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Thursday, July 14,2011

Small-town hospitality

Niwot Market turns casual dining into community affair

By Clay Fong
Throughout the warm weather season, the Niwot Market dishes up a Friday night supper that’s as much a community happening as it is an enjoyably casual dining experience. Menus vary from week to week, so it’s best to call ahead to find out what’s cooking. On some evenings the entrée might be fried chicken or steak, on another night clam pasta. The evening that friend Cynthia and I went, the menu was an $18 All-American barbecue heavily influenced by Southern home cooking.
Thursday, July 7,2011

A palace of taste

By Clay Fong
Nothing screams summertime more than cuisine from warm-weather climes, cool drinks and al fresco dining, all of which are available at Boulder’s Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace. Drawing from Central and South American traditions, Centro serves up ceviche, tacos, tortas and platters featuring such specialties as huevos rancheros and enchiladas. Paul, a Chicago transplant, joined me for a weekday lunch on the sun-drenched patio there while things were hopping, although the amiable servers satisfied the crowd’s needs with aplomb.
Thursday, June 30,2011

Bácaro, bikes and bruschetta

By Clay Fong
The most enjoyable meals aren’t just about the food — they’re also about the company, and in some instances, a sense of common purpose. Such is the case with Boulder’s Bácaro Venetian Taverna’s combination Sunday bike ride, lunch and fundraiser. The ride is a monthly event that pulls together an amiable collection of cyclists of differing ages and abilities.
Thursday, June 23,2011

Classic Italian in Lafayette

By Clay Fong
As someone with too much time on my hands, I've recently been preoccupied with seeking out classic, if not downright iconic, meals. These repasts don't necessarily have to be pricey or complex, and can be as simple as a grilled cheese accompanied by tomato soup.
Thursday, June 16,2011

Thai one on at Naraya

By Clay Fong
Boulder´s Naraya Thai and Sushi, formerly known as Siamese Plate, offers an affordably priced Southeast Asian and Japanese menu, similar to its predecessor. Happily, it's also under new ownership. The previous proprietor, who was indicted on tax and employment charges, is long gone. What hasn't changed much is the colorful dur in this second-floor venue, which still affords a picture-window perspective of Folsom Street below.
Thursday, June 9,2011

The bison house that Ted built

By Clay Fong
Typically I resist reviewing chains, although a combination of curiosity and coincidence compelled me to check out Ted’s Montana Grill, cable magnate turned environmentalist/land baron Ted Turner’s culinary endeavor. When it comes to outspoken American billionaires, I’ve always preferred Turner’s vaguely crazed bravado, such as when he won America’s Cup in the ’70s, to Donald Trump’s cranky hyperbole.
Thursday, June 2,2011

Getting lucky in Louisville

By Clay Fong
Intriguing goings-on are afoot in downtown Louisville as summer draws near. Making my way to meet friend Kuvy for a weekend lunch, I picked my way across a criterium bike race like a real-life Frogger. My destination was the modern, minimalistic environs of Lucky Pie Pizza and Taphouse. It’s an aesthetically clean space, with pristine white walls and a welcoming, open warehouse-style ambience.
Thursday, May 26,2011

Rustic roots but sophisticated flair

By Clay Fong
Like its French counterpart, the bistro, the Italian trattoria typically refers to a less formal eatery than a full-tilt restaurant.
Thursday, May 19,2011

An old-school diner with smart updates

By Clay Fong
The surrounding environs are an eclectic place where traditional homes ringed by porches rub shoulders with boxy modernistic houses where the occupants would be well-advised not to throw stones. True to the New Urbanist ideal of walkability, there's also a smattering of retail space here, including wine shops and other spots offering food and drink.
Thursday, May 12,2011

Like a trip to the Middle East

By Clay Fong
Visiting Boulder’s Arabesque, which features first-rate Middle Eastern food, I was fortunate enough to be joined by Ghada, who grew up in Lebanon eating Arabic food. She helped me better appreciate the subtle and authentic touches during lunch at this homey, family-owned operation. The owner does the cooking, while her husband assumes host duties; their adult children help out with waiting tables.
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