Boulder’s Tastiest Start-up
November 11th, 2014 marked the grand opening of one of Boulder’s long awaited start-ups, award winning chef Hosea Rosenberg’s farm to table restaurant, Blackbelly Market. Originally started as a catering company and food truck in 2011, Blackbelly finally grew into a full service restaurant serving dinner seven nights a week and breakfast and lunch take-out in the mornings.
Going beyond providing quality food and service to each guest who walks into the establishment, Blackbelly is also committed to supporting and encouraging other local Boulder businesses as much as possible. They want to feature the numerous quality vendors Boulder has to offer from farming and agriculture to spirits and coffee. Local farms like Blackbelly Farm itself provide most of the ingredients used in the food and other farms such as Oxford Gardens or Isabelle Farm provide top-notch produce and lamb or pigs from McDonald Farm are often featured specials on Blackbelly’s menu. The crusty bread served before meals comes from a company in Golden, Colorado called Grateful Bread Company and even the tea and coffee served after dinner are from local vendors, Pekoe and Ozo Coffee respectively. The local love doesn’t stop there though; Blackbelly also serves local craft beers on tap and in the bottle, including Wild Woods Brewery, Avery Brewing Company and Bru Handbuilt Ales. Local spirits from places such as Leopold Brothers or Roundhouse Spirits can also be found on the shelves of Blackbelly’s bar and in their craft cocktails. Blackbelly even orders much of their wine and alcohol from B Town Wine & Spirits, a locally owned liquor store that sits literally across the street from Blackbelly’s doors. This kind of sourcing opens up the doors to create strong and lasting relationships with other Boulder businesses rather than relationships based on competition and in turn a community of businesses supporting one another.
Blackbelly’s menu features organic, farm to table food sourced as locally as much as possible and anything that can’t be found locally like seafood, comes from all organic and sustainable farms. Even the cocktails use only the freshest, most organic ingredients. Mixologist Michael Cerratani created an extensive cocktail menu, as well as wine and craft beer list, featuring undoubtedly unique wines, craft beers and award winning cocktails. Blackbelly’s Original Old Fashioned takes this classic drink to new heights by using Bols Genever as its primary ingredient—a complex and malty liquor that Old Fashioned’s were originally made with prior to Prohibition. Combined with demerara simple syrup and the perfect dash of bitters, this drinkable cocktail has subtle notes of cinnamon and orange with just the right amount of sweetness to it.
The food at Blackbelly does not fall short of the high expectations Boulder foodies placed on it. Items range from a traditional Caesar salad, complete with salty anchovies to Wagu beef tartare or a robust smoked lamb shank. The side plates are perfectly portioned for small bites or the eater who wants to try a little bit of everything. The brussel sprouts with bacon and pomegranate are particularly drool worthy and delicious.
The charcuterie menu alone offers an exceptional variety of meats and cheeses, any combination of which results in the perfect light meal. An selection of house-made meats such as mortadella, head cheese, rillette and sausages are always a main attraction on the charcuterie board, as well as unique smoked or cured meats such as the finnochieta, a fennel infused salami or the Italian Speck which is a smoked prosciutto. The charcuterie is served on a stunning slate tile, accompanied with house made pickles, stoneground mustard and a fruit preserve.
One of the more adventurous small plates that really hit a home run in my book is the Roasted Bone Marrow. Generously sized beef bones served with a pile of grilled bread that has been brushed with Blackbelly’s signature BooYah Sauce—drippings from the rotisserie and marrow combined with herbs and spices—make for a decadent appetizer or even a meal! Also served on a slate tile, the Roasted Bone Marrow is complete with a parsley salad, shallot preserve and grey salt. When each component of the dish is spread thickly across the bread, the result is a rich explosion of flavor. As if the dish wasn’t tasty enough already, the suggestion to wash it down with a Bone Marrow Manhattan shot was a superb recommendation. Blackbelly’s signature Rittenhouse Rye Manhattan is split into two wine carafes and carefully poured down the marrowbone and into your mouth like a luge, soaking up all the last drippings of marrow in the bone.
The Steelhead Trout is nothing short of mouth watering. The perfectly portioned cut of fish is cooked to a perfect medium rare and sits on a bed of Beluga lentils and roasted cauliflower. The servers finish presenting the dish with flair by pouring the curried broth onto the dish tableside. The roasted cauliflower provides the perfect crunchy contrast to the tender steelhead and the crispy fish skin—or fish bacon as I like to call it—is a treat all on its own.
Located in East Boulder, Blackbelly starts seating for dinner everyday at 4pm, and happy hour is served daily from 4 – 6pm. Breakfast take out is available from 7 – 11am Monday – Friday and grab-and-go lunch begins at 11am and is served until 2pm Monday – Friday.