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Thursday, March 22,2012

Al fresco at Zucca

By Clay Fong
Located smack dab in the middle of downtown Louisville, Zucca Italian Ristorante boasts an inviting ambience balancing the rustic with a subtle but unmistakable European flair. The same can also be said of the menu, which ranges from old standbys like comforting spaghetti and meatballs to more elevated selections like seafood cannelloni and rack of lamb.
Thursday, March 15,2012

Chinese-American standbys

By Clay Fong
I’ve finally taken a “If you can’t beat, join ‘em” tack to my critical assessment of local Chinese restaurants. No longer do I hold Boulder eateries to the same standard of the Bay Area joints of my youth. Why? Because for the most part, establishments around here are not, strictly speaking, Chinese restaurants.
Thursday, March 8,2012

Santa Fe in Longmont

By Clay Fong
I appreciate a business with a name that unambiguously identifies what it offers. Such is the case with Longmont’s to-the-point Santa Fe Coffee & Burrito Co. This welcoming breakfast and lunch spot features caffeine ranging from classic diner coffee to espresso drinks and hearty, New Mexico-influenced meals.
Thursday, March 1,2012

A high-end food court

By Clay Fong
Neither good food nor subtlety was a strong suit at the busy suburban mall food courts of my youth. In those pre-Sbarro years, kitsch was king. Over-the-top Union Jack displays heralded the fish and chips stand, and garish, if not stereotypical, lanterns and kimonos indicated where greasy tempura was dished out.
Thursday, February 23,2012

A laudable weekend brunch

By Clay Fong
Sunday morning was rough. I had injured my knee the day before, resulting in an ER visit and an unsure prognosis. My friend Ann suggested an ameliorative brunch, and I was game, but not necessarily up for one of those popular joints with a long wait and hip vibe.
Thursday, February 16,2012

Oak has recovered — and then some

By Clay Fong
When assessing the recently reopened Oak at Fourteenth, the lazy tendency would be to open with a sentence such as this: “Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Oak has returned from months of rebuilding from a debilitating fire.
Thursday, February 9,2012

Making room for high-end steak

By Clay Fong
Word was the Lady in Gray wanted to meet. She’s my counterpart at our cross-town rival, the Obscura, or whatever it’s called, and she thought it would be interesting if we reviewed a place together. She made reservations at the new Pearl Street Steak Room. I got there early and sat with my back to the wall so she didn’t get the drop on me.
Thursday, February 2,2012

Nothing bitter about this bar

By Clay Fong
The Bitter Bar occupies the Walnut Street space previously inhabited by the Happy Noodle House, which, like its successor, was operated by the Big Red F Restaurant Group. Given the new enterprise’s heavy focus on libations, it’s unsurprising that this spot retains a hip, lounge-like vibe that lends itself well to casual cocktails or an informal dinner.
Thursday, January 26,2012

Shine on

By Clay Fong
When I first heard the name of Boulder’s new eatery Shine, I was hoping it would feature entertainment by a troubled pianist portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rush. Alas, Shine appears more to refer to notions of maximized self-actualization than David Helfgott, although music is on the menu. The latest venture from the Emich triplets, this gathering space, bar and restaurant is just a few doors down from their former establishment, Trilogy.
Thursday, January 19,2012

A solid addition in Lafayette

By Clay Fong
Lafayette’s 95a Bistro and Sushi, located on Arapahoe at the former site of the Magnolia Steakhouse is a contemporary and comfortable eatery that features affordable lunches, including $9 burgers with shoestring fries, $12 lamb shank tortellini and a $10 squash agnolotti pasta plate. Dinner choices include some of the light- Susan France er lunch choices as well as an affordable $16 aged ribeye steak and a $15 red snapper garnished with brown butter, caramelized onions and roasted peppers.