Boulder’s illustrious Pearl Street has a new kid on the block. Granted this “new kid,” dubbed Pepper the Noshery, is a few doors down from a rather well-known relative — Salt — the farm-to-table concept by restaurant veterans Bradford Heap and Carole Vilate. But if we look closer at this new name, a few striking familiarities may come to light. First of all, Pepper is more or less a conceptual transition from Wild Standard — the seafood-focused spot from the same restaurant group which was previously housed within the same location. In many ways, Pepper feels like the eatery-offspring of Salt and Wild Standard — offering a whimsical atmosphere which possesses some of the most prominent traits from both.
Pepper maintains a commitment to sustainability and ethically sourced ingredients. Additionally, the revitalized concept boasts a raw bar, a substantial selection of plant-based dishes and an intentionally approachable menu with various global influences. “Since opening Wild Standard, we have learned so much more about the ocean and its creatures,” said Heap. “In hoping to do our part to protect the over-harvesting of our seas, we made the decision to do something different. Pepper’s menu will include a small seafood selection while sticking to our integrity of serving vegetable-forward dishes made with organic, GMO-free ingredients.”
In the kitchen, Chef Roy Benningfield is turning out an assortment of plates ranging from straightforward salads and sandwiches prepared with farm-fresh produce to more unique plates characterized by eastern-inspired flavors. Think of mushroom spring rolls ($12) with living lettuce, shiitake, trumpet and oyster mushrooms with ginger tarragon dipping sauce; delicate miso cod ($18) accompanied by a salad composed of English cucumber, Napa cabbage and chilis in a sweet chili sauce, or, plant-based Thai green curry ($17) with aKilt Farms vegetable medley and a choice of protein. At last — one of the not-to-be-missed highlights from Pepper’s menu is a nightly First Light Wagyu beef special utilizing what Forbes calls “the best beef in the world.” Experience this melt-in-your-mouth meat selection or simply take a seat at the well-stocked, full-service bar and sip on a Green Tambourine ($9), Pepper’s take on a gin and tonic — among other notable beverages.
While Pepper the Noshery has reopened its doors with a fresh name and reimagined menu, the former Wild Standard interior has undergone a facelift of its own. The chic basement-level ‘Pearl Dive’ still reflects the restaurant’s nautically-themed past — however, the rest of Pepper has transformed into a space which could be described as eclectic, elegant and industrial. Gold light fixtures with vintage appeal contrast funky, colorful elements — while playful artwork and a preserved moss wall compliment the exposed brick surroundings. This fun, comfortable atmosphere coupled with a menu reflecting a comparatively lower price point make it a welcome new concept for downtown Boulder.
Pepper the Noshery is located at 1043 Pearl St. in Boulder. Lunch is served Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner is served from 4 p.m.– close, daily.