Friday, March 2, 2012

The Kitchen

The Kitchen is a much-buzzed Boulder farm-to-table restaurant that elbowed its way to the #14 spot on 5280's 25 Best Restaurants list in October 2011.

Mr. Oyster and I visited The Kitchen a couple years ago in our pre-blog days and we felt a bit lukewarm about the place, but we decided to give it another try last weekend.

The Kitchen lies immediately west of the Pearl Street Mall, just next door to Salt. Adjacent to The Kitchen are its sister restaurants, The Kitchen [Upstairs], and The Kitchen [Next Door].

The Kitchen seems to epitomize Boulder with its ubiquitous use of the word "community," its commitment to renewable energy, and its nonprofit dedicated to gardens in schools.

We stopped by for brunch on a Saturday at 12:30 pm.. The Kitchen doesn't take reservations for brunch, and securing a table was no easy feat. We were told that the wait would be about 20 minutes, and after that 20 minutes passed we were offered a patio seat. Considering how blustery it was that day, I'm surprised the staff would seat people outside. We opted to wait another ten or so minutes for an indoor spot. Once that was "ready", we went inside and then had to wait a few more minutes before the table was fully prepped.

And we were finally ready to begin our meal. Our waiter brought a carafe of water, and I ordered a latte ($3.95).


My latte was perfect. The swirled foam layer was frothy, thick, and creamy. The sugar chunks on the side made for a beautiful presentation.

My husband decided on the Long Family Farm Ham with poached eggs, Hollandaise, and an English muffin ($14), which The Kitchen curiously spells out on their menu rather than call it "Eggs Benedict." The dish arrived with a side of breakfast potatoes.

Eggs Benedict

The presentation was lovely and the portion was fairly large. The bread was topped with multiple layers of thinly-sliced ham, poached eggs, and a generous helping of creamy hollandaise sauce.

The benedict was good but not particularly special. The hollandaise and ham both tasted a bit bland.

The breakfast potatoes were really the star of this dish. They were perfectly seasoned, and cooked to a crispy exterior and soft interior.

My brunch dish was the Spicy Long Farm Pork Green Chili ($14), which came with two eggs and cornbread.

Spicy Long Farm Pork Green Chili

The Kitchen advertises this dish as "spicy" by the first word in the dish's title, but it really had no heat at all to it. I was disappointed by the lack of spiciness, although the chili was otherwise well-seasoned and filled with large chunks of pork. The cornbread cube was dry and bland; I had to mix it with the chili to make it enjoyable to eat.

I hadn't requested any specifics as far as how the eggs were cooked, but they were served in the exact form I prefer them: over-medium, with just a hint of runny yolk.

Service was a little slow but otherwise good. The waitstaff did a great job of refreshing our water carafe and my husband's iced tea.

The Kitchen offers a great restaurant concept in terms of their commitment to farm-to-table dining and community support. However, their prices feel a bit steep and their brunch offerings just don't quite come together for me.

Casual Dining

(6 of 10)

Pros: High quality ingredients, great lattes
Cons: Food sometimes lacking in flavor and cohesion, long wait for table at brunch


The Kitchen on Urbanspoon


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