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Challenging Elements: Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place


Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place is a restaurant that prides itself on using the highest quality ingredients and catering to the most sensitive dietary restrictions in the food industry. Offering dishes that are Gluten Free, non-GMO, Kosher, Vegan, and in many cases Paleo, they offer an array of plates that not only adhere to these restrictions but titillate the senses.S

Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place

2027 13th Street, Boulder

With a quick browse of the menu and clear perspective of the restaurant I knew exactly what ingredient to throw their way. MARSHMALLOWS! Having shown up unannounced, I was introduced to Joshua Sipes, kitchen manager and soon to be Head Chef.

Twenty-four hours later, I returned to Shine to see what Joshua had come up with. The dish was a Roasted Acorn Squash with Layered Yam Butter and Bacon-Ginger Marinated Marshmellows, topped with Pan Fried King Oyster Mushroom Chips. To accompany this was a Duck Confit Pan Seared Chicken Leg. The sauce he made to pair with this dish was a Red Onion, Fig and Brandy sauce Infused with Rainbow Carrot.

The resulting plate was euphoric. This dish was a colorful painting on a plate, a showcase for the wonderful, locally sourced ingredients that Shine uses, and a flavorful adventure with each bite.

The chicken was perfect. I don’t say this often, but it was. The skin was decadently crispy and the meat was not only juicy but extremely flavorful. The acorn squash was cooked low and slow making for a beautifully rich and creamy consistency and a surprisingly crispy skin.

The mushrooms provided a wonderful bite to contrast with the creaminess of the squash and fix-ins. Ever so slightly caramelized around the edges, the King Oyster Mushrooms had a pleasant earthy flavor with a slight gamey texture as a nice middle ground between the chicken and squash. The sauce was definitely an unsung hero on this plate. It was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the figs, bite of the brandy, and full bodied flavor of the onion, stock and rainbow carrots.

The dish was paired with their Snow Drift seasonal potion that had the color, texture and bitterness of a fresh hot coco. The potion had a soothing and sedative effect to aid in relaxation and sleep. Topped with Marshmallow Brulee, it made for a wonderful pairing and great dessert touch.

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