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Reviews Are In: Emmerson Baffles and Shines on Pearl Street

The Boulder bistro continues to impress diners four months into service

Borscht angolotti with beets

Emmerson, a grain-focused “neo bistro” opened along Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall in August. The 5,160-square-foot corner location once housed LYFE Kitchen and the Gondolier. Now a new-wave bistro bakes fresh pastries and fresh pasta starting at 8 a.m. until dinner. A hybrid cafe, restaurant, and bar, Emmerson is just a few months into its honeymoon along Pearl Street, and it continues to keep the dining community buzzing. Here’s what they’re saying:

Reigned by a Cocktail Queen: Denver Post’s Allyson Reedy took note when Nancy Kwon, LA Weekly’s best bartender of 2015, was announced as Emmerson’s cocktail curator and bartender. It took Kwon three months to create the cocktail menu, and her thoughtfulness shows. Reedy found the “highly complex, highly drinkable” Leonardo Smoke to be one of her favorite creations that Emmerson has to offer. [The Know]

Smart, Sophisticated and Star-Worthy: Emmerson appeared on Zagat’s regional and national radar and frequented a few of the website’s hot lists. The “luscious fresh pastas” from Michael Gibney and “exquisite desserts” from Jeb Breakell proved Emmerson’s culinary sophistication. Can't-miss dishes include the dry-aged beef carpaccio with oysters and brie, as well as the whole roasted gourd. While the gourd rotates between acorn, butternut, or kabocha, the squash consistently emits a “smoky aroma,” and is filled with rutabaga noodles and cream of coconut milk. The sexy Boulder restaurant made October’s round-up of the hottest restaurants in 15 American cities, distinguishing itself with “all the little surprises that enrich the mood.” [Zagat]

Unfamiliar, Unusual, and Thoughtful: While the restaurant’s breakfast and lunch menus tend to sway toward recognizable daytime offerings, dinner is “a little trickier to define,” according to Westword’s Mark Antonation. Antonation asks people to ponder if they are “the type of diner who doesn't mind asking about unfamiliar ingredients” and, if so, theorizes that they may become “enamored” with chef Gibney’s “unusual combinations.” The restaurant’s eclectic yet sensual aesthetic renders Emmerson “[q]uirky, beautiful, [and] sexy,” though it remains “difficult to pigeonhole.” [Westword]

New Kid on The Block Holds its Own: Facebook reviewers almost unanimously awarded Emmerson five stars (while one four-star reviewer held out). Many diners were impressed with the “attentive staff,” “impeccable” bar service, and overall “incredible” meal. Emmerson managed to curate a “multi-sensory experience” and inspire a few diners to “savor” their time there. Stand-out dishes include the Atlantic black bass, charred cucumber, and dry-aged ribeye for two. [Facebook]


1600 Pearl Street, , CO 80302 (303) 953-9852 Visit Website