October 9, 2011 The Kitchen: Boulder, CO
The Kitchen always has at least one vegetarian entrée. Last time I went, it was a quinoa dish with broccoli and sundried tomatoes. I’ve been trying to recreate that dish at home. I’m sure my family wishes I’d stop. (“Dinner tonight isn’t anything special, but the dish it’s based on was terrific!”)
On this visit, the vegetarian option was Stuffed Colorado Pepper. It was a beautiful plate of food. The yellow pepper, stuffed with mushrooms and wheatberries, was sitting on tomato and chickpea purees. Great mix of flavors, from the acidity of the tomato to the earthiness of mushrooms. The only off note was the mint, which seemed harsh and medicinal to me.
I’m grateful that the Stuffed Colorado Pepper, like the quinoa dish I had on my last visit, had vegetarian protein. The Kitchen seems to get that vegetarians need more than salads and pastas.
Of course, The Kitchen has vegetarian salads and pastas, if that’s what you want. The sides of olives, cheese, and hummus offer another option for a light meal.
I ate at the bar, and it could not have been a nicer experience. The bartenders, generous with the pours, are happy to chat or leave you alone. They tell you when a dish is vegan (as the Colorado pepper dish was) and suggest wines if you want guidance. And in a town full of stylish restaurants, Kitchen’s vibe is maybe my favorite. Modern rustic, with exposed brick, a blackboard listing local farms they source from, and a handsome wooden bar.
On Mondays they have a Community Night dinner that is served family style in the loud but lovely upstairs space.
And I only peeked into the new Kitchen [Next Door], the Kitchen’s informal and inexpensive “community pub.” Looks like it’s worth a try — same farm-to-table philosophy but all dishes are under $9.