Best Bites - Montecito’s “Mac and Cheese”
It wasn’t a moment of brilliance in which Chef Adam Mali created this sandwich—it was desperation. His 2-year-old daughter was hungry, and though the fridge was stocked with bread and cheese there wasn’t a tomato to be found for his signature grilled cheese. Instead, Mali substituted Macintosh apples and added a smear of apple butter. The snack hit home with both father and daughter, and Mali filed it away for later use. When creating the menu for Montecito, he again thought of the dish. This time he turned to crusty semolina sesame bread, bitter frisée, and clarified butter for browning. The main ingredients—Vermont Cheddar, Macintosh apples, and apple butter—still speak for themselves, and the combo of savory, tart, and sweet comes together for a perfect bite.
Montecito 1120 E. Sixth Ave., 303-777-8222, www.montecitorestaurant.com /
1. The Royal Peacock
By Carol W. Maybach
(out of 4 stars)
5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder 303-447-1409
Authentic Indian cooking with rich and flavorful sauces.
The incense burning at the bar can become overwhelming; dinner dishes are inconsistent.
Rare French absinthe cocktails—the Royal Peacock is one of the few places to offer legal absinthe in the United States.
Vegetable biryani, Rajphut thali, Malai kofta, and vegetarian samosas.
2. Back for More... Lucile’s Creole Cafe
By Laurel Miller
(out of 4 stars)
275 S. Logan St. 303-282-6258
Must-Try New Dishes
Shrimp and grits.
Beignets, eggs Sardou, eggs New Orleans.
Lucile’s Creole Café began as an ordinary greasy spoon in Boulder in 1980, but soon differentiated itself by bringing down-home Southern cooking to the area. The bustling breakfast and lunch spot, housed in an old Victorian, still draws crowds every day of the week. Diners sit elbow-to-elbow in the Boulder location, chowing down a wide variety of egg dishes, crawfish étouffée, and grits. In 2004, critic Carol Maybach declared Lucile’s “comfort food at its finest,” giving it three stars out of four. Lucile’s has since opened a Denver location, adding another sibling to its family of restaurants in Boulder, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Steamboat Springs. We visited the Denver Lucile’s to find out if it stands up to the original.
It was a cold morning after a recent snow—the kind of day when only a large, hot brunch would do—and my parents and I sat in a cozy corner of Lucile’s Creole Café. Taking in the Southern decor, my dad sipped his chai ($2.95), served foamy and fragrant in a mug the size of a bowl, and reminisced about going to Mardi Gras as a young man. My mom commented on the tin ceiling, Creole posters, and Zydeco music, while I enjoyed a tall, Cajun-spiced Bloody Mary garnished with celery, an olive, okra, and shrimp... (Continued)