Taste of the week: Croquetas and Quince

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Sitting on the sunny patio at Gemini, I was gazing at a sea of flowers and a highly watchable parade of passers-by when my friend and I agreed it was one of those quintessential Boulder meal experiences. The recently opened eatery serves modern Spanish and Mediterranean fare at 1115 Pearl St., former site of Riffs Urban Fare and the Bookend Cafe. We started with hot-from-the-fryer croquetas made with chorizo, potato and Idiazabal cheese, plus fried baby artichokes with remoulade dip and sticky sherry-glazed spare ribs. Important subjects were discussed as we demolished a plate of Denver-made River Bear lomo cured pork, brie-like Haystack Mountain Cashmere cow’s milk cheese,
quince paste and house-baked rosemary crackers.

I’m looking forward to going back for Gemini’s steamed littleneck clams with garlic toast and larger plates of baked polenta, grilled octopus, salmon a la plancha and roasted quail. 

Another Roadfood Attraction: Polish Comfort

For a change of pace from the usual chain burger, pizza and taco spots you see driving around the metro suburbs, consider the house specialty at Pierogies Factory, 3795 Wadsworth Blvd., Wheat Ridge. 

Pierogi (the Polish plural of the word) are the Eastern European equivalent of filled potstickers, essentially pan-fried ravioli. I naturally opted for the sampler of six dumpling flavors: potato and cheese, potato and onion, slow-roasted pork, sauerkraut and mushroom, feta and spinach, and potato cheddar jalapeño. The Pierogies Factory menu also features such classics as goulash, kielbasa, schnitzel, borscht, homemade sauerkraut and cucumber salad. 

Bags of the company’s pierogi are also available frozen at supermarkets, including The Niche Market in Boulder.

Boulder Recipe Flashback: Citrus-y Chicken

Named for Christopher and Sarah, the two children of owner Frank Craven, CrisSar’s Grill and Pasta House opened at 543 Cherry St. in Longmont in 1990. The now-closed eatery shared this requested recipe for a simple chicken dish in the late 1990s.  

ChrisSar’s Citrus Chicken with Fettuccine

1 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast

Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning (optional)

3 ounces butter

3 ounces fresh lemon juice

2 large cloves garlic, finely minced

Freshly ground black pepper

6 to 8 ounces fettuccine, barely al dente

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Cook the fettuccine, drain and cool. If using Mrs. Dash, sprinkle on all surfaces on chicken. Grill chicken or pan fry in olive oil. To prepare the dish, heat butter in a pan, add green onions, lemon juice, garlic and pepper. Saute for about three minutes and add cooked pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings. Slice hot chicken into julienne strips and serve over pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. 

Note: To up the citrus flavor intensity, add fresh lemon zest.  

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Send information about Boulder County and Colorado food and drink events, classes, festivals, farm dinners, farm stands and tastings to: nibbles@boulderweekly.com

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