by Stephanie B. Jilcott
Has a meal ever made you cry? My answer to this question before The Kitchen was “no way!” My answer after The Kitchen is a sheepish “yes”. After 3 days of intense hiking in Estes Park and Boulder, and very few ‘real meals’, I was ready to splurge. My martyr sister, Hillary, despite being sick and not able to truly enjoy any food, sat patiently with me as I ordered the “First Bite Boulder” special: A three course meal, including an appetizer of polenta, topped with rabini (think broccolini), pesto, and chilies; a main course titled “Farmer John’s Wheat berry Salad”, made with wheat berries, chickpeas, butternut squash, all seasoned with a mint, cumin, yogurt, garlic yumminess; and an apple pie/tart dessert topped with whipped cream. The atmosphere was jovial, as I looked around at warm, glowing faces of friends and families eating together in bliss. The Kitchen tables are wood, with simple lines, and somehow go well with the exposed brick walls, and plain (in a good way) glass and silverware. A vase of regal, white orchids at the bar was the only real effort at special decoration. I believe the Spartan décor has a practical significance: Who needs such distractions when enjoying truly good food?