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“A Big Slide”
Review of Black Cat

Black Cat
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Ranked #18 of 577 Restaurants in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American, French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pearl Street
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A Big Slide”
Reviewed December 27, 2012

After a great experience this past summer at the Black Cat, I wondered why I gave a five and so many others were disappointed. Well, i found out on our post Christmas visit yesterday. Same nice atmosphere, lots of fresh organic veggies in a great appetizer, crispy big house salad, an excellent chicken dish, a tasty pork sausage dish, and a magnificent stuffed quail. So where's the beef? It was flying out to the other tables while we waited and waited and waited. Our first welcome, a tasty puff pastry from the chef, flew out moments after the smiling waiter took our wine order. In a flash, it was decanted and poured. A full red bordeaux that I noticed was about 25% pricer than I paid for the same wine less than a week prior in 4 Star Chicago restaurant. But, it was Christmas and the family was together! After a 15 minute delay caused by my son's run to the pharmacy for his daughter's headache medicine, we waited another 15 minutes for the first serving. The vegetable souffle was the hit for that round. The plates were promptly cleared, we sipped wine and chatted...and chatted...and chatted. The little kids moved to their parents' laps and the wine steward brought a less expensive but still overpriced wine. Finally, those who had ordered salad saw the crisp leaves. Silverware was exchanged. We chatted, We drank more wine. We tried water which was regularly refilled. The salad dishes were cleared and we waited some more. The waiter said "any minute now". He said it again15 minutes later. Finally, 2.5 hours after we had arrived, the entrees appeared. The kids were asleep in their parents arms or with a head down on the table. As I noted the entrees were delicious. The shortfall? The fresh vegetable bed under the stuffed quail was lukewarm at best. The quail not much warmer. The same was true with the beds under the pork sausage and the chicken. Only the salmon was sufficiently warm. After brief discussion, and noting the late hour, we elected to finish our entrees rather than send back for a warmup. Coffee? No. Deserts? No, its time to go. I paid the bill and noted to the waiter that if there wasn't a mandatory tip for a party over six and if I hadn't been sitting across from the open kitchen window and watched were the bottle neck was (the chef line not the servers), I would have halved it. Instead, Black Cat will not have a return from our family. I am also sure my son will share the story with his Boulder friends who love good wine and food.
Management seems to have a problem. Lots of people on the prep line; lots of waiters and support staff (they did a lot of standing and waiting), two bartenders and a sommelier. No one, however, seemed to be in charge. No head waiter not even a single person who checked in the reservations. On the chef's line, each station was active, but not very coordinated. Where was the head chef? Why a chef who could could make up such fantastic entrees, appetizers, etc and not see that they came reasonably warm is a mystery to me.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Jimgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    19
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boulder, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Unique Experience for a Special Occasion”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We visited the Black Cat in Boulder for a birthday celebration! It was our first time at a farm-to-table restaurant. We had a great time trying all the surprise dishes and wines that came out with our 6-course meals...you definitely need to be adventurous (and love vegetables!) to eat here! Very expensive, but we left happy and tried many new foods that we had never tried before. Portion sizes can be very small...but we certainly didn't leave hungry! Definitely an experience! I can't say we'll go back (due to the cost), but we had an excellent time :-)

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KatieGallagher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“quality decline”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

I keep trying because I have memories of going to this restaurant and it being excellent. I had been such a fan of the tasting menu with paired wines since they began. One time I had an entree instead, and as a whole, it was too much of a one-note entree and too salty. I wondered whether the tasting menu was so good because it was just these tiny tastes of these larger entrees. I tried a entree again another time and had a similar experience. So I decided to stick with the tasting menu whenever I went here. Last week, I excitedly took a friend for the paired wine tasting menu, and now you have to *choose* to get premium wines AND pay more (why would you not want premium wines?) this felt very strange, "no, we'll take the crappy wines." AND the price went way up for the tasting menu, and it sucked. I mean it was okay, but it was quite average and the small portions had gotten even smaller. This was my last straw. I used to love this restaurant, but the quality, in my opinion, has declined and now the tasting menu has too.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank votero2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“tasty combinations”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

terrific creativity using locally grown products--striped bass was delicious and surrounded by fresh veggies

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank louis8160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“exquisite farm to table preparations”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Chef Eric Skokan and his team passionately bring delicious and beautifully prepared courses while Dev provides unique and wondrous wine pairings. Our meal was absolutely dreamy.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodsnob80302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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