Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I'd have added more exclamation points, but I ran out of room.

We just got word this week that Blue Vervain, that gem of a restaurant at 56 Park Ave. in Manitou Springs plans to close in April.

With their building up for sale, the sisters running Blue Vervain have decided not to renew their lease. Their parents had recently moved back to run a resort in South Dakota, and they've decided to join them.

I know I should talk about what a loss this is to our community, to our dining scene. But all I can think about is what a loss it'll be for me. This has been my place. I live nearby, and though the prices were steep enough to keep me from going more than a couple of times a year, those visits would be legendary.

A lot of people know Blue Vervain as that little place that serves great chocolate beet cake. It does. But it's so much more than that.

Every meal I've ordered (or tasted on other people's plates) here has been fabulous.

But what really impressed me was the filet mignon topped with a chimichurri sauce. This sauce was so out there, so loaded with garlic and in-your-face spices, and the filet was, of course, cooked to a perfect medium, rare ... mmmmm.

As I savored each bite, I wondered how many chefs in town would be daring enough to serve a sauce this out-there and spicy on such an expensive cut of meat. Most places play it safe. The last thing they want is somebody sending it back because they can't handle the spice.

But they never play it safe. Each dish, each sauce, each preparation is so dynamic, it's like they're slapping the taste buds and saying, "Wake up, you've been asleep for too damn long!"

Between now and April, I vow to reserve a table in the back every day and eat until they stop feeding me ... the heck with the credit card debt. (OK, maybe I won't be there every day... but I'm going to eat there as much as I can afford before they close.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel badly about Blue Vervain. What has happened to Brooklyn's Italian Kitchen?

8:02 AM  
Blogger Warren Epstein said...

Brooklyn Kitchen has also closed!


I feel bad about that, but even worse about Blue Vervain.

We need to start a campaign or something. Foodies, unite!

Let's not let them leave!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Neil said...

Big City Burrito has also closed. I feel like I'm in L.A. and that the La Brea Tar Pits are swallowing up all the mom & pop stores. This might only be the begining. Wholesale food prices are going up every week, by alot.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Warren Epstein said...

Nooooooooooooooo! Not Big City Burrito. I didn't love the place, but it's departure leaves another gap in an ailing downtown dining scene.

8:40 AM  

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