Under the Sun (Boulder) Review
I have been a big fan of the Mountain Sun group of restaurants since I first set foot in the original location on Pearl in the late 90s. I was elated when they opened Southern Sun location as it meant more space, including outside seating. I did a little dance when they opened Vine St. as it brought the tasty food and quaffable brews to us Denverites. And, needless to say, I was intrigued when they decided to break the mold and open a new style restaurant with Under the Sun (located directly under Southern Sun in Boulder).
My first impression of the new restaurant was that the wizard team behind this chain certainly knows what works: our party had to wait over an hour to be seated (perhaps not too surprising, but I’d love to have that golden touch in my own work!). The next thing I noticed was that this place is no Mountain Sun. No tapestries on the wall, no exposed-and-painted HVAC system, no concert posters adorning the wall. It feels more like the urban-chic design you’d expect to find in LoDo. But I was delighted to see the robust tap list which features a couple dozen Mountain Sun brews (they were not participating in Stout Month, however), as well as a respectable guest tap list including several Belgian delights.
The food is a departure from that of the Mountain Sun, and although I love the former, I’m happy to see something new. The menu is pretty heavy on the meat with highlights like Braised Lamb, Java Porter sausage (mmmm…) and fried chicken. It actually reminded me of the menu at Euclid Hall. They also offer a few flatbread pizzas and sandwiches. Overall, the food is solid: it may not win a Michelen star but is pretty damn delicious. To my pleasant delight, the prices were quite in line with their sister restaurants.
Under the Sun is definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of the Mountain Sun franchise. Don’t forget to bring your cash, as one thing that has not changed is that they still do not accept credit cards.
[Photos: Rich Vossler]