Steamboat Springs It has been said that husbands and wives should not keep secrets from one another. Marco and Rebecca Pauvert aren't buying it.
"Not when it comes to food," Rebecca said.
Just try and get Rebecca to tell Marco the secret of her lobster bisque, or her low fat, fresh tuna salad.
"She's not going to give you the recipe," Marco says with a hint of playful French indignation.
Marco can't complain he won't share the recipe for French onion soup he was given by famous Philadelphia restaurateur George Perrier. And he declines to reveal to Rebecca how he makes the onion pate for his foie gras.
The Pauverts are the new owners of The French Bistro at Mattie's and Pour Vous, a French butcher shop and market in Ski Time Square. The French Bistro is the new identity of the landmark Steamboat restaurant, Mattie Silks.
"Do you know why I bought Mattie Silks?" Marco asks a visitor in his French accent. "This room reminds me off Chamonix!"
Marco gestures at the scarred wooden floor, rustic barn wood and hand-hewn beam that dominate the sunny market.
Marco is a master butcher/charcutier at Pour Vous and Rebecca is the owner/chef at the Bistro at Mattie's, working with chef Mike Williams.
"I make a lot of food for the restaurant, and I make all of the desserts for the Bistro," Rebecca said. "Mike prepares all of the nightly specials and the presentations on the plate. He is just fabulous."
The Pauverts came to Steamboat after selling three successful gourmet markets in Philadelphia. They had been vacationing in Steamboat, summer and winter, for about five years. They bought a home two years ago and moved to town a year ago, working in a restaurant and easing their way into the community.
The Pauverts' markets in Philly were known for producing flavorful, low-fat foods.
"Low-fat food can be very good," Rebecca asserts. "You have to replace the fat with a lot of flavor. I do that by infusing dishes with herbs to give them a good base of flavor."
Among the dishes in the case at Pour Vous are a grilled chicken salad made with yogurt and wild rice with cranberry and toasted pine nuts.
Marco is determined to fill a niche he sees open here creating a small gourmet market just like one might find in the French Alps.
The first reaction of many first-time customers at Pour Vous is that they've just entered a delicatessen. To be sure, there are platters of cold salads filling the refrigerator case. And there are numerous cheeses, which probably cannot be found anywhere else in Colorado. But don't look for trays of cold cuts.
Marco takes his life's vocation very seriously.
"I'm a master butcher," Marco said. "I have to do what I do best.
"I make 20 kinds of sausage. I've worked almost everywhere in France. And in France, everyone makes pate."
Marco displays half a dozen varieties of pate his country pate is made with cognac. But within several months, he'll make the pate with vodka, in an effort to offer his customers never-ending variety.
"I don't think there's a gourmet market in Steamboat like that," Marco said.
His market sells prime Colorado rib-eyes, Colorado racks of lamb and other items ready for the oven, like chicken royale with crabmeat, stuffed veal chops with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes and crown roast of lamb or pork.
The market offers reasonable lunches, including a plate of three salads for $4.99.
The French bistro at Matties opened gradually this month, Rebecca said. They began by serving dinner in the bar only, and built up to a solid dinner trade by New Year's Eve, when they served 165 dinners. Just this past Sunday, they served their first brunch.
"We started off with the bar area and little by little, people started talking and we got busier. It was all because of word of mouth," Rebecca said.
"We've already had a lot of repeat business."
The bar at Matties features live entertainment Fridays and Saturdays and offers a special menu from 4 to 6 p.m., including a shaved beef filet sandwich served with Stilton cheese on a baguette for $6.50.
The dinner menu includes temptations like le Magret de Canard D'agen, a marinated breast of duck, and le filet de boeuf, filet mignon with a currant roqueforte sauce.
Don't pass up appetizers that range into Marco's area of expertise, like Asiette de Charcuterie. The plate includes Marco's homemade pate du jour, proscuitto and dry sausage served with a baguette and cornichons.
Marco and Rebecca will never forget the day they skied from Chamonix into the Italian resort of Cervina primarily because they wanted to dine on authentic proscuitto di Parma.The Pauverts don't have time to ski this winter, but that's good news for their customers. Pour Vous is open 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. seven days a week. The French Bistro is open from 4 to 6 p.m. with a bar menu for aprski, followed by dinner at 5 p.m., also seven days a week.
The Pauverts want to make certain their local customers at Pour Vous are aware there is free 15-minute parking immediately in front of their market.