Boulder's Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro (inside the St Julien Hotel at 900 Walnut Street) is headed by culinary director Laurent Mechin, who sources ingredients through partnerships with local farms, an on-site garden and the Boulder County Farmers' Market — conveniently located across the street. The chef procures the freshest herbs, vegetables and fruits at the height of their seasons, and since everything at Jill's is handmade, dietary restrictions, including vegan options, are easily accommodated.
Mechin fell in love with cooking during his early childhood in the French Jura Mountains, where he would forage for ingredients and then prepare whatever he brought home. We talked with him on the inspiration behind creating a special vegan menu — a multi-course dinner for $29.95 per person — for Monday nights.
Westword: What is the inspiration for doing a vegan menu?
Laurent Mechin: We see a lot of diners come specifically for our Vegan Friday lunch buffet. It’s been so popular that we’ve been asked several times if we’d consider implementing a vegan dinner option.
What kind of dishes are prepared?
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The tasting menu changes weekly. Some dishes include warm smoked corn and fingerling potato salad; spinach and mushroom vol au vet; tofu satay with peanut sauce and glazed baby bok choy; vegetable pancakes; sweet-potato steak with pumpkin and golden-raisin romesco; lemon raspberry cake; chocolate cupcakes and more.
What has been the response?
So far, so good! The food is exquisite and well presented, and I am confident that in no time, it will become just as popular as Vegan Fridays. The fact that the menu changes weekly allows us to keep it seasonal and fresh, and guests will have the opportunity to discover something new each time; we’re excited to showcase the vast possibilities with vegan cuisine.
For more information on the vegan dinner, set inside the beautiful St Julien Hotel, see the Jill's Restaurant Facebook page, then call 720-406-7399 for reservations between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.