Q's Elegant Dining in the Historic Hotel Boulderado


Q's Restaurant in The Hotel Boulderado

by Joseph G. Boches

Consulting Chef &
Colorado Magazine Online
Food Editor

Q's hotel restaurant is different. Most hotel restaurants attract a captive audience because of convenience, but Q's is worth a trip.

Our recent experiences have been delightful: classy, tasty food, good combinations, gorgeous but casual presentations, reasonably priced.

In a hurry at lunch? Pictured here, three courses "served promptly."

Really, truly Lobster Sweet Potato Bisque made from lobster bodies, no hint of base, and just enough sweet potato to bind and lighten with a pretty swirl of crème fraiche. Delicate rock shrimp fritters floated on top. Outstanding!

A nice light, perhaps 4 oz portion of perfectly grilled Blackened Salmon, skillfully caramelized and "bronzed" rather than burnt, coddled with just enough fresh Parsley Black Pepper Fettucini Alfredo. The pasta was tossed lightly with straight imported Parmesan cheese and fresh cream. On the side a fresh salad garnish with today's sweet corn. ($15)

Don't resist the dessert, Raspberry Mascarpone Roulade, a delicate, sweetened sponge wrapping a bit of mascarpone mousse, raspberries that have taste, and the tiniest scoop of mascarpone ice cream. You could share, or just dip the almond cookie in a bit of the ice cream.

I had to have the falafel (called Chick Pea Fritters) with properly cooked Cous Cous and tangy Tomato Chutney, plus drizzled low fat yogurt to moisten lightly. ($11) You'll find a lot of dinner preparations lightened up for lunch, and this is one ($16 at night with Spicy Sweet Potatoes.)

For another dinner, we tried Grilled Ahi Tuna, Lemon Risotto, Sweet Peppers. Fennel, White Anchovies and Calamata Olives,($23) Seared and carved with a cool center, fine for me, but give warning anywhere today if you want more temperature. The risotto was a creamy arborio, delicate lemon flavor and just the slightest bite. And just for the hell of it, a small taste of tartare, so there's no doubt how fresh the fish is.

For an anniversary dinner, at the host's suggestion, I surprised my wife with the evening Tasting Menu ($50, five courses, Chef's Choice, complimentary wines for $30 additional). We're both in the food business and dissect menus without thinking, choosing more what we think the kitchen can prepare well, rather than what we'd like to try. This was painless, fun, and we were delighted, focused on each other rather than engaging our waiter. The wine selections were superb and appropriate to each course.

Q's Restaurant 303-440-0844, 2115 13th Street, in the Hotel Boulderado, Boulder, CO.

Check out the website www.Qsboulder.com, Mobil Travel Guide ****, well rated in Zagat.

Don't forget The Corner Bar; a sunny venue on the southeast corner with an All Day Menu that will take care of whatever you want, anytime you want, nicely, nicely.

Left: Sweet
Potato Bisque
Bottom: Grilled
Ahi Tuna

Chef John Platt
shows off simple combinations of colors, flavors and taste with absolute freshness and excellent style.

An IBM brat from upstate New York, home of the Culinary Institute of America (he's an alumnus) John's been cooking since his mother went back to work when he was in high school.

A stint during the opening of The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Nigel gives a young chef the all-around experience and skill that makes him able and crazy enough to do it again.

In what one might consider a "small hotel," Chef Platt supervises a staff of 100, for three meals a day, 365 ¼ days a year, plus brunches, private parties, and room service.

You recognize a well run kitchen by the quality of its staff. One man doesn't do a kitchen much good.

Once we dined on the chef's day off, but you wouldn't notice: his night chef de cuisine, Chris Pierce, is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, known for its international culinary program.

Sous-chef Cruz Silva, has been there for years and started at the late, lamented A la Carte.

Alan, our waiter, had Ritz Carlton experience and did time with Jerimiah Tower at Stars.

You're in good hands at Q's.

Chick Pea Fritters