So the time has finally come, and it's accompanied with a humble apology. Having been writing The Denver Dish for just over 2 years now, I am well aware of some of my shortcomings in terms of coverage on the website. One of the more obvious being, that I have yet to formally review a Bonnano concept. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I don't eat at the culinary guru's food meccas, as a matter of fact I've eaten at almost each and every one. However, being that they are a regular hangout for occasions and finer of fine outings, I tend to leave the camera at home in order to minimize distraction for my fellow diners.
As we find ourselves enveloped in those experiences, one thing proves to be true: Frank Bonanno pays attention to detail. And not only that, but his staff family who keep the restaurant empire afloat from day-to-day believe in his vision and execute it respectively.
So in order to kill two birds with one stone, I planned to join Mrs. Denver Dish and a good friend of ours from college at Lou's Food Bar for a casual happy hour. This not only allowed me to get some visual reconnaissance done with limited interruption to my fellow diners, but also enabled me to indulge in some delicious Denver dishes.
|Decided to take a break after chugging half of a tart Moscow Mule. |
Not pictured: The Inverted Vesper, because I drank it already.
As we whetted our appetite with some well-balanced libations, we found ourselves practicing self-control on the menu as well. The food is appropriately coined as "American country food with a French twist", which denotes in a humble sense food that would be otherwise accessible to the common patron. And as a welcome contrast, the French 'twist' brings a finer flair to the table (though I would argue, it's more of a French overtone). "One of each" would be the most appropriate way to review this happy hour offering, and as we enjoyed a nice variety of dishes, we still managed to escape without leaving too many pesos behind.
|Lou's Pork Slider - heaping with coleslaw and crisp onions. Who says $1 doesn't get you anything these days?|
|Lump Blue Crabcake with a tangy remoulade; complementary to the mantra, a rather humble appearing dish that packs a punch of flavor. ($3)|
|Gougeres (goo-zhairs) - 5 profiteroles stuffed with a fontina fondue ($3)|
|A French classic- Country pork pate with a smattering of condiments and earthy accompaniments. ($3)|
|Housemade Pork, Garlic, and Fennel (the italian spice kind) Sausage - with white bean ragout. Comfort food central, warm and complex with a depth of classic Italian notes. ($5)|
|A regular menu offering that we couldn't pass up, freshly sliced Beef Carpaccio with an arugula salad and shaved parmesan ($11)|
In terms of takeaways on this one, you're only looking at a sampling of what this comfortable concept has to offer. You'll also find a number of classic entrees, including Organic Fried Chicken or Braised Rabbit. And unlike Mizuna or Luca (the bigger brothers of Bonanno's family), Lou's is an everyday place with a more casual service culture and atmosphere. Salads and sandwiches highlight the menu so you can get a taste of the talent without breaking the bank. And ultimately, we have to find ourselves in a particular harmonious place. After all, the French and Americans finally get along at Lou's Food Bar. Where everyone's happy.
Dish It Up!
Lunch or brunch, and dinner served daily
Happy Hour 3-6 daily
Parking is easy
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Rating: Good (2 dishes out of 4)