Community Through Food
“We believe that gathering around the table and sharing good food and drink is what connects us as family, friends and a community.”
Philosophy of The Kitchen, Boulder, Colorado
The day of the avocado and sprout sandwich (which I love, by the way), tie dye shirted servers and roughhewn furniture as the sign of an eco-friendly, socially conscious restaurant are long past .
The Kitchen in Boulder, Colorado is a wonderful example of how our awareness of good healthy food has changed for the better. Sleek and modern, it still manages to feel warm and inviting. The building is wind powered (I don’t know how they do it) and the board says that the oil used in the kitchen (the kitchen AT The Kitchen) is re-used to power Steve’s car. (When I asked: Steve is a server there.) They re-use wine bottles for wine on tap, they use good spring water and locally grown foods or foods from sustainable, eco conscious purveyors all of which are listed on their community board. The service is excellent, the servers knowledgeable and friendly.
The food is extraordinary. On a now not so recent trip, I had dinner there. I had Udi’s Pane AL Lino and Ingrid’s Scallop Speidino . The name is a tome but here’s what it means: Speidino (or spiedino) is a dish of meat rolled around a filling or formed into balls. From the Italian, spiedo, meaning spit or spear (not the tiny bathing suit so many European men are fond of, ha ha). In the case of the delicious meal at the The Kitchen, it is scallops and Udi’s bread (Udi’s is a local bakery, Ingrid is Ingrid Bengis Seafood from Maine) on skewers of rosemary. The rosemary infused the pieces beautifully.
Janna, our server, and later Sara Brito were very generous with their time and a wealth of information. I asked Janna about the other ingredients in the dish which included vegetables, herbs, lentils and HELLO, lardo.
I grew up with lard, I am southern after all, and I do not have fond memories of southern “cuisine.” (Paula Dean’s rise to prominence has caused me a lot of angst and embarrassment in recent years.) ANYWAY, Janna informed me that this was a totally different animal, well product. They get their lardo from La Quercia Meats, , who make artisan meats and salamis. As La Quercia’s website (laquercis.us) says: “We make artisan cured meats or salumi — prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, speck, lonza, guanciale, and lardo. Seeking out the best ingredients, produced responsibly, we craft them by hand into something that expresses our appreciation for the beauty and bounty of Iowa.”
According to Janna and LaQuercia, lardo has 40% less saturated fat than butter and ¼ of the cholesterol and 3 times the protein. And the pig has been raised humanely, the meat is hormone free and flavored with organic clove, nutmeg, white and black pepper, rosemary, bay leaf, coriander. It doesn’t come in a can but as a slab of meat, so it is cubed into the dish to add flavor to the lentils, not greasiness.
And so it did. The dish was incredible.
Sara was kind enough to share the recipe with me so if anyone would like it please email. And do get to The Kitchen if you’re in Boulder. Or in Denver. They just opened one there as well.