at Fourteenth Kale Salad

Cassie let me know that cocktails were preferred, and beer tasting would be fun, but they weren’t much of a wine-drinking crowd. So, beer flights all around at our next stop, West Flanders Brewing.

West Flanders beer tasting

West Flanders seated us in their second floor dining room and let each one of us pick the four beers we wanted to taste. They served some Hummus with Flatbread and Veggies and Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped dates… love them!) for our second appetizer stop.

Our third stop was another cocktail and an entree at Riffs. The group enjoyed a light cocktail paired with a Mahi-Mahi dish prepared exclusively for us.

Riffs cocktail

Riffs Mahi-Mahi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were delighted to hear Chef Platt was serving this dish only to us this evening. It wasn’t on the menu, wasn’t a special, but made just for our group. Nice touch!

After organizing a number of progressive dinners and bachelorette parties, I’ve learned that dessert isn’t really craved and devoured my most people, especially ladies. So, I made our last stop another cocktail at The Bitter Bar and gave everyone a little chocolate goodie bag prepared for them by Piece, Love, and Chocolate so they could enjoy dessert at their leisure.

Bitter Bar

Cheers, ladies! It was a really fun evening.

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