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Thursday, December 19,2013

Tidbites | Week of December 19, 2013

Christmas Eve dinners

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER For many of us, Christmas Eve dinner means one of two things: family coming together to share a well-prepared meal or buffet night at your favorite Chinese restaurant. For those looking for a more sophisticated Christmas Eve dinner experience this year, several Boulder restaurants will feature special menus for the evening.

Arugula Bar e Ristorante is hosting a four-course Christmas Eve dinner for $59 a person. Menu items range from seared foie gras with a petite persimmon, herb and fennel salad and brioche crostini to entrees like brown butter roasted Alaskan black cod.

For a modern dining experience, consider OAK at fourteenth’s $65 prix fixe Christmas Eve dinner with options like braised beef short ribs, herb-encrusted Skuna Bay salmon and spiced eggnog panna cotta for dessert.

Chautauqua Dining Hall’s Christmas Eve menu includes choices like Smoked Colorado Trout Rilletes, braised duck leg, roast prime rib, carved ham and gingerbread trifle for desert. Meals will be served family style and will cost $38 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.

CHRISTMAS DINNER SOUTHWESTERN-STYLE Now that you’ve stuffed yourself silly with cookies, eggnog, fruit cake, Chinese food, or whatever you and your family typically eat on Christmas Eve, chances are, you don’t want to see any of that stuff again until next year. Thankfully, if you are looking to eat out on Christmas day, Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster is offering a “Pioneer Christmas Dinner” with a Mexican take on American Christmas dinner traditions.

The four-course, family-style meal starts off with red turkey tamales with tomatillo and green chile and bison empanadas with a chipotle honey agave. The main course features traditional pork posole, a Mexican stew that means “foamy” in pre- Columbian language, herb-crusted bison prime rib with Hazel Dell wild mushroom jus and horseradish cream and hickory-smoked ham with caramelized pineapple.

Southwestern-style sides, like calabicitas (squash), and desserts, such as a Mini Tres Leches Cake, will also be served.

The dinner costs $45 per adult and $15 per child 12 and under. To make a reservation, call 303-410-5813. The dinner kicks off at 5 p.m.

FOOD FOR ENTHUSIASTS Boulder: The land of food allergies, picky eaters and health nuts now has a new restaurant serving the organic and healthy crowd.

Zeal – Food for Enthusiasts opened Dec. 11 at 1710 Pearl St., replacing the Boulder location of H Burger. Zeal specializes in non- GMO, organic, allergen-free seasonal dishes that use local meat and produce.

Culinary Director Arik Markus of Row 14 Bistro and Wine Bar and Frasca Food and Wine and Chef de Cuisine Sean Smith of OAK at fourteenth head the kitchen.

The menu features the popular Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwich, Carrot Chickpea Falafel, roasted vegetable rainbow curry, ceviche, beef braise and more.

The menu clearly identifies allergen-free items and dishes that fit vegan and Conscious Cleanse diets.

Zeal’s bar will serve local beer, wine, house-made kombucha and juicer-created juice cocktails and smoothies.

There is even an area in which you can watch the juicers creating the drinks and make sure they don’t slip in something nonorganic.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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