Pirate Alley Boucherie is the perfect place for your next lunch date. After opening in downtown Denver in late September, the restaurant has been serving Chef Kyle Foster’s menu of seasonally inspired po’boys, salads and small plates inspired by Foster’s southern childhood. The chef had played with the idea of opening a fast-casual lunch spot serving upscale creole dishes out of his restaurant Julep in 2019, but the idea came to its fruition just this year. “Pirate Alley has been going great so far,” Chef Foster shares. “The neighborhood has been really enthusiastic about the concept and deli. We’re trying to promote more to offices now for a great option for business lunches.”
The restaurant takes its name after a famous pedestrian alley in the French Quarter and stays true to NOLA inspired-ingredients and flavor profiles. With limited hours that target the lunch crowd, Pirate Alley is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for dine-in or carry-out. The current menu includes sandwiches such as the Cubano, French club, and NOLA-style shrimp dip; soups, with gumbo being the fan favorite; and salads such as root veggie and sorghum or the radish and celery salad.
The restaurant also includes a cooking space for public and private events offered through Stir Cooking School. This is the perfect marriage in several ways: the coveted and quaint space does not go to waste during off hours, Stir gets a secondary location for expanded offerings and Chef Foster gets to work more closely with his wife and owner of Stir Cooking School, Katy Foster.
“We have been fortunate to host unique and memorable private cooking events at Stir for more than a decade,” says Katy. “By expanding into this new location at the Ice House, we are able to elevate our offerings, host more intricate workshops and serve as a space rental for chefs of all levels.” The 2,850-square-foot event space is decorated in charmingly French wallpaper and features large wooden beams and exposed brick walls with multiple cooking stations. The open seating area can hold up to 40 people for a sit-down meal or 80 people for a party.
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“Gumbo is a large, comforting pot of stew that has so much history and truly brings people together.” —Chef Kyle Foster, Pirate Alley Boucherie
Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Yields: 4-6 servings
6 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, small dice
1 medium green bell pepper, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
5 c chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined,
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ½ inch-thick rounds
2 c fresh okra, trimmed and cut into ¼ inch-thick rounds (can substitute with frozen)
1 tbsp filé powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
steamed rice for serving
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over moderately high heat. Reduce heat to moderately low and whisk in flour. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, until mixture becomes dark brown and has an intensely nutty aroma, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in onion, pepper and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, about two minutes. Gradually whisk in stock.
Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; once boiling, reduce to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture has thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add bay leaves, shrimp, sausage and okra and simmer, uncovered, until okra is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the filé powder and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.