Cooking With: Smell That Bread Bakery featuring its newly renovated location | SteamboatToday.com

Cooking With: Smell That Bread Bakery featuring its newly renovated location

Imagine, you're poised to indulge in an authentic pain au chocolat over a cup of steaming espresso.

On the cotton napkin, the decadent pastry is bronze colored with hundreds of thin layers visible on its surface.

Steamboat Springs, let me introduce you to our very own French-inspired boulangerie, the newly renovated Smell That Bread Bakery.

"It's traditional to grab a French baguette or French Jambone and walk around eating," said Juli Gordon, who owns the bakery with her husband, Sam. "That's what we wanted this to be."

This weekend Smell That Bread will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Gordons first opened the bakery in 2014 at 135 11th St. just behind Creekside Cafe. The business has grown in popularity as passersby caught a whiff of the tantalizing cookies and cinnamon rolls and came inside.

Following their vision to have a space dedicated to bread croissants and French-inspired pastries, the bakery has now expanded its downtown location to the space next door to offer a café setting.

"It started off with a speak-easy vibe with the Dutch door idea because no one could really find it so when they did, business just took off," said Sam Gordon.

The Gordons have perfected various recipes from their background at the San Francisco Baking Institute, and they make an assortment of 10 dough variations with five to six breads and four to five pastries. Baking begins at 3 a.m. each day.

One of the most delicious offerings at the new café are the tartine (open-faced) sandwiches featuring the star of the bakery's name — the bread. Variations include: the Sopressata highlighting the sourdough bread; radish, butter, roasted garlic, sea salt and chive on the pecan raisin sourdough; the Avocado smash with egg crumble, bacon, butter and shallots on sourdough; and the Berry compote, butter, chèvre and chives on pumpernickel.

On a daily basis, the bakery serves up a variety of pastries including almond croissants, stuffed croissants like the pain au chocolat or with ham and gruyere, Kouign Amann, laminated brioche, classic cookies, cinnamon rolls and monkey bread.

"This is not like your average sandwich shop where you can add avocado, bacon and pickles," Sam said. "It's very much about the baguette. It's simple and is really meant to highlight the bread. We wanted to present it exactly how it should be in the traditional sense."

Smell That Bread Bakery is also working with Seedhouse Coffee and Elk Stone Farm to contribute to local producers.

"It's different and simple," said Sam Gordon.

Cooking With: Salt & Lime executive chef Vicki Connacher

— It's simple. It's fast. It's approachable. It's trendy tacos.

Drive by Salt & Lime and you'll see a new addition featuring a trendy big-city-style food truck concept of the modern taco.

Rex's Family of Restaurants opened its newest addition — Salt & Lime's Burrito Bar — with a soft opening on Cinco de Mayo, May 5.

Cooking With: Natalie Niederhofer, Table 79’s Chef de Cuisine





The lamb dish features a masala spiced leg carved tableside, crisp red-skinned potatoes with herbs, sautéed vegetables and rosemary jus.
Matt Stensland

— Mosey on in. Take a front-row seat at the epicenter of Table 79.

The 84-seat eatery is referred to as "experience-driven." In other words, you feel the heat of the searing lamb as your taste buds start to stir into a frenzy of savory spices.

Hailing from the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan, Chef de Cuisine Natalie Niederhofer incorporates her Midwestern upbringing to create the modern, elevated comfort food of Table 79 with a focus on seasonality and local ingredients.

"We try and create dishes that either make me feel nostalgic or something me or another cook can brainstorm and feel passion about. But really, it's just from what I feel inspired by through one of the many cookbooks I read. It also depends on what is in season."

Recipe:

Roasted Leg of Lamb for Two (20-ounce portion)

Marinade

  • 1.5 quarts buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons of gram masala
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cracked Pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly
  2. Using a deep plastic container, submerge lamb into mixture, let sit overnight for at least 12 hours.
  3. Remove lamb, pat dry with towel. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  4. Roasted lamb at 325 degrees Fahrenheit about 3 hours. Every 30 minutes, baste with olive oil or butter.
  5. Remove when internal temp is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Let rest on a rack for about 40 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, using a cast iron skillet, sear the fat side of the lamb on extremely high heat until fat is somewhat rendered and crispy and brown. Flip carefully
  7. Drain fat and deglaze with sherry. Use care, as this will flame up. Remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice lamb against the grain.

Sides

Sauted Kale

  1. Sweat shallots and minced garlic on low for 8 minutes.
  2. Add shredded kale.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze with white wine (about 2 tablespoons)

Crispy Potatoes

  • Dice Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Rinse well under cold water, removing all the outside starches.
  • Drain well
  • Toss in olive oil, dried oregano and basil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. Turn heat up at the end to crisp outside.

Drink Pairings

General manager, craft cocktail engineer and wine connoisseur Nick Crawford shared his insights on which drinks to pair with the featured recipe.

Wine pairings by the glass:

Tuscan Donna Olimpia

According to Crawford, this is a Tuscan blend from Italy that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Lamb, he said, is a fairly rich dish with lots of fat content, which is why you would want a wine that has more tannins and greater acidity to cut the richness of the lamb and bring out the best taste in both.

By the bottle:

A bottle from Spain's Montsant region is the Garnacha Syrah blend. A classic pairing along similar lines as the first option, with the addition of a tantalizing acidity, fruit and tannins.

Other craft cocktails to try:

Wenatchee Sour — a concoction that offers a unique, sour cocktail. Crawford said this recipe includes AppleJack brandy, Lillet Blanc, freshly squeezed lemon, bitter truth bitters and egg whites.

Oaxaca Negroni — this is a craft cocktail Crawford said is a fun take on the traditional Negroni. Using Bianco vermouth as opposed to the usual rouge or sweet made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Contratto Bianco and Cocchi Americano

"Cooking With" is Explore Steamboat's newest column, giving readers a behind the scenes look at a variety of Steamboat Springs restaurants and culinary inspirations. If you have a restaurant in mind, contact Arts and Entertainment Editor Audrey Dwyer at adwyer@steamboattoday.com or 970-871-4229.

Wood-fired pizza is house specialty at new Brick restaurant in Steamboat Springs

— One of the area’s newest restaurants, Brick, has been operating "on the down low" since December, but it won’t for long, as the smell of wood-fired pizza wafts through the meadows near the bubble at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

"We wanted to work out all the kinks, so we haven't done a bunch of advertising," said Brick owner Lee Demusis. "We started out slow because we're in it for the long haul."

Since Demusis spent a lot of his childhood summers near Naples, Italy, the home of pizza, he takes his pies seriously. He even built his own pizza oven, powered solely by the sweet fires of slow-burning oak.

"Since I don't have a kiln-to-fire stone, I bought (the oven) in a kit. I put it together myself and did all the tile work," Demusis said.

The huge homemade oven sits in the corner of the bright kitchen, staying at 750 to 800 degrees as pizzas are shoveled in and out.

Brick's location in the Wildhorse Meadows makes it a little difficult to find, but connoisseurs of the classic Neapolitan pizza of Italy will find it soon enough.

"Pizza started off as peasant food," Demusis reminds people. "We just stick to a very traditional Italian pizza — not a lot of toppings — which a lot of Americans are not 100 percent use to. We use the highest quality caputo flour and good yeast."

Though wood-fired pizza is the star of Brick's menu, entrees like beef shortrib, roasted chicken and salmon offer flavorful alternatives that the kitchen does well.

The simple menu, with additional salads and antipasta, allow Demusis to offer quality food at surprisingly reasonable prices for a resort town. And staying true to his Italian roots, Demusis managed to talk one of his sweet Italian aunts into giving him her incredible Tiramisu recipe for dessert.

For now, Brick remains open only for dinner, but starting in July, they'll be serving both lunch and dinner.

And word is out that Demusis' 80-year-old father, born and raised in Italy, was in town helping his son make limoncello. The after-dinner liqueur, popular in southern Italy, should be aged enough by April 15 to share with customers.

Funny enough, Demusis might have taken the "Italian" thing too far. He was determined to serve his Neapolitan pizza Italian-style, where they tear it apart with a fork and knife at the table.

"When I brought the pizza to my dad, Italian style, he sent it back and said 'cut if for me,'" laughed Demusis. "I figure if he's pure Italian and wants it cut, we'll do it that way."

Brick is located on the bottom floor of the Deer Park Management office on Bangtail Way, with plenty of parking.

"It's across from the Trailhead Lodge, down by the 'baby gondola,'" Demusis added for good measure.

The Wildhorse Meadows can be accessed from Mount Werner, Walton Creek and Pine Grove roads.

ZEST: Scratch

— Newly opened in 2015, Scratch is a casual and affordable local eatery located in downtown Steamboat Springs on Yampa Street.

Scratch has an inventive twist on rustic mountain fare. Scratch combines a variety of eclectic cuisines with menu items such as Grilled Prime Rib, Sockeye Salmon and Lobster Corndogs.

Their menu highlights in-house-made flatbreads, and daily crocks of soup, like Chef's Truffled Potato or the Bison Short Rib Chili.

Oh, yeah, don't forget Scratch’s house-made desserts, and pore over their hand-shaken craft cocktails.

Scratch's chilled Colorado craft beers on tap, in bottles and cans are a great way to relax after a long day out on the town or after hitting the slopes.

Stop by with family and friends and let Scratch’s knowledgeable and accomplished staff serve you in a place that'll go easy on your paycheck and feel as comfortable as home.

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.

ZEST: The Tap House Sports Bar & Grill






Chris McGaw

Perfect for families and fans alike, The Tap House Sports Bar & Grill offers 21 beers on tap, fresh food, and fun in the heart of downtown. They have 14 new apps, entrees and desserts people of all ages will enjoy like the Chicken Fried Bacon, Cuban Reuben Sandwich and Mountain Monkey Bread. 

With a the-more-the merrier ambiance, The Tap House is the perfect place to bring your team in after the big game, or to watch the big game. The main dining area is able to accommodate groups of up to 100 people and smaller groups can be seated in the bar area.

The Tap House also offers live trivia on Wednesdays, arcade games for the kids and the best sports memorabilia collection in town. With over 50 TVs and weekly specials that include half-price wings on Tuesdays, kids eat free on Thursdays and a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight, you’re always going to have the best seat in the house at the best price in town. 

The Tap House is known for its five-time Best of the Boat award-winning wings, which come in 16 flavors, but that’s not the only thing you’ll find on their menu. Traditional sports grill food items you can find at the Tap House include mac n’ cheese bites, buttermilk breaded chicken fingers, hand cut steak fries, 10 variations of their 1/2-pound certified Angus Smashed Burgers, the Triple Crown Club sandwich and more.

During the summer and ski season, The Tap House kicks its menu up a notch adding favorites like Flat Iron Steak, Fish & Chips, a Crock of Chili and Pork Carnitas. Make sure and save room for dessert, options now include golden and chocolate fried Oreos, a baked-to-order cowboy cookie, and a Ski Town Sundae that’s topped with bacon brittle. 

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.

ZEST: Vaqueros






Chris McGaw

Fiesta Jalisco's authentic Mexican food and atmosphere is now also available downtown at Vaqueros Restaurant and Taqueria at 730 Lincoln Ave.

The restaurant enjoys Fiesta Jalisco's same original family recipes, combined with great service and atmosphere.

"We brought the same theme downtown," says owner Mario Rodriguez.

Vaqueros adds new items such as meat- and cheese-stuffed empanadas topped with sour cream and tomatillo sauce; shrimp ceviche; and tacos made from tripe and beef tongue.

Everything is made fresh daily from scratch, from enchilada plates and rellenos to homemade specialty soups and chicken and carne asada offerings, which you can wash down with original margaritas that you can refill yourself from an over-sized pourer.

Vaqueros also offers homemade salads, children's meals, daily specials and more.

Inside you'll find an authentic Mexican vaquero, or cowboy, atmosphere, making you feel right at home in Steamboat. Mexican cowboy artwork adorns the walls, as do lariats and other ranch items.

"It brings the feel of Fiesta Jalisco downtown," Rodriguez says.

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.

ZEST: Fiesta Jalisco






Chris McGaw

With six restaurants in Colorado, including its mainstay in Steamboat Springs at 445 Anglers Drive, Fiesta Jalisco's success owes itself to its original family recipes and great food, service and atmosphere.

Inside, you'll find "real Mexican" cuisine, passed down from decades-old family recipes. Every menu item is made fresh daily from scratch, from appetizers to entrees.

Start out with Fiesta Jalisco nachos or a cocktail campechana appetizer, with shrimp and octopus, and then jump into such favorites as flame-broiled Carne Asada, served with salsa and guacamole on a warmed tortilla, and Arroz con Pollo, featuring tender, sliced chicken breast and fresh mushrooms, onions and green peppers, served with rice and warm tortillas.

Small and large combo plates feature everything from enchiladas and burritos to tostadas and rellenos, or choose from carnes (meat), pollo (chicken) or mariscos (seafood). Fiesta Jalisco also offers salads, vegetarian meals, children's choices, American dishes and more.

As far as atmosphere, the restaurant features wooden booths and a bar hand carved in Mexico, as well as colorful Mexican tile work. Paintings and sculptures by Mexican artists adorn the walls, augmenting an ambiance of authentic Mexican music, including live mariachi bands.

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.

ZEST: The Tap House Sports Bar & Grill






Chris McGaw

Perfect for everyone from families to sports fans, the Tap House Sports Bar & Grill offers Colorado craft beers, food and fun in the heart of downtown.

The popular gathering place has 21 draft beers, all from Colorado, complete with beer towers that let you tap at your table. It also hosts "tap room takeovers" focusing on a specific brewery.

With a the-more-the-merrier ambiance, Tap House is able to accommodate groups of up to 100 people, perfect for bringing your team in after the big game, and offers 50 HD TVs with complete sports programming. It also offers NTN Network, free sports trivia and poker games, a game arcade and the best collection of sports memorabilia in town.

Traditional sports grill food includes burgers, battered chicken fingers, onion rings and heaping piles of nachos, as well as ribs, half-roasted chicken, sirloins, ribeyes and more. Burger favorites include the Fire Burger with fresh jalapenos, cream cheese and hot barbecue sauce; the three-cheese Hat Trick; and the Rodeo, with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and onion rings.

Its award-winning wings are braised in such sauces as oriental barbecue, buttery garlic parmesan and dry-rubbed Jamaican jerk (get them half price on Tuesday Wing Day).

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.

ZEST: Old Town Pub and Restaurant







With an emphasis on fresh, the western-style Old Town Pub and Restaurant is one of town's longest-running dining and drinking establishments.

Making everything from scratch with a seasonally rotating menu, it offers such favorites as the Prime Rib Burrito and French Dip Philly as well as new offerings including strawberry and brie bruschetta, steak tacos and shrimp tapanade.

For the night owls, late night pizzas, made with fresh dough, sauce and toppings (try the crowd favorite buffalo chicken or BBQ chicken), are served from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The restaurant’s long-standing "Burger Night" occurs every Thursday with half-price, locally sourced burgers. For appetizers, choose from its famous fried pickles to homemade onion rings and popper dip.

Soup and salad favorites include venison chili and seared ahi tuna salad, with sandwiches ranging from Southwest chicken to its rip-roaring Reuben.

A full line-up of music ensues every week as well, as do wines, microbrews and cocktails complementing its award-winning Rocky Mountain menu.

All this is found in an historic downtown building at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue, letting you take in town's heritage while placating your hunger and kicking up your heels dancing.

ZEST is a sponsored feature in Explore Steamboat magazine. The magazine publishes in the summer and winter each year. Advertisers can purchase a one- or two-page spread in the ZEST section of the magazine. The purchase includes a photo shoot, write-up and layout of their pages. As an added benefit, each story is published in one edition of Steamboat Today’s Friday Explore section during the same season and also online.