Ah, autumn, the time of year when you break out the crock-pot and Dutch oven and enjoy savory roasts that fill your home with the warm, hearty smells of fall and that are fit to feed the whole family. But for Boulderites who want to get adventurous and go beyond traditional beef dishes this season, there are plenty of other unique meats to indulge in around town.
We know everyone has their reasons for choosing the dietary lifestyle they do. In that spirit, we’ve been shunning the omnivores as of late and this exploration of unique meats is our way of letting you know that, hey — we see you, too.
Here are a few local restaurants getting creative with meat dishes in Boulder this fall.
Bison in Boulder
When I’m asked my opinion on what Colorado’s signature dish or ingredient is, I often tell people that I think it’s bison. Leaner than beef, bison lends a new western spin to a variety of dishes around town, with the meat often sourced from bison ranches around the state.
When Boulder Beer Company took over the former Walnut Brewery space in Downtown Boulder earlier this year, opening Boulder Beer on Walnut, they retained some favorites from the prior menu, including the Bison Fajitas. They also offer a Colorado Bison Meatloaf and bison as an option when building your own burger.
River and Woods on Pearl Street likewise offers a Rock River Ranch Bison Burger and a brunch spin on the dish with the Bacon Bison Brunch Burger.
You can also stop by Eureka! on Pearl Street’s West End for their take on the Bison Burger, complete with bacon-infused jalapeno jam and smoked mozzarella to boot.
Duck is a poultry option abundant in Boulder’s food scene.
At SALT, Chef Bradford Heap serves a Tuscany-inspired Organic Duck Ragu over pappardelle that’s bursting with flavor, is made from Mary’s Organic Free Range Duck, and utilizes every part of the bird.
Black Cat features duck dishes done multiple ways, and River and Woods offers Montreal Duck Wings with a dry garlic sauce and blue cheese. Oak at Fourteenth whips up Duck Confit & Sweet Potato Agnolotti. Flagstaff House Restaurant, a classic Boulder fine dining experience up Flagstaff Road, also offers a delectable Duck Breast and Duck Confit dish that you can enjoy with a side of incomparable views of Boulder Valley.
Lamb, Veal & More
Creative dishes featuring lamb, veal, and other unique meats are also bountiful in Boulder. Blackbelly offers local lamb and goat dishes (you can also visit their butcher counter to explore their selection and get adventurous in your cooking at home). River and Woods (once again!) offers a Lamb & Oat Meatloaf, and the constantly changing Farm Dinner menus at Bramble and Hare often incorporate a unique meat option. Flagstaff House Restaurant also serves Colorado Lamb Rack with White Truffle Infused Heirloom Polenta and Lamb Jus.
Boulder’s Italian restaurants are also great places to indulge in classic Italian veal dishes. Head to Carelli’s and choose from their Veal Picatta, Veal Parmigiana, and Veal Scallopini options.