Black Cat Farm - Table - Bistro
Off Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, this sparkling hideaway-in-plain-sight is on our short list for intimate gastronomic rendezvous - thanks as much to its highly engaging general manager/beverage director Dev Ranjan as to chef-owner Eric Skokan and the seductive, innovative cuisine he creates largely from his own farm. Ranjan’s romance with small, serious producers from around the world is reflected in a list that can fluctuate from 200 to 400 selections at any given time, because “a lot of what we bring in, we only get two or three bottles of. I seek out rare wines, older vintages - things of which there isn’t that much available.”
Take grower (aka récoltant-manipulant) champagnes, which come not from the glamorous international houses but the little guys who do the hard work in the vineyards. Direct shipment from France comes but once a year - and this just happens to be the week they arrive, according to Ranjan. Or take a little-known white blend like the Camin Larredya Jurançon La Part Davan from Southwest France, which he’s serving alongside a dish on the current tasting menu - poached baby octopus with roasted magenta turnips, bacon lardons and serrano chiles. “It’s the kind of thing no one would ever order on its own. But when we put it in a context that commands a lot of respect, like a tasting menu, and we can tell guests its story while we’re pouring it, we have so many people going, ‘What was that?’” And then there's exquisite vintage Madeira: Ranjan recently came into “a huge amount that we’re offering by the glass,” including a 1922 d’Oliveira that he calls “an experience of a lifetime. It goes on for minutes and minutes.”
Speaking of by-the-glass options, Black Cat recently installed a Coravin system, which allows them to showcase exceptional wines you’d typically only find by the bottle - be it a 1996 Sauternes or a 2010 Bruno Clair Vosne-Romanée. Granted, the latter, at $35 a pop, is “expensive, but if you want to get the best single glass of wine you’re going to get in your life, you can get it here,” he guarantees.
1964 13th St., Boulder; 303-444-5500