Signature Summertime: the Wolcott Yacht Club
August 20, 2014
Round the meandering I-70 westbound corner out of Edwards and you'll drive through where high country meets sky country. Wolcott sits just outside of the main valley populous, opening up the scenery to expansive farmland and a rolling horizon.
Jan-Marie Jouflas has roots in Wolcott four generations deep, and the Wolcott Yacht Club on her family's riverside land keeps the soul rich with a sense of community and a taste of innovative cuisine.
Just steps from the restaurant's multi-level stone terrace is the restaurant's garden, tended by two full-time green thumbs to bring the ultimate farm-to-table experience into fruition.
Chef Michael Joersz says the menu and the restaurant's style is "ever-evolving," but it always highlights what's timely and fresh.
"The menu is a combination of a lot of different styles," explains chef Michael Joersz. "But I definitely like seasonal, and I definitely like eclectic ingredients."
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Hand-crafted cocktails are served in mason jars, offering down-home nostalgia to guests right off the boat. Try the signature huckleberry-infused vodka drink, a summer sipper made with berry puree and homemade mint lemonade.
A creative draft and bottled beer list includes domestic session staples, as well as Goose Island's Sophie, a Belgian-style farmhouse favorite, and other craft brews including Stone IPA and Avery White Rascal.
Small plates are where the Yacht Club really shines. Try a few to share, like the crispy Brussels that are full of flavor — not oil — and the peppered duck confit tostados with salsa verde, avocado, charred corn, cotija cheese and Cajun cracklins (seasoned pork rinds).
But nothing says summer like watermelon … and basil … and corn. Joersz's presentation for the chili honey-glazed shrimp and watermelon salad is as good as farmland with an oceanfront view. Olathe sweet corn and juicy pieces of watermelon fill a mason jar topped with shrimp skewers. The dish is light and refreshing, not to mention a beautiful and edible centerpiece to share.
Every yacht club — even the landlocked — needs good seafood. Try the fish and chips, made from Alaskan cod and served with capered tartar, funky slaw and thick-cut fries, or the truffled scallops entree with Yukon potatoes, English pea puree and sage brown butter.
Live music on Friday evenings and during Sunday brunch gives guests a reason to raise a jar at the cantina-style bar — a quaint watering hole surrounded by hanging twinkle bulbs and blooming botanicals. Complete your meal with a Moscow mule, or for an even sweeter ending, try the three-layer ice cream cake or fresh berry tiramisu.
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