There have been two instances in my everyday living exactly where I’ve performed the quite impolite act of halting in the middle of meal to text my editor, so floored by what I was having and enduring that it could not wait.
Incidentally, each dinners have been cooked by the very same chef, Matthew Chasseur.
By no means read of him? I feel he’d choose it that way, but — sorry Matt — folks need to have to know wherever to find phenomenal meals, and it’s my occupation to explain to them.
So at what Denver warm location will you come across Chasseur? Sorry again. You are heading to have to push nearly 4 hours west to Palisade, in which Chasseur cooks out of an open kitchen area off tiny Principal Road, wowing a dining space comprehensive of locals and visitors at Pêche Cafe (While the restaurant’s name, technically, is “Pêche. Restaurant,” it’s so fantastic, I’ll forgive them for the unnecessary punctuation.)
It is not often that my head is turned by a restaurant. But at Pêche, it turned, swiveled and whirled, rotating into a hungry pirouette ahead of abandoning my body for that plate of salty, crispy-pores and skin rooster. It would be delighted to continue being in very little Palisade eternally, my head, lying on the plate, mouth gaping beside that hen, tongue eagerly lapping up whatsoever onion-y juices it generously presented me.
Or, to explain the cafe without using decapitation, I fell in like with Pêche.
Opening in Palisade was a reasonably simple option for Chasseur and his wife, Ashley, Pêche’s co-owner and typical supervisor. They know the town very well, each because they dwell in nearby Grand Junction with their a few young small children and due to the fact of the time they put in performing the kitchen area at the Higher Lonesome Ranch in De Beque, a city so teeny that it helps make Palisade seem like a metropolis. It was for the work as Substantial Lonesome Ranch’s government chef that the pair decided to transfer out to Colorado in the very first spot, hunting for a little town reminiscent of the types they grew up in in Iowa (Ashley) and New Hampshire (Matt) in which to get started and improve their loved ones.
“After about three months of living in the space, we’d begun to make close friends who have been like family members to us,” Ashley claims. “We knew we needed to be in an area that was smaller sized, quaint and up-and-coming, a person that had a superior neighborhood base all over it.”
“We realized we needed to keep here,” Matt says of opening the restaurant in Palisade. “It just seemed pure they were carrying out anything specific in this article in town.”
At this level, I experience I ought to interject that Matt and Ashley have restaurant knowledge that extends a little bit past your typical compact town. Or significant town. They won’t point out it, but I will: They fulfilled functioning at one particular of America’s very best dining establishments, the triple-Michelin-starred Alinea in Chicago, exactly where Matt was the chef de cuisine and Ashley a hostess. (Ashley went on to function as the assistant general manager at Alinea’s sister cafe, Subsequent.) So, yeah, this uber-gifted couple has a triple-Michelin-star pedigree, and while they are not broadcasting it, you truly feel it in the hospitality and taste it in the food.
In fact, while, my meal at Pêche didn’t start flawlessly. In reality, the only explanation I can inform you that the eating room is stark and up to date with the cleanse walls and hanging Edison lights you’d hope from a cafe that is opened in the past couple of yrs (previous August, to be exact) is simply because it took far too lengthy to get our initially spherical of beverages and I experienced time to glimpse all-around.
But you don’t treatment and I really don’t treatment that it took way too long because the bread is coming, and it will kick off the best meal you or I have most likely had within a Colorado cafe in yrs, if not at any time.
Aside from the decapitation chicken, other remarkable dishes I ate: a puffy disc of pizza dough topped with grilled Palisade peaches, arugula, Surryano ham, and — most breathtaking and surprising of all — slices of clean, agency, marble-like ricotta salata, anything I’ve in no way skilled but want to practical experience yet again and the prettiest, no-principles, regardless of what-they’ve-got-on-hand salad you have at any time witnessed built up of carrot blooms, sunflower petals, basil buds, 3 distinct varieties of fennel (bulb, stalk and fronds, in scenario you’re pondering), and a rainbow of carrots, beets and radishes.
There was also the certainly exclusive pork stomach and egg, sizzled tableside and blended, oozing that briny yolk, with greens a pyramid of lamb with sweet, curried roasted cauliflower and pickled golden raisins at the base and sous vide lamb loin and Pêche-created lamb sausage piled atop, all concluded with curry butter and served with naan for some carb action a trio of glass tumblers loaded with uncooked salsa makings, daring the diner to combine the picturesque contents into significantly less cute — but additional tasty — dips to embellish the stack of steaming corn tortillas cider doughnut spheres that soften into apple brandy ice cream and all those Palisade peaches yet again, starring together with vanilla ice product in a beautiful crisp.
“We’re a creatively driven restaurant,” Ashley says. “There is not a set cuisine we concentration on. We like to use substances in a simple, however intricate way. I use “simple” a large amount when I’m describing it. Nothing is overly elaborate it is just done extremely perfectly. We permit the elements speak for on their own.”
They speak. Oh, how they talk. Which is interesting, simply because I’ve by no means once listened to everyone chat about this restaurant, and I’m all over individuals who expend a ton of time chatting about dining establishments. The trouble, if absence of buzz is a difficulty, is that Pêche is just exterior most of our jurisdictions. It’s much, and we city (or, like myself, suburban) people from time to time forget that there’s daily life and society and very good meals to be had in Colorado past the Front Range.
So I requested Matt and Ashley the awkward question of irrespective of whether they felt they had been ignored since they’re not in Denver metro. And, if so, do they treatment?
“We did not open a restaurant to be celebrities or to be effectively-regarded,” Matt suggests. “This isn’t a activity to us. We give it all we got, and we know there are a large amount of people out there who want to do this (perform in the restaurant industry) for a residing. We want to present the atmosphere for them to do so, an ecosystem in which to push them selves and be wonderful … . Which is what I like about cooking, that we can all appear jointly, maintain this large stage of professionalism and execute at a high degree. That is what I like to do.
“PR is great for the restaurant, and it’s wonderful for the traders, but it is not what we seek in our hearts,” he claimed.
Does Pêche have dreams of becoming the future wonderful Colorado vacation spot cafe?
“Of class, that’s why we’re undertaking this,” Ashley claimed. “We have a restaurant since we want people to come eat at our cafe. But we have a restaurant due to the fact we want to present hospitality, not since we want to be on a list of best dining places in the condition.”
It is a excellent lesson for men and women like me, who once in a while develop all those sorts of “best lists,” that there is so a lot far more to the foods globe than we know. We have to believe outside the buzz — and, yes, the geography.
If we really don’t, we just could overlook out on the dinners truly worth texting our editors about.
Subscribe to our meals publication, Stuffed, to get Denver food items and drink news sent straight to your inbox.