Wandering around Boulder on a chilly afternoon will land you at one of a few places: Either at Fast Eddie’s for a dog and some chili cheese fries, at Jax Fish House for their happy-hour oysters, or at Oak At Fourteenth for a glass of wine and a delicious, inspired meal.
Once you’re done applauding the street performers and perusing the goodies for your friends back home at Where The Buffalo Roam, make your way (like I did) over to Oak off Pearl Street and Fourteenth, but bring your appetite – Oak boasts several menus, depending on what time of day you’re joining them, and they’re chalk-full of delectable fare that are bound to leave you wanting more.
When we arrived, we were greeted by an amazingly friendly staff and Oak’s unique oak-burning oven and grill, where many of Chef/Owner Steven Redzikowski’s creations are born. You may recognize Redzikowski from his multiple hosting with Outstanding in the Field or the numerous articles that have been written about his culinary expertise in recent years. Oak has a beautiful and modern dining room, with a backdrop of either their well-stocked bar (overseen by Owner Bryan Dayton) or a full wall of windows overlooking Fourteenth Street and the Pearl Street Mall. During the spring/summer, I could see frequenting their patio and enjoying my fair share of Sunday-Funday’s.
It’s not unusual to find a restaurant that bakes their own bread in house, but Oak’s open kitchen-plan allows diners to enjoy of view of many steps of the baker’s process, including slicing fresh loaves before your very eyes. That seems to be the general idea of Oak — they do most of their prepping, cooking, and plating in plain sight, obviously with nothing to hide. I love it!
We arrived just in time to order from the mid-day menu, and while it is limited to a single appetizer of fried pickles and six or so entrees, there was no reason to wait around for the dinner menu. In addition to a glass of Chardonnay, I settled on the Royal Red “Shrimp and Grits”, and my lunch mate opted for the Oak Grilled Double Cheeseburger.
These pictures do not do this food justice, and I can’t imagine not returning here next time I’m in Boulder! The food is delicious, the staff is incredibly friendly, and the people watching can’t be beat — don’t miss this jewel on Fourteenth, you’ll be glad you stopped in.