Running Nov. 13-21, the 2015 edition of First Bite Boulder Restaurant Week marks the 10th year of this event highlighting some of the best the Boulder culinary arts scene has to offer. This year, 46 restaurants across Boulder County are participating, most offering $29, three-course, prix fixe meals.
The event was founded by Dining Out Magazine’s Josh Dinar and Kate Lacroix of online content producers Kontently. Lacroix said she intends to gather food donations for the area’s homeless population as part of the event.
“Because the traditional gift for a 10-year anniversary is aluminum, we’re still reaching out to many local grocery stores interested in donating to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless pantry,” she told Colorado Daily. “We’d still really like to see that happen as our gift back to the community.”
The lineup for Restaurant Week features an eclectic mix of food and drink, including some new restaurants making their debut. The 24 Carrot Bistro in Erie offers farm-to-table fare like quinoa chickpea fritters, parsnip and pear soup, pan seared Arctic char and cider braised pork shoulder. Wild Standard, a seafood establishment in downtown Boulder, has a $58 dinner for two, serving fried calamari, seafood cassoulet, king trumpet mushrooms and pan-seared mushrooms, among other small plates.
As in past years, Wild Standard executive chef Bradford Heap’s older restaurants are also participating in Restaurant Week. The Niwot-based, farm-to-table restaurant Colterra will have bouillabaisse, vegetable risotto and duck leg confit on hand. Salt will provide tomato soup with goat cheese crouton, a burger, butternut squash risotto and a chocolate caramel salt tart.
Among the other established names in Boulder-area dining there is Basta, with a menu focused on Alaskan salmon. Vegetarians will want to visit Leaf for butternut squash pappardelle or the General’s Tofu, made with quinoa, shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, fried egg and puffed rice. Arugula provides a range of organic, sustainable options, many gluten-free and some vegetarian. For instance, there is a winter squash soup, roast pepper filled with quinoa and fig and flourless fudge cake. For meat-eaters, however, Arugula also serves fennel sausage and penne pasta, grilled pork tenderloin or braised beef short ribs.
If you are looking for a deal, a few restaurants are presenting tempting dishes at lower prices. For $18, you can dine on three courses at Longmont’s Comida Cantina, four tapas items at The Med or three courses and the beverage of your choice at Verde. T|aco offers a meal for two at $29, including chips with salsa and guacamole, six tacos and two desserts.
Should you want a unique beverage to wash down all this food, you are in luck as well. All participating restaurants will have two new specialty cocktails created in collaboration between Wonder juice shop and Contratto Apertif and Bitter. If you prefer beer, Fate Brewing Company includes one of its craft brews in the price of dinner.
For more information on participating restaurants, including Restaurant Week menus, see the First Bite website. The organizers strongly recommend making reservations where possible.