Pancit on Powers
Four-year-old Julie's Kitchen has been the sole Filipino eatery in the Springs, but that changed last week with the opening of You-Ka Café (3743 Bloomington St., 309-6934). Arizona-transplanted Greg and Emilou Savage are behind the venture; he with a business and management background, and she with a degree from Arizona Culinary Institute and experience most recently at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
Emilou's opening menu of "Filipino favorites" is an easy-to-digest five items all priced at $8.99, plus specials that rotate every few days, such as pork belly or pinakbet (spiced veggies, usually including eggplant and a squash, cooked with shrimp paste). Each comes with lumpyang shanghai (spring rolls) with a sweet chili dipping sauce, and most get rice as well. Both the pancit bihon and pancit palabok BBQ are noodle dishes, while the adobo is pork or chicken cooked in a zesty, vinegar-soy garlic-pepper sauce. Bistek tagalog equates to a beefsteak with caramelized onions. You can also just order barbecued skewers of chicken or pork.
Drink options include "pearl coolers," which are like bubble tea with tapioca balls, and kalamansi juice, similar to a lemon- or limeade, but from a citrus hybrid between an orange and kumquat (also spelled calamansi).
Eric Deville hopes that the next time you ponder a fine-dining meal, you eye your own kitchen as the setting. As manager of Personal Chefs of Colorado (personalchefscolorado.com), he's banking on a trend that's taken hold in Europe catching on here.
Deville spent seven years at Walter's Bistro and six at the Pepper Tree, and also opened and operated La Belle Vie for a stint on Eighth Street eight years ago. To build PCC, he solicited chefs on Craigslist, ultimately contracting with six, including former moZaic chef Scarlett Farney. He's also partnered with Sovereignty Wines to offer an in-home wine tasting dinner option.
All pricing, including gratuity, is based on customizable menu selections, as well as the option to simply have food delivered, have a chef cook in your home, and have said chef also bring along a server and handle the dishes afterward.
A second Duca's Neapolitan Pizza will open any day now at 236 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., the former C Cobb Catering spot. Co-owner "Papa" Joe Duca says "the product's gone over well" at his 2½-year-old original location (12229 Voyager Pkwy., #170, ducaspizza.com) and that he currently has regulars commuting from the south end of town. The new location will double the first's seating capacity, and he's already ordered and installed two more Stefano Ferrara Napoli ovens from Italy to continue the authenticity.