If you’ve been following Top Chef, you know that Hosea Rosenberg is the season 5 winner. His restaurant, Jax Fish House, is conveniently located in Boulder, where I spent a week post-conference. Jax offers a wicked happy hour from 4-6 pm that features $4 martinis, $3 tapas and $1 oysters, so I figured I’d take advantage of that.
The tapas were overwhelmingly…underwhelming. The polenta is nice and creamy and smothered in some kind of cream sauce, the house-cured (Atlantic) salmon is nice enough, and the braised lamb is passable. The tuna potstickers were rather disappointing, consisting of cold, under-seasoned tuna in crunchy, dried-out wonton wrappers.
Having said that, I can’t complain about $1 oysters. They come freshly shucked on a bed of shaved ice (bonus points for presentation), with horseradish, lemon and a shallot vinaigrette. The happy hour oyster rotates, so that day it was Apalochicola oysters from Florida.
And, I really can’t complain about the selection of infused vodkas, which includes strawberry, raspberry, coffee, horseradish, chili, and a few more. The fruity ones are nice in an adult lemonade, while the savoury ones are better suited to a Bloody Mary.
And the key lime pie is absolutely kick-ass. It’s creamy, perfectly smooth, and scandalously tart. The graham cracker crust tastes of butter, brown sugar and honey, and has just a hint of something crunchy. The contrast of creamy and crunchy, sweet and tart is delightful.
Too bad the happy hour tapas aren’t up to the same standards. I hope that the regular menu delivers something more worthy of a Top Chef.
Jax Fish House (Boulder)
928 Pearl Street