I've just returned from a week of relaxing and skiing with family and fiancee in sunny Colorado. It was gorgeous. Of course, there was a real culinary aspect to it... though calling it culinary is giving it maybe a bit too much. The priorities were:
First, My Brother's Bar (the oldest bar in Denver, and not actually my brother's) for good conversation with friends and a damn good burger and onion rings, served in greasy wax paper. When M heard the bar's pedigree (oldest in town, best burgers many years in a row), she despaired of having a good night, but this place is never a bad choice. Tin ceilings, old wood, no pretention, no television, only classical music. Just awesome.
Second, though it never materialized was Jack 'n' Grill to introduce M to real green chile. We didn't end up getting there, as it's a bit out of the way, but my mom made up some posole and chicken soup with green chile out of a can. It was very satisfying, and now I realize that when you're within 8 hours drive of Hatch, New Mexico, you can be picky about your green. Living in New York, I just need to make sure I have the stuff on hand. In previous years, I've ordered 10 pounds of frozen whole fire-roasted chiles straight from New Mexico, but it just never worked. I could never make a good chile out of it. This time, I brought back a big-ass 27-ounce can of Hatch chile and I'll at least have decent green chile a few times a year. Green chile stirs up strong feelings like macaroni & cheese, so if I have to take it on the chin from the purists again, so be it. I'll just be over here enjoying my food.
The other two highlights were dinner at Domo, the awesome Japanese restaurant in Denver, and dinner at the top of a mountain at the Alpenglow Stube. More tomorrow.