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#101 astrid

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:01 PM

Any recommendations for a Saturday lunch in Denver?  We're going on a Denver to Vegas roadtrip in October.  Wondering about a good place for chow in Denver (would also appreciate pointers for Rocky Mountain NP, Aspen, and Grand Junction).  Duo sounds promising, but wonder if there are other good options for lunch.



#102 leleboo

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

I'd do the Kitchen in Denver for lunch -- we had a fantastic lunch there back in December. Bones is great for lunch, too.


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#103 astrid

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:10 AM

Thanks Leleboo!  We’ve made a lunch reservation at Rioja (and will try for a stopover in Kitchen as well) and a dinner reservation at Frasca.  Will report back.



#104 DonRocks

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:59 AM

Jammin' Joe's BBQ has closed in New Baltimore, Virginia, but blues guitarist Joe Van Dyck has reopened in Whittier. 

 

Here's an article about the restaurant.

 

And here's the donrockwell.com thread about the restaurant when it was in Virginia. Enjoy, Denver!

 

 


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#105 astrid

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:28 AM

Reporting back on Rioja, Kitchen, and Frasca. 

 

Rioja - both Rioja and Kitchen were very very good.  +1 gives the edge to Rioja, citing their innovative menu and flavor combinations.  Everything we tried was was very good.  Pretty good service and nice restaurant space too.

 

Kitchen (Denver) - Kitchen was definitely my favorite of the trip.  The food was very fresh (dare I say pristine?  I guess I just did), lightly prepared, and delightful.  The space is beautiful, in that clean modern *straight out of high end life style magazine porn" way.  The staff was gracious and the peekytoe salad special we tried was the amongst the best things ever.

 

Frasca (Boulder) - deeply, deeply disappointing.  The service and decor are nice, as it really has to be at this price level.  The charcouterie plate was the best of the bunch, very substantial and attractive presentation at a very reasonable price.  The pesce crudo was fresh and attractive presented, but smallish portions and not particularly tasty.  We focused on trying 4 of 5 pastas on the menu, a big mistake.  The pastas, were to my taste, just badly made, chalky or gummy, rather than silky or light.  The saucing was off too - too bland for gnocchi, trenne, and tortelloni; harshly acidic for the chitarra.  +1 is less sensitive to pasta textures and consequently liked the pasta more, but even he admits that these are far inferior to the (much cheaper) pasta dishes that we come to expect from Casa Luca, Red Hen, 2941, etc.  We were frankly so disappointed that we didn't even bother with secondi or desserts.



#106 southdenverhoo

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

leleboo for someone new here you have surely scoped things out! I agree with 100% of what you've posted here. Some suggestions you haven't mentioned yet, and also for Denver travelers:

 

1. Potager, my favorite restaurant in Denver, and 2 blocks from my house.

2. Table 6, near Fruition, (which latter I see you've tried & enjoyed, we love it but not quite the same since maitre d' Paul Attardi left)

3. I see you've been to two Frank Bonnano restaurants, Bones and Osteria Marco, both on the more casual end of his spectrum; have you tried Mizuna or Luca d'Italia?

4. Old Major in LoHi. Though nobody in my family likes this quite as much as I do...this is where Paul Attardi from Fruition landed, a big plus in my mind.

5. Haven't been so can't recommend but hearing good things--Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar, downtown.

 

6. For casual but good food which pairs well with the excellent craft beer selection, it is very hard to beat Euclid Hall, where the top toque is Jorel Pierce whom Top Chef fans know as Jennifer Jasinski's (also of Rioja which I agree rocks) sous chef in the recent Masters series in which she was a non-winning finalist. House made sausages and something on tap: a great casual meal.

 

ETA: wow is my short term memory bad--I attributed recommendations from page 2 of this thread from Tujaque or Tweaked (can't remember, again) to you: Fruition . And suggested a restaurant to you that you were already aware of (though don't know if you've been yet), Table 6.  Sorry!

 

PS agree totally re: TAG Burger Bar, in Congress Park (next neighborhood north of Cherry Creek BTW).



#107 Tweaked

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

Unfortunately a mixed bag of eating in Denver over the Holidays.  We were visiting the gf’s sister and brother-in-law, so I didn’t do any pre-trip research (didn’t even consult this thread…sorry Don!).  While we had some very good food and some very poor food, one constant was the great beer selection.  Just about every place we went to had an extensive list of local beer, generally at least a dozen offerings and usually more in the 15-20 range.  And that was just the local stuff.

   

Il Posto

Their website states “The Complicated Simplicity of Italian Food.”  Their food is very much in need of becoming less complicated.  Some dishes listed 7 or 8 ingredients but if the octopus is borderline rubbery, the cubes of chicken in a pasta dish are bone dry, and the rice in the risotto mushy, well, who cares how many ingredients are piled on top.  We had some enjoyable dishes, the bread and olive oil were excellent, a calamari starter stuffed with anchovies, capers and breadcrumbs was good and we enjoyed dessert.  I wanted to like this place, a nice looking neighborhood joint and the staff was very enthusiastic about the food, but when the best tasting item I had was a small sample of the end-of-the-night staff meal it’s time to rethink the menu.

 

Thin Man Tavern

A cozy, hipster-ish bar specializing in infused vodka.  Good local beer list.  Seemed like a good neighborhood bar.

 

Session Kitchen

Cool, modern space, with bold graphics and a light art installation over the bar, with one of the most confusing, silly menus ever.  In what seemed to be an attempt to break out of the “small plate” mold, the menu is broken into various “Sessions”  -  Bread Session, Jam Session, Herb Session, Nom Session (what?).  In each Session you can “Session Up” a dish which means to supersize the dish for the table.  Whatever.  However, some very good food.  I have no idea what the Chicago Tart had to do with Chicago but it was a tasty flatbread style tart topped with cheese, mushrooms, a poached egg, all scattered with arugula.  The Ono salad, with lightly ceviched fish was bright and bold.   Even the simple sounding salad of greens, candied pecans, gouda, and apples was punchy with a bright and assertive cranberry vinaigrette.  Good local beer list and cocktail menu.  Good food hampered by a silly menu concept.

 

Tacos-Tequila-Whiskey (aka Pinche Tacos)

Denver taco food truck gone brick-and-mortar.  Has won numerous accolades and is extremely popular, like slammed to capacity on a Monday night popular.  So we did take-out.  The tacos stood up quite well after the 6 block walk home.  Some solid offerings like the queso ala plancha, carnitas, and hongos (mushrooms).  The shrimp and the Vegan 1944 were misses.  Unfortunately the tortillas were not very good, nothing better than grocery store level.

  

The Three Lions

Wood, exposed brick, English beer on tap, footy on the TV all in a former bank.  It is what it is, which when you want English beer and footy is good enough.  We stopped in for a pint while waiting on our Pinche Tacos order.  Also had a good selection of local beer.

 

TAG Burger Bar

This place was very disappointing:  watery mac-and-cheese; greasy, bland burgers; massive, greasy, bland onion rings.  How can a bison burger with green chili sauce, goat cheese and honey be bland and flavorless?  It was.  This was the kind of place where you walk out feeling gross about what you just ate…and not in a good way.  Good local beer list was the only saving grace.

 

Lucky Pie Pizza and Tap House

A very enjoyable last lunch before heading to the airport.  Good pizzas with nice char and interesting topping combos.  We started with addictive beer battered cheese curds, followed by three pizzas:  Double Chard (Italian sausage, rainbow chard, pickled chard stems, roasted garlic), Bruges (shaved brussel sprouts, apples, fontina, pistachio), and The ‘Shroom (mushrooms, bacon, arugula, balsamic).  Yet another great local beer list.

 

Tourist Stuff

 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Wow.  About a 90 minute or so drive from Denver.  We went snow shoeing around frozen alpine lakes at 10,000 feet.  Wow.  Stop in at the nearby Estes Park Mountain Shop for all your hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, and mountain climbing needs.  Can I say Wow one more time.  Wow.

 

Clyfford Still Museum

If you can’t make it out to the mountains, and abstract expressionism is your thing, consider checking out the Clyfford Still Museum.  This small-ish museum (you can view it leisurely in about an hour) contains the vast majority of his art work and estate.  Located right next door to the Denver Art Museum if you want to do both.

 

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#108 Waitman

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

Will be skiing later this month and looking for a fine Sunday night dining destination in Denver before an early Monday plane ride.  Anything beyond those listed above?  We will be starving, and I kind of think of Italian as not a first choice, but we're pretty open.

 

Also, does anyone have suggestions for Breckenridge? Just burgers and pizza?  Or something worth making a reservation for? We'll mostly cook at the rental, but don't want to be chained to the stove.

 

Also, are there any bars in Breck where a -- let's just say -- mature gentleman might have a cocktail without his eardrums being abused?  But maybe not so boring that the kids -- 21 and 25 -- will hate me? I think at their ages, I need to chaperone them more than ever (Or will they be chaperoning me?).

 

leleboo for someone new here you have surely scoped things out! I agree with 100% of what you've posted here. Some suggestions you haven't mentioned yet, and also for Denver travelers:

 

1. Potager, my favorite restaurant in Denver, and 2 blocks from my house.

Hey -- Potager was my favorite restaurant when I lived in Denver, too.  And it was to blocks from my house -- Do you live in  my old house?;)

 

More important, than your residence (to me :) ) , how's the beef at Oliver's these days?  We'll be provisioning in Denver, so any suggestions are appreciated regarding cheese, fresh vegetables (is the Alfalfa's a Whole Foods yet?  Still there at all?) bread (is the Denver bread company still alive and well? We had just closed on the house and we drove by to say "holy shit, I can't believe we own such a cool house" and we went to the closest restaurant, which turned out to be Potager and had, among other things the first decent bread we'd gotten at a restaurant in our year in Denver, and found out from the server where we could but it retail.  That was such a good day).

 

Thanks.


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#109 Waitman

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

Breckenridge

 

[doubling up here so I have twice the opportunity to receive your wisdom]

 

Also, does anyone have suggestions for Breckenridge? Just burgers and pizza?  Or something worth making a reservation for? We'll mostly cook at the rental, but don't want to be chained to the stove.

 

Also, are there any bars in Breck where a -- let's just say -- mature gentleman might have a cocktail without his eardrums being abused?  But maybe not so boring that the kids -- 21 and 25 -- will hate me? I think at their ages, I need to chaperone them more than ever (Or will they be chaperoning me?).


"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

-- Jesse Jackson


#110 DonRocks

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:14 AM

Breckenridge

 

[doubling up here so I have twice the opportunity to receive your wisdom]

 

Also, does anyone have suggestions for Breckenridge? Just burgers and pizza?  Or something worth making a reservation for? We'll mostly cook at the rental, but don't want to be chained to the stove.

 

Also, are there any bars in Breck where a -- let's just say -- mature gentleman might have a cocktail without his eardrums being abused?  But maybe not so boring that the kids -- 21 and 25 -- will hate me? I think at their ages, I need to chaperone them more than ever (Or will they be chaperoning me?).

 

Breckenridge Brewery & Pub brews their own beer. I was there a good fifteen years ago (drove from Copper Mountain), but don’t remember whether or not to recommend it - it’s a touristy area, so this is better than nothing.


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#111 Tweaked

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:25 AM

I've been to the Breckenridge Brewery's Denver location, across the street from the baseball stadium which has a sports bar theme.  Their main beers, Avalanche Ale for example are fine but nothing special, but they had some rotating specialty beers that were very good.  I was sitting at the bar, by myself, on a slow afternoon, so the bartender was willing to chat beer and offer up samples on what they had on tap.  They were very jealous that we had such easy access to Dogfish Head in the DC area.  The food was mostly sports bar/pub type fare.  

 

So, I would expect standard brew pub setup, but you might be able to find some good specialty beers.

 

My experience over the Holidays in Denver is that many restaurants carry lots of local beers on tap, stuff you have never heard of in DC from brewerys you have never heard of.  It made for some good beer drinking.       


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#112 Waitman

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:39 PM

We ended up doing most of our own cooking -- after provisioning at Denver Bread Company and Oliver's Meats (Berry Oliver RIP, alas) --  since resort town dining is such a crapshoot. 

 

While killing time waiting for the daughter's delayed plane, I was reminded, that Federal Blvd. on the East Side is a great ethnic haunt.  North Federal, where the low riders cruise on Cinco de Mayo, is a nonstop strip of Mexican restaurants and grocers, while South Federal is an elongated Little Saigon. 

 

We went south and had a tasty meal at Saigon Bowl, highlighted by "Vietnamese Meat Balls" and a very credible squid curry.

 

If you want to get a bite on your way to the airport, or if you're staying at one of the seemingly dozens of discount hotels that line Tower Road just around the corner from the terminal in anticipation of an early flight, you could do a whole lot worse than the Moonlight Diner.  It's a little kitschy-corporate-50s but but on a slow Sunday night it felt far from corporate America.  Metro Denver disappears into prairie pretty quickly, and our fellow diners ranged from pioneer women to younger guys in cowboy boots and their old FFA jackets to a guy who looked like a meth cook but was probably pretty nice and was there with the waitress's baby girl -- who got a ride around the diner on mom's hip as she took orders.  More to the point: excellent green chili* smothering an immense burrito, a very good meatloaf sandwich and real milkshakes in a variety of flavors. 

 

Very friendly and laid back, even if those probably weren't really Elvis's gold records on the wall.

 

 

*"In case you haven't heard, Denver is a city that's obsessed -- like, really obsessed -- with its green chile. We smother it -- unlike everywhere else in the country -- on absolutely everything. We've even heard stories of people who put it in milkshakes, on top of chocolate cake and in baby food -- you know, to get the kid hooked before he enters the crack phase of his life. Oh, wait -- green chile is crack."

 

 -- Westword,


"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

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#113 Rieux

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:41 PM

Looking for suggestions in Aspen/Basalt (can be up to moderately priced) for dinners, and in Boulder (up to moderately priced, but preference for lower-cost since I will be with my sister who is a little constrained) for a trip that is coming up in a few weeks.



#114 porcupine

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:45 AM

^Rieux, you might want to try posting your question in this thread.


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#115 Rieux

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:12 AM

Going to denver today. Looking for a place for lunch with my sister, and some interesting shops, etc. Any kind of food, but we need veg or seafood options for my sister, but not a seafood only place. Suggestions? Either lower downtown or the highlands?

#116 washingtony

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:15 PM

Going to denver today. Looking for a place for lunch with my sister, and some interesting shops, etc. Any kind of food, but we need veg or seafood options for my sister, but not a seafood only place. Suggestions? Either lower downtown or the highlands?

 

May be too late for you, but in Highland I'm partial to Hops and Pie.  



#117 Rieux

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:24 PM

We ended up at Kitchen, since my sister who lives in Boulder had liked the original. It was pretty good. Great tomato soup.

#118 leleboo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:07 PM

We went to lunch at Bones yesterday as a belated birthday lunch for the Lt. Col. (we also checked out the new Trader Joe's, which was hilariously mobbed and looked like a swarm of locusts had hit it). I wish I had seen Rieux's post before, because Bones does a great lunch, and only on weekdays. We had:

 

Kimchi Trio Cucumber & Daikon, Kale & Napa Cabbage, Carrot & Scallion

Edamame Wok Seared, Black Beans, Caramelized Onion, Chilies & Citrus

Steamed Buns (Pork Belly, of course -- suckling pig is also an option)

Udon Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder, Poached Egg, Scallion, Plum-Soy Broth 

Chicken Ramen Roasted Chicken, Cauliflower, Mushroom, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Escabeche, House Broth

 

But the best would be Baby -- make that Toddler -- Boo digging into pretty much all of it (she got her own little dish of the chicken ramen too), not to mention ice cream -- house-made soft serve swirl of chocolate cherry and cinnamon -- at the end.

 

IMG_0011.JPG


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"He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." ~THHGTTG
"Are you from the future? Do they still have sandwiches there?" ~Montgomery Scott, Star Trek
------
Leigh


#119 bettyjoan

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:07 AM

Spent some of last week in the Denver area (Lakewood, specifically) for work.  Didn't really eat anything noteworthy, but we did go to Yardhouse for beer/dinner, and it was a good experience.  TONS of good stuff on draft, and I actually had a very good ahi tuna salad.  Service at the bar was also friendly and helpful.  There are 2-3 locations in Colorado, and only now am I noticing that it is a large chain, with locations throughout the country (even in Atlanta - I had no idea).


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#120 Seanchai

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Heading to Colorado for the first time in two weeks with days spent in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. While this trip with the family will be outdoor hiking and beer centric, I was planning hitting the following spots for casual food:

 

Longmont - Oscar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids

 

Louisville - Lucky Pie

 

Boulder - Mountain Sun and Agave

 

Fort Collins - Choice City and .... Tap and Handle, I guess (choices seem limited here)

 

Denver - Comida, Euclid Hall, Freshcraft, Hops and Pie

 

Any suggestions/edits?

 

Thanks.



#121 Seanchai

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:03 AM

Well, I went anyway :)  While travelling with my family on a moderate food budget (but sadly an immoderate beer budget), I was well pleased with all options listed above with the exception of Agave , which we decided to forgo because of our big lunch at Mountain Sun.  Comida was a bit overpriced for tacos with different-ish ingredients but tasty nonetheless.  Mountain Sun, Freshcraft, Euclid Hall, Choice City (Colorado Reuben with buffalo, excellent), Oscar Blues HMLS,  and even Tap and Handle were all very good, casual exemplars of bar food thoughtfully executed. 

 

I have to say I was surprised by the quality of the pizzas at Lucky Pie and Hops & Pie, both with very flavorful crusts and toppings. I'd put these pizzas up against any in the DC area save maybe Pupatella (different styles, I know).



#122 leleboo

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

We've been hitting Denver for breakfast lately (since toddler naptime interferes with lunch, and it's a pain to drive back after dinner). Both Denver Biscuit Company and Snooze have been great. We've been to BisCo several times, but I never waver from getting the The Sherman (a great BLT on a biscuit, add the fried egg, please) and a side of the house-made pickles, which rock.  (The current BabyBooTwo has not had as many BLTs in utero as her sister did, thanks to the never-ending nausea this time around, but I'm trying.)

 

And yes, I get the pickles even when I'm not pregnant.

 

We tried Snooze a couple of weeks ago, which may be the most toddler-friendly restaurant I've ever visited -- there were all sorts of toys outside where people were waiting: sidewalk chalk, a hoop and ring toss, a beanbag toss, old-fashioned wooden blocks, a giant Connect-4. Turns out the food is really nice too -- I had an excellent mushroom, Swiss, and arugula omelet, the other half had the Tuscan benedict, and ToddlerBoo devoured most of her dad's side of bacon as well as her eggs and hash browns --  and it shares a parking lot (that you aren't supposed to share for this purpose) with the new Colorado-flagship Trader Joe's. Snooze has several locations; I think they should open up down here in the Springs, but as with most things I think, that idea is unlikely to come to fruition.

 

Sans the toddler, we're actually going to try Acorn for lunch on Thursday; it made 5280's well-regarded Best New Restaurant 2014 list, and is a related to the supposedly-but-we-haven't-been-there great Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. 


"He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." ~THHGTTG
"Are you from the future? Do they still have sandwiches there?" ~Montgomery Scott, Star Trek
------
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#123 leleboo

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:32 PM

So it seems Acorn is in this awesome converted warehouse-cum-marketplace called The Source (jparrott, why didn't you tell me about this?). Fantastic food today, but even more, great service. We drove up for a lunch date. Enjoyed the fried pickles to start, but then our mains got stuck in the queue to be fired, behind a big order for a private party. Our server (whose name I've sadly forgotten) came over to apologize even though we hadn't flagged him down; then he brought us a complimentary brioche donut (oh my goodness, yum). Our entrees -- the  SHAVED PORCHETTA & KIMCHI SANDWICH, house made beer mustard, fried egg, cucumber and the OAK GRILLED PORK BELLY, watermelon, green beans, cucumber, ginger lime vinaigrette -- were right up after that, and they were phenomenal. Some of the best belly I've had, grilled expertly with more meat than fat in each bite. There were almost too many herbs and greens on the plate for me; I'd have preferred a few more cucumbers and green beans, but the watermelon was the ripest and sweetest I've had this season. We shared the CHOCOLATE ALMOND FUDGE, sour cherry caramel, espresso cream for dessert, which our server comped -- completely unnecessary in our minds, but such a nice gesture.

 

The place was pretty much packed, which surprised me, but I guess people do dine out for lunch; I just never think of it. It was fantastic, and the rest of the market was incredibly cool. I bought three croissants at Babette's, which had some of the most gorgeous bread I've seen in forever (and which was served at the restaurant); if we weren't going to be out the next few days more than usual, I'd have bought one of the big country loaves. This market is what our own Ivywild wants to (and should) be; if we ever move up to Denver proper, it will be in heavy rotation.


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"He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." ~THHGTTG
"Are you from the future? Do they still have sandwiches there?" ~Montgomery Scott, Star Trek
------
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#124 mdt

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 03:44 PM

Any new updates for dinner places the Denver/Aurora area?



#125 leleboo

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 10:08 AM

Any new updates for dinner places the Denver/Aurora area?

 

Go go go to Acorn (see my post about lunch there, above). I wouldn't say it's Aurora-adjacent, but Denver isn't that big.


"He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." ~THHGTTG
"Are you from the future? Do they still have sandwiches there?" ~Montgomery Scott, Star Trek
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