Good Food: 2014 Denver Restaurant Week

2014 January 16
by David Schlichter

Image: Bass from 1515, one of the restaurants participating in Denver Restaurant Week

Denver’s Restaurant Week is back and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Though the event is called Restaurant Week (in the singular), it is actually two weeks long.  In years past it has been two concurrent weeks, however this year Restaurant Week will be split between February 22nd-28th and August 23rd-29th.   300 restaurants will be participating, making this the largest event of its kind in the country, according to Visit Denver.  And this year, alas, prices are going up.  Instead of dinner for two being a symbolic $52.80 as in years past, this year the price is $60 for a dinner for two.  It’s pricey, but since some of the portion sizes were starting to get pretty small at participating restaurants, since many were offering additional courses at an additional cost anyway, and since prices apparently haven’t been raised 9 years, I suppose I understand…

Denver Restaurant Week is a time to celebrate the Denver dining scene, and it can be a great time to try out a restaurant you might not otherwise ordinarily try.  Below are some of the tasting menus that stood out to me (for a full list, click here):

1515 RESTAURANT:

First Course (choose one each):

  • Crab Cake – Cilantro, Rhubarb, Douchi Relish, Ginger
  • Split Pea Soup – Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Lemongrass Pistou
  • Mixed Spring Green Salad – Spring Greens, Watercress, Breakfast Radish, Cashew, Apricots, Pommery Vinaigrette

Second Course (choose one each):

  • Filet of Sole – Shrimp and Mushroom Fondue, Cauliflower Risotto, Brussels Sprouts, Brown Butter Béchamel
  • Bison Short Rib – Early Spring Fava Beans, Baby Onions Ragout, Horse Radish Crème Fraîche
  • Vegetarian “Steak and Eggs” – King Trumpets, Sweet Potato, White Polenta, Spinach, Eggless Béarnaise

Dessert (choose one each):

  • Banana Pecan Bread Pudding – Breckenridge Bourbon, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Caramel Powder
  • White Chocolate Crème Brulee – Macaroons, Raspberries

DUO RESTAURANT:

First Course – Choice of:

  • Fried Ricotta Dumplings: spicy tomato jam & basil
  • Chicken Liver Mousse: apple glee / pickled shallots / farm house butter toast
  • Potato & Celery Root Soup: cherry smoked bacon / crème fresh / chive oil
  • Escarole Caeser Salad: olive croutons / white anchovies / roasted onions

Second Course – Choice of:

  • Mahi: roasted saffron cauliflower/ fennel & carrot salad / black eyed pea confit
  • Pork Porterhouse: taleggio soft polenta / brussel sprout & apple salad / smoked Dijon vinaigrette
  • Mushroom Cannelloni: sherry brown butter / roasted cabbage / caramelized red onion

Dessert – Choice of:

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding: morning fresh whipped cream / toasted pecans
  • S’Mores Cake: chocolate molten cake / housemade marshmallow / graham ice cream
  • Trio of Icecream & Sorbets

CHOLON BISTRO:

First Corse (Choose 3)

  • Short Rib Egg Rolls, “Kim-Cheese” Dip
  • Kaya Toast, Coconut Jam, Egg Cloud
  • Soup Dumplings, Sweet Onion, Gruyere
  • Potstickers, Pork, Ginger Mustard
  • Skuna Bay Salmon Crudo, Avocado, Spicy Radish*
  • Baby Lettuce, Gingered Carrot Vinaigrette, Coconut-Almond Crisps

Second Course (choose 1)

  • Onion-Crusted Short Rib, Lo Mein, Asian Pear
  • Char-Grilled Chicken, Ruby Red Citrus, Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime
  • Seared Salmon, Asian Greens, Soy-Yuzu Beurre Blanc

Wok Dish With Second Course (choose 1)

  • Duck “Fried Rice”, Farro, Mushroom, Poached Egg
  • Brussels Sprouts, Ground Pork, Mint

Dessert (choose 1)

  • Spiced Doughnuts, Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, Condensed Milk
  • Molten Chocolate Cake, Salted Peanut Ice Cream, Marshmallows
  • Sorbet Selection

COOHILLS:

First Course

  • Creamy Onion and Rosemary Soup with Focaccia and Parmesan Crostini
  • Lyonnaise Salad with Pancetta, Farm Egg, Garlic, Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Wild Burgundy Snails Provencal with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Brioche

Main Course

  • Braised Beef Short Rib Bourguignon with Great Northern Beans, Young Carrot, Pearl Onions, Paris Mushrooms, Pomme Puree
  • Salmon ‘a la plancha’ with Roasted Bok Choy, Caramelized Lotus Root, Maitake-Miso Broth
  • Parmesan Gnocchi with Roasted Winter Vegetables, Caramelized Cauliflower Puree, Fresh Herbs

Desserts

  • Spiked Bread Pudding with Stranahan’s Whiskey, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream, Toasted Almonds

Denver Restaurant Week is extremely popular, and reservations need to be made well in advance.  If you think you’d like to get in on the action, it would be a Good idea to make your reservation sooner rather than later!

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact him today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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