Perhaps chef JJ Kim's United Rolls of America sushi series at Yoo Mae will come to mind when you hear of the concept behind soon-to-open 1492 Chocolates (174 N. Washington St., Suite B, Monument, 1492chocolates.com): a truffle for each state in the nation.
Thirty-one-year old pastry chef/chocolatier Courtney Lundin, who graduated magna cum laude from Orlando's Le Cordon Bleu (according to her mom and business partner Deb), is the mastermind behind the patriotic premise. Deb adds that her daughter "cooks the Old World way," meaning she doesn't use any artificial ingredients or stabilizers.
Thus far, only a trail-mix-inspired Colorado truffle and a 10-state Southeast line have been finalized. The latter includes fun creations like a Key lime ivory chocolate truffle with orange-infused graham cracker crust for Florida; a pineapple and pecan Hummingbird Cake truffle with banana-infused ganache for Alabama; and a Blue Suede Elvis truffle with peanut butter, bacon and banana for Tennessee.
Deb notes that upon opening later this month, she expects the majority of business to be online, though 1492 will have retail hours and also provide truffles for local businesses such as the Sundance Mountain Lodge, where guests will get the treats on their pillows. Catch a sneak-preview opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, in conjunction with Monument's Fall Festival & Kinetic Sculpture Derby.
Last month, then 9-month-old Sengchanh Thai Cuisine, which earned a quite favorable Indy review in March, turned back into House of Yakitori 7 (7525 N. Academy Blvd., 594-4471). Owner Jessica Vongnarat explains that the Thai food wasn't catching on in the location, and that many of the House of Yakitori 7 customers who'd come to love it in that location before, kept coming into Sengchanh asking for Yakitori.
So, in the spirit of giving the people what they want and keeping the business alive, she and her aunt (the primary cook) consulted with the original Yakitori owners who helped them dial in the menu, which is actually "much simpler than Thai," says Vongnarat.
More prolific pierogi
The Parked Pierogi (292 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, parkedpierogi.com) co-owner Julie Wetzel says the restaurant recently expanded to dinner service in addition to lunch and breakfast; it remains closed Mondays through Thursdays, but now opens 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
In addition to a small vegetarian menu (with breakfast, lunch and appetizer items), the new dinner menu includes plates such as a pierogi sampler starter, baby back ribs, a chicken or pork Spiedie Salad, wild boar sliders, and a quinoa and pulled pork burrito smothered in both marinara and green chile.