bits of my weekend, according to instagram: july 9, 2012

{finally some cooler and drizzly days}

This weekend started out on what could have been a very bad note – that is, James and I stranded at Red Rocks, standing outside and caught smack dab in the middle of a literal monsoon and thunderstorm.  Wearing only light rain jackets and flip flops, we had set off to see a Friday night show, full-well thinking that the evening’s flimsy forecast for a storm would end up like all of those other forecasted evenings we’ve had of late – way overblown and never fully materializing.  Our evening started in a perfectly enjoyable fashion,  with a lunch of crisp falafel balls followed immediately by kicking back with some undergrads at a legendary local hang out, The Sink.  After enjoying a three-dollar Funkwerks Saison (take that nine-dollar-NYC-beers!), we moseyed on over to snag a couple of seats on a door-to-door concert bus that runs from Boulder to Morrison.  The show was sold out, but even so we were surprised (and quite dejected) to arrive at Red Rocks and see a massive line snaking out of the doors of the venue and down to the parking lot.

After waiting in line for almost an hour, the eager crowd began to get a bit restless, and at about that same time fat drops of water started falling with increased intensity out of the graying sky.  It became apparent that this rain was not going to be the type to blow over and putter out, and with a few way too close for comfort lightning bolts touching down onto the tall red rocks around us, we made the executive decision to bail.  Water began to rush in rivers down the rocks and over our feet, and just as the scene was reaching full-on chaos, we somehow spied ourselves one single empty cab with it’s light illuminated.  I think our inner New-Yorkers burst forth as we jumped and dived over people and fences – I would be damned before we missed out on a cushy ride home in the warm and dry confines of a cab.  We totally abandoned our return bus tickets (and never even stepped foot inside the venue), but being soaking wet, cold, tired, and, unfortunately — too old to overlook these things — it was time to cut our losses and go home.  The cab took us on a treacherous and snaking drive back to Boulder, and dropped us off directly at The Bitter Bar, sopping wet clothes and all.  From there, our weekend (thankfully) only vastly improved; the bar manager and a friend, Michael, set us up in a cozy nook with a fantastic bottle of red, and promptly had the new executive chef, Joe Arena, come out and talk us through their new menu.

I was thrilled to have a chance to talk to and meet Joe; I had unfortunately missed a ‘clandestine’ group dinner with him a few weeks ago after being stuck in horrendous traffic on the way home from Telluride, and I had lamented missing out on a wonderful night spent with other friends and acquaintances in food media.  Joe is absolutely fantastic; he is impressively young to be a head chef, and at just twenty-three years old he has honed and crafted The Bitter Bar’s menu into something truly unique.  The BB is always our first choice for a fun night out (and, we even celebrated James’ 30th there), and the food is always right on point – delicious and well crafted, but still with a great sense of humor and share-ability that perfectly fits the clientele of Boulder.  We started with one new item and one old – an order of the coconut shrimp eggrolls, and a plate of the duck liver pate.  The eggrolls were so tasty – crispy on the outside, and light and savory on the inside with two spicy and delicious dipping sauces to play around with.  The housemade pate, which is always, always a favorite of mine, did not disappoint; it was super creamy and smooth, and was the perfect thing to nibble on between sips of wine.  For my main, I had the halibut cheeks, which were outstanding –  big tender cheeks set atop a crisp risotto cake, then drizzled in a sweet corn sauce that tasted of the very essence of fresh and sweet summer corn.  There were grilled green beans and candied walnuts to tie it all together, and it hit that balance of salty/sweet that I love so very much right on the head.  The halibut cheek was expertly cooked and very flavorful, and I was so glad to savor it before their (halibut) season is long gone.   James dined on a decadent dish of flat iron steak, which was cooked to medium-rare perfection and served with a twice-baked-potato side dish that almost (almost) stole the show.  For dessert, we indulged in what I think is one of the best desserts I have ever had – sticky chocolate cake with crispy saltine toffee (with the toffee identical to this recipe!) and a bourbon butterscotch ice cream.  It is a very decadent dessert and way over the top, but as we squeaked and squished home happy and sated in our wet duds, we couldn’t help but gush about our meal and reiterate just how great such a soggy night turned out.  It was very much worth it.

The rest of the weekend was lovely; we woke up the following morning and made blueberry pancakes and low-and-slow scrambled eggs (the only way to have them in my opinion), and I set an eight-pound pork shoulder in the oven.  We were set to have our awesome neighbors and their two daughters over for a Saturday night dinner party, and on the menu was a pork shoulder done ‘bo ssam’ style; that is, rubbed and left to sit overnight, then slow roasted for six hours and served pulled with lettuce wraps and savory sauces.  The pork came out perfectly, and the night was a total success; we sat around the table laughing and talking while another round of heavy rain beat down upon the roof, and we toasted the evening with glasses of champagne, each decorated by a sweet syrup soaked hibiscus flower.

On Sunday we slept in, and recounted just how wonderful the weekend turned out, after such a messy first few hours.  We took Winnie up to the Boulder Reservoir for the first of many swim lessons, and I have to admit – she was pretty good at staying (mostly) afloat.  We caught up on couch time and planned an early bedtime, and though we packed quite a bit into our little forty-eight hours of break, I still managed to get some rest, see some friends, eat some great food, and spend some quality time for the puglet.

And that’s really all you can ask for in a weekend, isn’t it?

{a new more casual offshoot of a local favorite restaurant}

{tangerine for a date}

{sushi style ordering means no stuttering when the waiter arrives}

{cocktail list}

{the best drink i have ever (!) had: an off-the-menu flambéed red pepper cocktail at the bitter bar}

{a saturday morning favorite here}

{a boulder tradition on the hill, complete with an alluring $3 funkwerks saison special}

{a cheese plate for a saturday night dinner party with neighbors}

{really trying her best to convince me the sheets don’t need washing}

{falafel platter with garlic, harissa, and mango sauces}

{not too keen on going out in the rain}

{breaking in an amazing gift from our friends emily + tucker with goat cheese, green apple, and fig paninis – this guy will be getting lots of exercise!}

{walking down to boulder rez}

{getting some swim lessons}

{ducking out just before the rain}

7 responses to “bits of my weekend, according to instagram: july 9, 2012

  1. Life is not complete without a panini press, I use mine at least once a week!

  2. Great Post – loving your photos – thanks for sharing! Happy Monday!

  3. The the pictures and the edits! (yes – I read the story too!)

  4. hunting for bliss

    I’m glad it all went up hill instead of the other way!! Have a good week.

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