Archive for the ‘al fresco’ Tag

A Place to Relish   Leave a comment

I was tempted to revisit Giampietro’s when my husband and I recently returned to Breckenridge, but I knew we should venture some place new. Good call because we discovered Relish. We dined al fresco on a not-quite-chilly-not-at-all-warm evening where we enjoyed exceptional food and superior service.

Relish features an extensive wine list and a menu heavy on choices with unusual flavor profiles. I love avocados, but it never occurred to me to fry one; I had to try this appetizer served with duck confit, honey-glazed shredded carrots and chimichurri sauce. The avocado was lightly coated with panko before it was pan-fried. The result was a crunchy shell with a creamy interior. The other ingredients complemented one another surprisingly well.

To me, the sign of a good menu is when there are several entrees that sound appealing. At Relish there were at least four I found intriguing, but, with some direction from our server, I went with the Almond-crusted Opah served with miniature squash, wild rice with corn and split pea all embellished with a refreshing, creamy lemon sauce. The fish was flakey, subtle and a perfect match for the sauce. My husband ordered the Porcini-crusted sea scallops served with crispy raviolis filled with mushroom and ricotta. They looked like large wontons, and were clumsy to eat yet fascinating – although I only got one bite.

Our server was knowledgeable without being condescending. She was friendly but not effusive; she enhanced the meal, which is an art.

Four-and-a-half Plates
137 S. Main St.
Breckenridge, CO


A Residence of Flavors   2 comments

A simple, colorful sign on the white clapboard siding indicates Shuga’s is not a residential house. Nonetheless, it’s home to good food and comfort. Celebrating a friend’s birthday, we enjoyed a long, better-than-average lunch outside (a few tables are at the entrance, and a larger patio is in back).

The Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup is Shuga’s signature dish. It’s available by the bowl or cup. I wish it were sold by the potful. We each ordered soup with two bruschetta. We both had the fresh tomato and mozzarella, but took different directions with the second. She had the tomato, bacon and goat cheese, and I had smoked salmon.

The range of flavors was like sibling rivalry, each vying to top the other. Parents aren’t supposed to play favorites, but as a diner it was easy to choose: the soup. Plump shrimp, a hit of jalapeno spiciness offset by the rich, smooth coconut milk and the suggestion of peanuts completed the bisque. As my friend said, “It’s a series of flavors.”

Thick slices of hard-crusted bread were the base of the bruschetta. One was slathered with aioli then topped with a generous serving of smoked salmon, capers and red onions. The other was a version of Caprese with olive oil, substantial slices of salty cheese and taste-of-summer tomatoes topped with fresh basil. The soup may have overshadowed, but these sides were not family embarrassments.

It’s been years since I was last at Shuga’s. I won’t make the mistake of waiting so long to return.

Four-and-a-half Plates
702 S. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO.