River and Woods Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado

Every so often you get the chance to do something ordinary that becomes something more. Something extraordinary. The weekend just past was one such occasion. The something extraordinary was the first ever trip with my younger sister. Just she and I. No partners, no parents… she even bravely left behind both of her magical little people to enjoy our first ever all-adult, all-sister, all-indulgent vacation.

And indulgent it was. We used Booking.com and were able to enjoy four-star accommodations for a 2- or 3-star price. We centered ourselves in one of the most beautiful corners of our region; Boulder, Colorado, and spent our days and nights wandering Pearl Street, browsing lovely little boutique-y shops, and indulging in beer or wine with lunch and dinner.

Perhaps our greatest indulgence was our ‘last-supper’. It’s become a tradition of mine when I travel. I find some wonderful sounding restaurant and throw inhibition to the wind when it comes to sugar, fat, and the check. On our last night in Boulder, with the help of Yelp, we found our little haven. River and Woods.

riverandwoodsboulderSituated directly on Pearl Street, just a few blocks short of the East End of the more formally defined shopping area, River and Woods is the occupant of a modest little blue-grey house. Understated and unassuming, you really feel as though you are stepping into someone’s home… until you find yourself standing in the entry way. Just inside the main entrance, one side of the room has been converted to a full bar, and beyond that an array of chopping-block style tables. The suggestion of the kitchen is just that, and the restrooms – while immaculately clean and quaint – are simple and to the point. The wait staff are quite friendly and very knowledgeable, but the truly extraordinary quality of the place comes to your attention – profoundly, I might add – exactly where it should; in the food.


The menu descriptions help, of course, but from the very first bite it is immediately obvious there are simply no words for such decadence. Every element of both our meals was well thought out and perfectly matched, from the color and texture to the density and flavor. As avid fans of seafood, we were both genuinely taken aback by the quality and richness of flavor; she in the scallops she was served and I in the oysters. Sipping on the suggested beverages we both commented on the desire to stretch the experience out just a little longer, anticipating with bated breath, the next delightful bite.

While the meals we enjoyed were spectacular, I avoid elaborate descriptions with intent; as a contentious eatery, River and Woods varies their menu based on seasonality and availability of regionally sourced ingredients. Suffice to say, then, you can expect to be surprised, and amazed.

For my sister and I, this was an extraordinary trip in every possible way. River and Woods however, made our last night truly unforgettable.

The next time your travels find you in Boulder, Colorado, make reservations at River and Woods. (Really, make the reservations. Their quality and passion aren’t a secret.) You will be assured a truly extraordinary dining experience.

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