Boychik Brings a Mediterranean Oasis to Stanley Marketplace

BY Steph Wilson

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Tucked into Stanley Marketplace, Boychik is the kind of place that feels like a passion project formed into reality. It’s the brainchild of two camp buddies turned restaurateurs, executive chef Chase Devitt and sommelier Charles Troup.  One could even say Devitt and Troup have the kind of friendship that dreams, and dreamy meals, are made of.

Overall, Boychik is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant serving fare that’s naturally healthy, driven from fresh ingredients, comforting, and craveable. Somehow it’s both elegant and casual, which is not an easy balance to achieve.

The team’s first venture started in Boulder’s foodhall, Avanti F & B Boulder. Now, after overhauling the space that once housed Chook Chicken, they have added to the family with the Aurora location. Diners can expect an oasis of calm amid the buzzing energy of Stanley Marketplace, and a meal filled with fresh ingredients and Middle Eastern-inspired flavors.

The Food

hands reaching for dips and salad
Don’t miss out on all the delicious dips. | Photo by Boychik

The menu embraces all parts of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, said Troup, with an emphasis on small producers and artisan farms. The menu is divided into categories including dips and spreads ($8 each or 3 for $22), salads and mezze ($10 to $18), entrées ($14 to $20), and bites ($6 to $8). The lineup features all the items diners got a taste for at the original Boychik outpost, plus some new options. 

“Think of it like the same menu but expanded,” said Troup. “The dips are more unique and at dinner, we have some shared plates and composed dishes like marinated swordfish, shrimp with garlic oil, toum, and mint, and grilled yams.”

On the dip side, the smooth and tangy whipped feta sings, as well as the traditional hummus, a creamy affair worth ordering. So is the muhammara, a walnut and roasted red pepper dip, which is savory, sweet, and slightly smoky, with just enough spice at the end. 

“We finish it with a little crunchy walnut and sultanas, which are basically fancy raisins that add a crunch,” added Troup. “That crunch is key.”

All dips come with a choice of fluffy and fresh pita or cut veggies. Or both if you ask nicely. Pita also stars in the falafel wrap ($14), one of three dishes featuring Boychik’s fluffy-yet-crispy falafel. Find it also in the falafel hummus ($15) and the falafel plate ($18). Hummus too has more of a leading role, gracing dishes such as lamb gyro hummus ($17), chicken shawarma hummus ($16), fried cauliflower hummus ($14), and more.

sunset with glowing white building
Stanley Marketplace has a plethora of places to eat, drink, shop, and enjoy. | Photo by Boychik

The Cocktails

Troup created the house cocktail menu to offer something that’ll match the mood, whether you’re feeling bitter, boozy, or fruity. What the bar manager didn’t want, however, was for people to need a code to decipher the menu items. Hence, all the cocktails on the menu include a label indicating what old school beverage inspired it. 

Take The Rose of Jericho, the Boychik spin on a classic Negroni. In the drink Troup uses pomegranate bitters made in Mexico and alpine bitters from Northern Italy. There’s also a drop of rose water to give it a divine aroma. 

“Our focus is on classic cocktails done with influences from both our cuisine and our region,” he added. “We also incorporate ingredients we use in the dishes.” 

Take sumac, which adds a lemony citrus flavor and comes sprinkled on Boychik’s hummus and pickled onions. It also makes an appearance on the salted rim of the Locked In, a margarita-esque cocktail featuring blood orange instead of lime. Sumac also comes through as the dirty part of the N.S.F.W. Martini. Garnished with a feta-stuffed olive, giving the cocktail a rich mouthfeel with each stir. 

The cocktails-as-food approach continues in Boychik’s play on a Mai Tai. Traditionally almond-based orgeat stars in that drink. With that idea in mind, Troup gives his version, Tahini Dreams, a drizzle sesame-based tahini.

The Wine

When it comes to wine, Boychik offers an assortment of approachable options. “I don’t think you should have to pay $18 a glass to get into my wine list,” said Troup. “Our glasses start at $9.”

When Troup wears his sommelier hat his passion for wine shines. “For me, wine is a reflection of culture and place, it’s where people meet food,” he said. “I want to highlight people who are making authentic wines with respect to their community environment.” 

This means Boychik offers some wines from Greece, like Assyrtiko ($14 per glass or $49 per bottle), a rare white grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. This wine, mentioned Troup, pairs well with the umami nuttiness in the hummus. 

If you’re not imbibing booze these days, Troup’s got you covered. On the menu is a  non-alcoholic beer as well as two mocktails. Make sure to keep your eye out for a forthcoming reverse happy hour to complement the existing one in the late afternoon, which has already become a neighborhood favorite. 

The Vibe

cream colored walled dining room with light-colored wood chairs
Take a break from the bustle of Stanley Marketplace and sit down for some hummus and a cocktail. | Photo by Boychik

Eli Harington of Damn Good Interiors is behind the design, which unveils an Instagrammable aesthetic where the cool tones of the Mediterranean crash against Colorado’s earthy vibe. It’s fancy without the fuss. The decor is what you’d get if a Scandinavian design magazine took a trip to the Israeli countryside, organic minimalism meets Mediterranean zest. 

“Stanley Market itself is chaotic and colorful,” says Troup. “When you go out there on a Saturday or Sunday sometimes, it’s almost too much. You’re like, oh my god what’s happening? We wanted to give people a place to escape to feel a moment of calm, take a breath, have a glass of wine.” 

It’s easy to do that here. With 50 seats indoors and another 50 spots on the patio, guests can bathe in natural light outside or through the double-height garage doors, which open to the outside when the weather is right. The design team also kept some of the original elements inherent to Stanley Marketplace’s past as an aircraft hangar. See history in the speckled cement floors and industrial beams that blend into the design seamlessly.

The color scheme leans heavy into the natural, with creamy neutrals and warm terracottas and jungle greens courtesy the biophilic design elements. Mediterranean design choices abound, from the natural materials, organic textures, light woods, geometric tiles, and an abundance of inverted arches, curves, and plants. Overhead, the lighting is a thoughtful composition of modern orbs and oversized basket-weaved pendants.The woven textile artwork and the terracotta pots on display come from Boychik’s neighbor, Friend Assembly.

At the heart, the bar and serving counters stretch with clean lines and soft curves, with twin vertical rotisseries shining as the centerpiece. Overall, this brick-and-mortar location is a huge step for the best buds behind Boychik, as well as a great addition to the Stanley Marketplace.

Visit Boychik Stanley Marketplace daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, boychikkitchen.com

Good For:

Groups

Families

Fast-casual

Casual date night

Ladies night

Vegetarian

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.

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