Pearl jam: Taste of Pearl food and wine (and culture) festival

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Downtown Boulder was jammed yesterday for the second annual Taste of Pearl food and wine festival on -- you guessed it -- Pearl Street. The four-hour food festival on Boulder's pedestrian promenade offered some of the most delectable samplings you'll ever get while standing up.

With over 500 people sampling the wares of more than thirty restaurants and wineries, the tour was an expansive taste of all things Pearl Street. Since the different tastings were held in various shops, rather than in restaurants, participants also got a taste of Pearl Street culture (and got to escape the chilly weather). From barbecue to prosciutto, paintings to party dresses, diners got a big bang for their buck -- certainly a bigger bang than the $52.80 ticket price.

Not bad, Boulder, not bad.

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Krissy Lewis and Jessice Sorensen of The Rib House served Tracy's Famous Illegal Pork Baby Back Ribs, beef brisket, spicy smoked sausage, famous cheese corn bake and spicy pit barbecue beans. Needles to say, the Rib House had diners steadily coming back for seconds.
After checking in, diners used a map to venture in a circular fashion from tasting to tasting, for a total of fourteen different stops. For the restaurants, wineries and shops that hosted the tastings, the Taste of Pearl festival provided an opportunity for the different locations to showcase new or already-established house dishes, new art exhibits and even discounted prices. For all, it meant strutting their artistic and culinary creativity. "We try to elevate our food. Chicken is an under-appreciated ingredient," says Theo Adley, exec chef at The Pinyon.

Oak at Fourteenth's chilled spring pea soup with pancetta and ricotta crostini. Though Oak at Fourteenth incurred major fire damage back in March, head chef Steve Redzikowski says Oak will reopen in mid-July. The pea soup is a new recipe Redzikowski developed and may serve when the restaurant reopens. Redzikowski also served tuna tataki.

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Black Cat's braised short rib with a horseradish cream shanti on crustini.

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Mateo's chicken liver pâté on a house-made crostini with freshly pickled cherries.

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Prosciutto, house-made breadsticks and rafano sauce (a combination of horseradish, crème fraiche, salt, pepper and powdered sugar) from Frasca Food & Wine, co-owned by Bobby Stuckey.

Here's a list of all of the restaurants and wineries that participated in Taste of Pearl:
Black Cat
Bookcliff Vineyards
The Rib House
Turquoise Mesa Winery
Frasca Food & Wine
Guy Drew Vineyards
Dithyramb Winery
Gondolier on Pearl
Ciatano Winery
Jack Rabbit Hill
Oak at Fourteenth
The Pinyon
Boulder Creek Winery
Jax Fish House
Verso Cellars
Garrett Estate Cellara
Brasserie Ten Ten
Balistreri Vineyards
Settembre Cellars
West End Tavern
Redstone Meadery
The Med
Snowy Peaks Winery
Augustina's Winery

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