Desitnation Vail CO: Elway’s Restaurant and Colorado Peach Bellini’s

2012-08-19

On a recent trip to Vail Colorado I had the opportunity for a condensed ‘meet and greet’ with several of the shining stars in Vail’s current dining landscape.  Our culinary speed dating weekend left me with many impressions, all good, as well as some particular surprises and ‘ah ha’ moments.  One of those was with Elway’s, a steakhouse bearing the attention-grabbing name of beloved former Denver Broncos quarterback and owner John Elway. I realize steakhouses have come a long way since the moody, masculine, slab-of-beef–and-a-loaded-baked-potato chophouse of yesteryear but I was caught off guard, pleasantly, by the fresh and local approach that is the core of Elway’s’ focus.  Having opened less than a year ago in November 2011, this third Elway’s restaurant is well on the road to making … {continue reading}

Smoked Chorizo Soft Tacos with Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa

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If we were playing summer food word association, ‘grilling’ clearly would top the list.  Along with fresh, simple food, casual dining and a host of seasonal ingredients that define the season’s flavor palette.  My personal food choices in the hotter months focus much more on the vibrant flavors and less on the laborious preparation that seems to suit when there is a chill in the air. I was recently contacted by Boulder Sausage Company to see if I’d be interested in taking part in a summer recipe Blogger Challenge using their sausage.  My task would be to create a recipe that speaks to summer food using one of their sausage types.  In exchange Boulder Sausage Company would reimburse my ingredients costs, post my recipe on their website and again on their Facebook page for Facebookers to … {continue reading}

Fresh Peach Margarita and Fresh Peach Spritzer (non-alcoholic)

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The idea for the cocktail came through unexpected means.  I had finished taking photographs of the Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa I posted last week.  I had a slew of things to return to the kitchen from my photo set so called my kids in to help me schlep.  They had not tasted the salsa yet so I let them go at it when my 9 year old declared ‘now all you need is a margarita!’ I have no idea why that popped to mind for him.  I don’t swill Margies every time I have salsa.   I do not drink cocktails daily, in the middle of the day potentially signaling him that it was ‘cocktail time for Mommy’.  He does not drink Margaritas that I’m aware of so the Pavlovian association was beyond me.  However my next thought WAS to come up with a Fresh Peach Margarita recipe.  So despite the circuitous … {continue reading}

Bite-Size Insalata Caprese

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I now do not recall my first introduction to Insalata Caprese but it was love at first bite for me.  A simple, fresh salad of Italian origin made only of tomatoes (usually slices), freshly made mozzarella cheese (which if you have not had, do not confuse it with processed mozzarella; totally different animal), fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  If ordering it at a restaurant anywhere in the world you’d expect a plate of several individually architected ‘bites’ (really larger than one bite) of a tomato slice, a thick slice of mozzarella matching the tomato slice in size, a basil leaf and drizzle of olive oil that slinks underneath the tomato providing a kiss of oil to both sides of the salad. To me this is really the only time of year to make this … {continue reading}

Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa

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We are certainly in the Dog Days of Summer.  The temperature has stayed miserably high since June though finally seems properly aligned being almost mid August.  I’ve been out later in the evening the past few nights and have found the temperature sublime.  It’s the type of temperature that hangs heavy in the air encouraging sitting on city stoops with a cold drink and no purpose other than to enjoy the laziness of the moment as the hazy purple dusk fades to dark.  Time seems to slow and you can’t imagine anything more important than just sitting and soaking it in knowing it is all too fleeting. I find my mind wandering as well to new concoctions using summer produce.  In August we are all lavished by the crescendo of the bounty, with almost too much to know what to make.  This year has … {continue reading}

Touching the Soul of Farming: Den Farm (Brighton CO)

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Last weekend on a beastly hot day my family and I made our way to Brighton Colorado and Den Farm.  Den Farm is a more recent endeavor of Yasu and Toshi Kizaki, owners of the long standing Sushi Den and Izakaya Den restaurants in Denver.  After 27 years of running the uber successful restaurants they returned to their parents’ roots in farming starting a farm of their own to feed their restaurants, draw greater connection to the source of the food being prepared at their restaurants but I suspect it nurtures their spirit as well. Regardless of how popular ‘farm-to-table’ and eating locally have become, I’m not sure people think much about the farming aspect of it.  Though we are cooler for ‘knowing our farmer’ and in vogue for eating at restaurants that source locally, do we really … {continue reading}