Belgian beers overflow at new cafe in Winter Park Village
March 19, 2009
“A truly authentic Belgian beer experience” ” that’s what the new Winter Park Cheeky Monk location promises ” and delivers.
Owners Tina and Michael Pachorek, who have owned restaurants for seven years, offer “A taste of Belgium in the Rocky Mountains.” Their new restaurant, which opened in Winter Park Village Feb. 28, has almost 50 brews available.
Customers are surprised to realize many of them are hard to find most anywhere else in Colorado ” and definitely in the rural parts of the state. Some of the Belgian beers date as far back as the 11th century.
While sipping a Blanche de Bruxelles, a customer said the Cheeky Monk “changes the way you think about beer.” His drink, with its hint of coriander and orange peel, is available by the bottle and draught and is one of the establishment’s most popular orders. The Tripel Karmeliet on draught is a close second.
Hints of fruits (like pomegranate, cherries or peaches), berries, chocolate and toffee ” the vast variety boasts something for those who don’t normally prefer beer. Samplers and tasting cards allow customers to make notes.
Through their Winter Park Village and Front Range locations, the Pachoreks also are pleased to serve a “union” of bar and kitchen. “Our food menu has been prepared to accompany the beers and enhance your overall experience,” the menu states.
The Pachoreks noticed the potential of the Village three years ago during a visit to the Winter Park, always one of the Colorado natives’ favorite places to go. They already had the concept for Cheeky Monk “and thought W.P. Village would be a great fit.” Both of their grandfathers owned restaurants, and both worked in restaurants during college. “I guess it is in our blood,” Tina said.
The Cheeky Monk opened with a partial menu Feb. 28 to feel out clientele, and Chef Sarah Deckert introduced a full menu March 9. Many of the menu items are paired with beverage options.
Appetizers highlight artisan cheeses for things such as croquettes, platters, and fondue; as well as crab cakes and grilled asparagus. French onion and beer cheese soups join the soup of the day. Salads feature shrimp-salad-stuffed tomatoes, as well as one with grilled sirloin. For a sandwich, try the Monte Cristo or chicken Cordon Bleu.
The steamed mussels are very popular, with seven ways to prepare them. Other European-style classics include fish and chips, Flemish beef stew, Belgian “bangers and mashed” and Waterzooi chowder. The temptations begin with the beer and wine list, and round out with several distinct desserts. Save room for the Belgian waffle, sweet Monte Cristo, Lindeman’s Framboise ice cream float, or fried beignets.
While most restaurants stop serving at 9 p.m. in the Fraser Valley, The Cheeky Monk serves until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and a late-night menu is available until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.