May 1, 2014

Exploring the molecular gastronomy scene near BoulderOne of the many goals that people in an Boulder culinary arts program want to achieve is creating fun and unique dining experiences for their patrons. Molecular gastronomy has been around for a long time, but few people realize just how much of a treat they will get when they step into a restaurant that has a molecular gastronomist at the helm. Combining art and science, chefs at locations such as 1515 Restaurant in Northwest Lodo, Palace Arms in Northwest Uptown and Tables in Park Hill, all deliver the culinary goods. Here’s what makes these places great:

1515 Restaurant
Nestled in the heart of Market Street the 1515 Restaurant provides a classic yet modern dining experience. As soon as you sit down, charming waiters offer you a list of available contemporary cocktails, many of which are cooled with liquid nitrogen that creates a billowing smoke effect. Once you’ve had your fill of delicious chemically-precise alcoholic beverages, you can turn your eyes to the menu. You will find a slew of appealing appetizers and main dishes, including lamb sweetbreads showered in truffle powders and stylishly decorated with almond gelatin. Or you could decide to enjoy a tender New York Strip steak, prepared sous-vide and paired with delectable wild mushrooms (picked locally) and a variety of garnish.

Palace Arms
As soon as you step inside the halls of the Palace Arms, you get a sense of history and nostalgia. Civil and friendly staff provide old-school service reminiscent of a time when people would save up an entire month’s salary and spend it all on a night out on the town with their beloved. In addition to the pleasant atmosphere, the menu hits all the right notes. For appetizers, you have the a long list of options that includes soft shell crab cooked with a crispy buttermilk crust, decadent foie gras served on brioche with bing cherries and oranges, and squash blossoms stuffed with freshly made ricotta, pine nuts and tomatoes. If that isn’t enough to get you bursting at the seams, Palace Arms is known for excellent rabbit, pork tenderloin and seafood entrees.

The trendy scene at Tables is quickly becoming a local favorite because of its excellent service and even better seasonal menu that keeps patrons coming back for more. For starters, Tables offers a mix of charcuterie, garden vegetables and seafood. Entrees for past winter seasons included tender lamb shank, crispy duck, scallops and arctic char.