I don’t often make the drive out to Boulder just for dinner, but there’s one place that warrants the effort: Blackbelly Market — an amazing restaurant and butcher shop from award-winning Chef Hosea Rosenberg (if you’re a cooking competition show fanatic like me, you might remember him as the winner from season 5 of Top Chef).
I’m extremely impressed by what Chef Hosea has done with Blackbelly: a restaurant that strives to “create food from the source to the plate,” using only the best local seasonal ingredients. To that end, Blackbelly has a farm where they raise their own livestock, as well as a greenhouse where they grow their own organic vegetables. And everything else comes from other local Colorado farms and ranches. So this means all the meat here is natural and hormone- and antibiotic-free. Woohoo!
HAPPY HOUR is 4-6pm every day and includes food and drinks. See the current menu.
One of my personal happy hour favorites was the $6 New Zealand Thyme cocktail (42 below Vodka, Cucumber, Thyme, Lime, Agave). It’s just so refreshing and easy-to-drink.
At $2 an oyster, the happy hour oysters aren’t as cheap as some other places in Denver, but still delicious. But I’m always a sucker for oysters, especially with good mignonette.
Everything here was absolutely delicious. I think the only thing I wouldn’t get again is the meatball (happy hour appetizer), since it was a little too tough. The charcuterie, though, is a must-try assortment of house-made and local Colorado meats. I think the headcheese might actually be the best thing I had here all night. Just try it.
Another great appetizer was the Colorado wagyu beef tartare with a quail egg and grilled bread. And it’s pretty filling for a “small plate.”
My personal favorite on the entree list was the seared duck breast (with root vegetables, brussels, sweet potato puree, and pomegranate). It was just one of the most tender pieces of duck I’ve ever had, and with the perfect sides (although I asked for mushrooms instead of sweet potato puree since I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, and they were wonderfully accommodating).
If you’re really hungry, go for the smoked lamb shank with heirloom beans, braised fennel, and preserved lemon gremolata. I mean look at that thing!
This is the steelhead trout with belgua lentils, cauliflower, pea shoots, and curry broth. I’m personally not usually a huge fan of trout, but even I loved how deliciously crispy the skin on this was.
I didn’t take a photo (sorry), but the burger was also really good here. I just couldn’t bring myself to order a burger when there are all these other options — but I did have a bite of a friend’s.
Like I mentioned before, the New Zealand Thyme was my favorite, but the cocktails here are all pretty awesome. Below is the “Pins & Needles” (42 below Vodka, Prickly Pear, Lime, Ginger) — which is really a work of art.