Chef's Special 16

After many months of waiting, we finally had a good excuse to break out the butcher paper. Why you may ask? Because Blackbelly converts into a venue by night, and what could be more fitting for a table runner at a butcher shop?

When Boulder Lifestyle was asked to help set the table for a private affair, we teamed up with local florist Fawns Leap and Hunt and Gather Event Rentals to turn the shop into a warm space for mingling.

Blackbelly is the only restaurant in Boulder that brings in whole animals from their friends’ ranches to butcher and sell in-house, and are the only ones licensed to make and sell their own cured meats. It also happens to be the perfect event space for people interested in a modern, artisanal look. There’s an inspiration that stems from old world butcher shop that is rare to find these days. The shop seats 30–40 people comfortably, with room for 75 at standing tables. There’s also a private patio that accommodates 40 (when weather permits). A fully equipped professional kitchen and liquor license allows for specialty food and drink menus depending on each host’s taste buds.

For this gathering, the menu included some of Owner Chef Hosea Rosenberg’s favorite party foods such as blood sausage with crispy polenta and tomato jam, lardo and fruit toast and grape, pistachio and goat cheese truffles. Another crowd favorite was the specialty beef tallow “wax” seasoned with rosemary and garlic. These edible candles ended up being the perfect conversation piece and create the perfect ambiance for a dinner party.

“Never overlook the importance of candlelight!” Says Tara Huston of Fawns Leap, who helped put together the tablescapes.

“We love the combination of rough-hewn containers that have a distressed, industrial feel paired with the soft lushness of textural floral on the wood tables,” says Huston. “Natural elements continue to be very much on-trend, so the idea of bringing nature inside by including plants in your tablescape has such a great appeal.”

The favorite design detail were the miniature arrangements set in the glass globes, which double as great party favors so guest can take part of the festivities home.

For setting up your own dinner party, don’t be afraid to mix florals with plants. Incorporate containers of different height and sizes—contrasting textures look best.


Venue | Blackbelly | 1606 Conestoga St #3, Boulder

Menu + Food | Chef Hosea, Blackbelly

Event Rentals | Hunter and Gather Event Rentals

Florals | Fawns Leap

Styling | The Gathery, Fawns Leap

Photography | Greg McBoat



Serves 4-8

  • 40 fresh, juicy green and red grapes
  • 8oz plain goat cheese
  • 8oz shelled pistachios, toasted
  • grey sea salt
  • truffle oil

1.  Pick grapes, wash gently in cold water and dry on paper towels.

2.  Roll a very small ball of goat cheese in your hands (roughly half the size of a grape) and flatten in the palm of one hand with your thumb.

3.  Place one grape in center of goat cheese and gently work cheese around until grape is entirely covered. Chill.

4.  Crush toasted pistachios in food processor until very fine. Place in bowl.

5.  Roll goat cheese grapes in pistachios, gently pressing, until covered in nuts. Chill.

6.  To serve, slice grapes in half and set on platter with cut side facing up. Garnish each cut grape with a couple grains of salt and one drop of truffle salt. Serve immediately.

“I’ve been making this recipe for a long while now, and the reason it’s the one I shared is that it’s the easiest and the tastiest one I have for the home cook. It takes no time at all, involves very few ingredients, and it is always most memorable from events we cater.”