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Thursday, May 21,2015

Sweet precision

A morning in the kitchen of Robin Chocolates

By Matt Cortina
Robin Autorino demands perfection. She demands it of herself, of the employees in her Longmont chocolate shop and of the ingredients she uses to make her award-winning chocolates. She demands it, too, of her chocolate-squirting robot, Frédéric. Fred is a magnificent beast, about the size and design of a commercial-grade frozen yogurt machine. In 10 minutes, he melts hard chocolate feves — ovals of various percents and types of chocolate — into a silky, liquid stream. The stream pools into a slowly rotating basin, where it eventually works its way to the bottom of the tun, is piped up to the top and entered back into the endless stream.
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Thursday, May 21,2015

Authentic import

Chez Thuy continues to bring big, interesting flavor to Boulder

By Matt Cortina
Chez Thuy rewards the brave. The menu is large and varied, representing Vietnamese cuisine that blends French, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian elements. There are myriad noodle dishes, many familiar. There are appetizers, soups, meats and curries that are no doubt delicious, but that are available at about the same quality just about everywhere.
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Thursday, May 14,2015

Tracking down perfection

Wayne’s Smoke Shack is bold, confident barbecue

By Matt Cortina
You have to appreciate the moxie of a restaurant that is open until it sells out. Especially when you set up shop at the end of an empty parking lot, triangulated by Buffalo Wild Wings, PetSmart and Super Target, in the perpetually under construction, unglamorous superdevelopment of Superior.
Thursday, May 14,2015

NEW ANSWERS TO DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS EMERGE

If passed, two ballot initiatives will amend city charter and alter development

By Matt Cortina
One ballot initiative would give individual neighborhoods the opportunity to vote on any land use changes in their area. The other initiative tacks on recuperative expenses to future development projects. The potential ramifications if either amendment passes have kindled a debate between advocacy groups, the city and developers.
Thursday, May 7,2015

The great forgotten Italian red

Amarone della Valpolicella is worth the hunt and price in Boulder County

By Matt Cortina
Far be it from me to dispute that. I don’t know how, and I’m scared to. But in that due bluster around nebbiolo and sangiovese, and their subsequent products, it’s hard to find on Boulder County menus what some of us hiding over in the corner consider Italy’s finest red: amarone della Valpolicella.
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Thursday, May 7,2015

Taste in colors

Busaba in Louisville is vibrant Thai

By Matt Cortina
Each new plate arrived to the table as a twist of a kaleidoscope. When we drained the color from one, another arrived, swirling colors into a different combination and pattern. We remembered the food by its color, not by each dish, when we left Busaba in Louisville.
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Thursday, April 30,2015

Summer hang

Wapos should be packed as weather gets warmer

By Matt Cortina
I like Wapos. They serve excellent, sloppy-style Mexican food. They have an outdoor covered patio where a quick afternoon drink can quickly become a full-blown night out when the temperature plays nice. They have a dozen types of margaritas and a bunch of Mexican beers.
Thursday, April 30,2015

High density, low confidence

With changes looming, Boulder struggles to strike balance on building, population density

By Matt Cortina
Perhaps the biggest issue in Boulder, and Boulder County to a growing extent, is density. How will we accommodate the ever-growing number of people who work and live here if we can’t build up and we can’t build out?
Thursday, April 23,2015

A fruitful, nutty challenge

Making a day of meals from only tree products for Arbor Day

By Matt Cortina
Could you make three square meals and a dessert out of only ingredients that come from trees? That’s the ridiculous question I posed to myself in honor of Arbor Day, which saunters through on April 24 in the unfortunate shadow of that fat cat Earth Day.
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Thursday, April 23,2015

Hiding in plain sight

Boulder Chophouse fills a surprising void

By Matt Cortina
Whether you like it or not, there is a perception outside of Colorado that steakhouses abound in this state. The assumption is that cattle farms abound out here, and that meat from top Angus and Kobe beef farms throughout the West is shipped to a bevy of hungry consumers at any number of steakhouses along the Front Range.
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