Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pizza Republica - Showing Off Their Mussels

Mussels used to be the kind of thing Jess and I always ordered when the opportunity presented itself. But fair to say that in recent years we've been burned from time to time and had a pretty bad spell there for awhile. You'd think it wouldn't be too difficult to set up a good batch, but I'd seen far too many dirty, broken, dead, gritty, bearded mussels that I found myself jaded.  I'm the kid kicking a can down the road, broken hearted and depressed, trying to figure out if I'll ever love again. Enter Pizza Republica.

Jess and I dropped in one night hoping to catch a flick at the Landmark and opted to dine al fresco at the neighboring joint. As the name suggests, they're more upfront as to their Neapolitan wood-fired pizza at the center of the menu, and sure most folks probably walk in for just that. But something peculiar happened when we worked our way through the meal, settled up our check and walked hand in hand to the cinema. We didn't find ourselves talking about the wine. We weren't reminiscing about the pizza, which still lingered on our palates. But rather, we were raving about the mussels. Finally, again, love is in the air.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Third Time's a Charm: DBB to the Third Power

I boast in the fact that I've been to each of The Denver Burger Battle's three vintages- ever since its inception in 2010. Initially the DBB caught my attention in the middle of the Denver Burger Boom, as Smashburger hit the local scene, as well as Larkburger, Park Burger, HBurger, and so on. Not only that, but even the finer breed of restaurants began offering gourmet burgers on their menus and bringing in the average Joe for an above and beyond sandwich. Enter 2012. Two years later, even as one might say the burger buzz has subsided, I have proof that Denverites still love a good beefwich. And many are even willing to mow down on 12 in one night, for the ever daunting task of naming Denver's Burger Battle champions. Drumroll please...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Brunching it at Shells and Sauce

It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and give the blog some love. I won't proclaim any excuses, just know that I have plenty of them. Now that you're waking up with me from an extended slumber, I figured it only fitting that I start you off with the most important meal of the day: brunch.

12th ave in Congress Park is one of those areas I quietly confess my love for on a regular basis. Amidst a surplus of large, historical homes and offering an eclectic spread of local, charming businesses, it's almost a sort of rustic Pleasantville to me. Neighbors are always sitting with their dogs on Chef Zorba's patio, cooling down with some ice cream at Daily Scoop, or stocking up on liquid courage at Madison Street. The mile long drag has almost everything for life's essentials, and the thought of being able to walk everywhere makes all the more sense to me. Especially when you need to walk off a meal at 'Shells and Sauce'.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Restaurant: Formerly known as Simms Landing

I remember way back- to when Simms Landing sat atop the hill in Lakewood, and boasted one of the finer views in Denver. My family had enjoyed brunch or dinner for a special occasion or two, leaving me with memories so far back they were fuzzy at best. They would come back ever so slightly every time I drove by the shack-esque restaurant- likely hundreds of times in the past 20 years. But I never found myself back there until recently. Understanding that they underwent quite a makeover and were boasting an upscaled menu, I took the opportunity to join them for the first of a series of Chef Dinners, highlighting Joseph Hsu's cuisine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

DRW 2012 Recap: Sonoma'z, EDGE, Panzano

So I find myself coming out of the hype of Denver Restaurant week not only a few pounds heavier, but a few hundo down. I'm not really sure what happened, but a blur of delicious sounding menus and high expectations sort of left me in a state of lothargia, and ultimately with a few conclusions that I'm surely not alone in. Now it's kind of interesting, because even though we're a few weeks out from the 2 week-long grub fest that always takes Denver by storm, I can still vividly remember details from each meal I had, whether good or bad.

I practiced self control this time around. Despite opportunities to go out most every night of the marathon, I only ended up at 3 different joints. Tonight's honest moment: I only took pictures of 2, and I only feel like writing about one. And that restaurant is Panzano.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DRW 2012 Featured Menu: EDGE Restaurant at the Four Seasons

Ever since the Four Seasons landed in Denver, folks have been enamored with the high-society luxury that it represents. With a gorgeous hotel and lobby, 5-star accommodations and spa, it's only fitting that they'd also bring cuisine to the next level as well. EDGE Restaurant is not only elegant, but also rather pricey once you get into the entree categories. Hence, it's so far been one of the more popular restaurants bustling with DRW patrons for the past week. Appropriately coined 'A Progressive American Steakhouse', EDGE's offering for only $52.80 a couple is an absolute steal. I find myself salivating in wanting for my Monday night reservation with Jess, and have a feeling that the 'fun and tasty enhancements' will get some attention at our table. After all, with a fair cost base, it would only benefit you to get a more rounded taste of Chef Simon Purvis' cuisine.

Having talked to a few folks who dined there last week, the brussell sprouts, mac and cheese, foie gras, and filet are all significant highlights to the meal. Although, I might have my heart set on the chicken confit with cassoulet, I'm sure I wont' be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DRW 2012 Featured Menu: Panzano

I've always been a huge fan of Panzano, and though my reservation isn't until next Tuesday, I've heard tons of great things about their DRW 2012 menu already. Elise Wiggins highlights her Italian-Inspired concept with a phenomenal 4-course offering with creative, contemporary notes. Like a short-rib with vanilla foam, really? There are still a few choice reservations available, if you're an early bird or a night hawk... click here

Stay tuned for a full recap of the meal in the weeks to come... and  Dish It Up!

First Course (your choice of):
Chef Elise Wiggins' attention to detail is
what escalates Panzano's cuisine to
phenomenal heights...
(Courtesy: Volkel Image)

 •Crespelle ai Funghi - Hazel Dell mushroom stuffed crepes, fonduta sauce, white truffle oil

•Calamari Fritti - Crispy calamari with a spicy Italian chili aioli

•Cavolini di Bruxelles - Fried Brussels sprouts tossed with apple cider vinegar, pistachios and sliced green apple

•Anatra Mousse - Duck liver mousse served with a cranberry orange compote and thyme-Parmesan zeppole

Second Course (your choice of):

•Smoked mozzarella, grilled eggplant soup

•Jewel lettuce - Pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and Gorgonzola cheese dressed with hibiscus vinegar

•Caesar Griglia - Grilled hearts of romaine, anchovies, garlic, Parmesan

•Caesar - Hearts of romaine, anchovies, garlic, Parmesan, croutons, crispy capers