Raffle winners: Thank you to everyone who donated to A Fund for Jennie and a special thanks to Maggy, Erika, and Aimée of Bloggers Without Borders for coordinating the raffle and donations on such a huge scale across the food blogosphere. We had 41 legitimate entries and Kaweah chose the numbers (or rather, ate the corresponding dog biscuits for): 48 and 66. Mod 41, that gives us #7 (Jenn) and #25 (Kaela). Congratulations to our winners! I’ll contact you shortly to arrange for your choice of photo!
I keep a long list of things to do. It’s not the normal list of errands, house maintenance, work, etc. It’s a special list for things that I will eventually get around to in either a few weeks or a few years – but I’m gonna do them. Things like the dozen or so baby quilts for which I have already collected the fabric, a care package to send around the globe, cookies to give to people who least expect them, or dinner with friends at another friend’s restaurant. Coordinating among multiple busy schedules means we have been attempting to get together for months, but we finally made it earlier this week. It was the first of many foreseeable dinners with this fine crew: Ellen, Manisha, and Kathya. We went around on email to figure out where to meet for dinner. There are so many choices, but I had been promising to visit my friend (and chef) Chris at his new restaurant since before it opened in Westminster, Colorado nearly six months ago. We’re all friends on Twitter and everyone agreed that Hideaway Steakhouse was the top of our list.
our own private dining room
I met Chris at my Food and Light workshop in Boulder in 2010 – one of our best students, a true sweetheart of a guy, and an incredibly talented chef and photographer. He told us Monday nights are generally quiet so he reserved the backroom just for us so we could dine, gab, and shoot photos to our hearts’ content. Such a great fella. The owners and manager came by to say hi and introduce themselves too. Hideaway Steakhouse is located in a predominantly residential area that is a bit of a food culture wasteland. The menu at Hideaway has the traditional steaks that you’d find at a steakhouse on one half, but the other half is where Chris gets to play and show off his culinary mastery.
chris offers so much more than just a steakhouse menu
manisha starts with a mojito
ellen soon learns that she’s fallen in with a camera-toting crowd
What I love about having dinner with my foodistas is that “they get it”. We all order something different so we can get a good sampling of the dishes. We share everything. No one dives into the food as soon as it arrives because we’re all getting our cameras ready (except for Ellen, who kept repeating “That’s a damn big camera!”). Oh, and they are absolutely hilarious, wonderful, amazing women. We had so much to tell one another that it took an hour before we finally figured out our order. But Chris took great care of us – he spoiled the hell out of us! We started with plates of his “lamb three ways” dish: braised lamb shank and goat cheese ravioli, lamb bacon (he cured it himself) sweet potato hash, and lamb tenderloin. Then we shared a couple of appetizers off the menu because everything was just too tempting to not sample a few.
lamb three ways: heavenly!
click click click
heirloom tomato carpaccio
ellen tries an escargot
Like I said, we each ordered something different so that we could share around. The entrées were off the hook and their accompaniments were equally sublime. Of all the dishes, I liked Manisha’s wild salmon the most. Really though, it was tough to pick a favorite because everything was so well prepared. My ribs were probably a tad drier than this southern Virginian prefers, but the mac and Manchego that came with it nearly had me slipping under the table in bliss. The two beef dishes were melt-in-your-mouth juicy tender awesome. Animals are delicious.
my berkshire pork st. louis ribs with haricot vert, mac and manchego
manisha’s wild salmon on pancetta, lobster-corn chowder with pesto
ellen’s tournedos of beef on roasted fingerling potatoes with braised swiss chard
kathya’s grilled roasted petit tender with gorgonzola polenta cake, eggplant salsa, basil pesto
At this point, I was about to go blind and asked to have the rest of my plate boxed to go. Then there was the nagging question, “Shouldn’t we try some dessert?” I normally don’t feel the need to eat dessert. But when you’re trying a place out and you know that the pastry chef is European and married to the chef, it’s sacrilege not to have some dessert. That’s what we told ourselves… We couldn’t decide, being blind and all, so Chris said he’d take care of it. And he did.
fresh and hot apple fritters with vanilla sauce
oreo mousse cake
giant chocolate chunk cookies with milk
I think he may have been trying to kill us. How can you possibly resist a fresh, hot apple fritter doused in vanilla sauce? Really people. I began to wonder if I’d fit in my car to go home. Contrary to the claims that we were about to pop, we each scarfed down a fritter because IT WAS THAT PHENOMENAL. What I (we) loved about the desserts was that none of them were overly sweet which allowed us to appreciate the flavors more. We failed in our mission to finish the desserts (I think the cookies were bigger than my face), but it was either that or drive into a ditch due to food coma.
chris came out to chat with us after the meal
I’m not much of a steakhouse kind of girl, but Hideaway Steakhouse is something else… something MORE. If you dine there, you will be in the most excellent hands of Chris Cina – a fine chef and delightful man. If you’re the meathead type, they’ve got you covered. If you prefer something more refined, Chris is your man. And don’t forget to save some room for the fabulous pastries. Hideaway Steakhouse brings classy eats to Westminster.
Full Disclosure: Complimentary appetizers and desserts. All thoughts expressed are my own (duh!).