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colestove

Denver Restaurant Week

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The website for Denver Restaurant Week with the rests. and most of the menus is up.

www.denverrestaurantweek.com is the site for the week this year which is Sat Feb 24 to Fri Mar 2.

The prices are the same as last year, $52.80 for two and $ 26.40 for one.

There is a pretty good selection of places, and many of the menus looked pretty good for this sort of event, where they are going to have a lot of people order the same thing in a short period of time.

If it is like last year the weekend times will fill up soon at popular places.

colestove

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Is this something worth doing instead of just finding the good little spots, both upscale and hole-in-the-wall?

Anyone participated before that would do so again....?

Thanks!

Andrea

in Albuquerque


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I've done it a couple of times (once by accident when we just happened to drop in to Jax and once on purpose to go to Zenga) and I think it's a pretty neat idea. The best draw, IMHO, is that you can try a restaurant that might otherwise be out of your price range (or try it out before making a big dollar commitment). It's like a sampler menu--you get to get a sense of the food at a place since most of the menus include several courses.

When we went to Zenga (which is an okay, if slightly over-hyped, place), we went with two other couples who don't eat out much and would have balked at the regular menu prices there, so it worked out well. It was silly at Jax b/c I don't really like their food and would rather have spent $26 on oysters, but check out the menus first and make your decision from there.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Last year, I actually dined at Mizuna and Solera. Both of which were good dining experiences. Flavors, portions, and service were just superb. It's a great chance to go out and support the local independent restaurants during the slowest time of the year. It's also a great chance for you to see what these restaurants are about without having to risk a high dollar bill. This time I just hope I'll go to more restaurants.


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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We went to Red Square Euro Bistro Saturday, first night of Restaurant Week. I admit I chose it partially because I'd heard of it before, and partially because of the menu posted on the restaurant week site.

I thought the meal was superb, and a bargain at the $52.80 for two price. I had the scallops, duck, and chocolate mousse, and my husband had the potato leek soup, the steak, and the berry salad. We both liked every single thing, every dish was so full of flavor - and that's really something rare.

I guess the promo worked, because we do plan to return sometime (the regular menu looked great, too).

Thanks for the early heads up so we could get reservations!

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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My wife and I and another couple went to Del Friscos last night for the rest. week menu .

Three of us had the 6 oz. filet and one had the mahi mahi. Filet is not IMHO the best steak to judge how good the steaks are in a place, but the steak I had was very good indeed. A friend of mine who sells for a broad line distributor had reccomended the creamed spinach on the regular menu and it was outstanding.

I could not see or taste any shortcuts or skimping in anything. The service was excellent and the meal was well paced.

As is true in all high end steakhouses everything not on the prix fixe menu was expensive. (6 oz Coca Cola $2.25 !!!)

It was the first time I have ever been to Del Friscos and my wife and I want to go back when our retired incom will allow a special occasion visit.

colestove

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So far this year I've gone to two places: Via and Rioja.

We went to Via the second? night (Satuday) with a group of 12--big mistake! We had a 7:00 reservation, but weren't seated until nearly 8:00. In the meantime, we ran up a sizable tab in the bar (new bartender--didn't even know the short list of cocktails on their menu, also didn't bring us water despite repeated requests--one of those times when you want to reach over the bar, grab the dispenser, and remedy the problem yourself). Once we were finally seated, things did NOT improve. It took them at least 30 minutes to take our order and bring us bread. They were out of the wine we wanted and initially balked at giving us our second choice at the same price (they did finally relent). Our "spinach with gorgonzola, bacon, and dates" salads were nothing more than a raggedy handful of spinach (it looked like they'd rushed out to SafeWay and grabbed every bag of baby spinach they could find) slapped on a plate with nary a date, sliver of bacon, chunk of cheese, or lick of dressing in sight. After flagging down the waiter, they replaced them with equally disappointing "caesars" Entrees were bland and when we finally managed to order dessert, they were out, so half our table didn't get any. On the plus side, they knocked 30% off our bill when we complained. All-in-all, it was a truly bad dining experience. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they're a young restaraunt and they clearly weren't prepared for the influx of people from Rest. Week.

Last night (Tuesday), I went to Rioja and it was 180 degrees from the experience at Via. We arrived a few minutes prior to our reservation and our table wasn't ready (no biggie), so we sat at the bar and had a glass of wine. Once seated, they explained the menu (they offered the full menu for the fixed price, with a small premium on some of the more expensive dishes) and someone arrived with a glorious basket of mixed breads (the goat cheese biscuits are to die for). I had the pork belly :wub: , which has got to be one of the top five things I have EVER eaten, followed with the seared duck breast with truffle rissotto (which our server described as "far and away the best thing on our menu" and I'd be inclined to agree if it wasn't for the pork belly)--marvelous!!!! And dessert was goat cheese beignets with port wine reduction--divine. I'm still drooling... The service was excellent throughout the night (we never had to search for a waiter even though the place was definitely hopping) and all-in-all, we truly enjoyed ourselves.

It must be hard for restaraunts during 52.80 week since they get so many more, and more inexperienced, diners than usual, but the two places I tried this year definitely displayed the spectrum of responses--either treat it like a chore and end up panicking when you can't handle the pressure, or treat it like an opportunity to expose more people to your art and end up creating devotees who will sing your praises to anyone and everyone...

I'm off to Duo tomorrow night--I'll let you know how it goes. :biggrin:


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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So, last night was Duo in the Highlands... Very, very good. The food wasn't quite up to the level of Rioja, but for $50pp (including 4 glasses and 1 bottle of wine) for the four of us, really, really lovely.

I started out with the green olive tapenade with grilled bread, which was quite tasty (why, oh why, do I always forget about grilling bread, which gives it that lovely, salty char? Dumb, dumb, dumb!), followed by the braised pork on celery root puree. Again, very good--nice and tender, lots of flavor, yummy, yummy, yummy. One dinner companion had the salmon on green lentils, which I got to taste, and I think it was better than the pork. Best of all were the gnocchi with mushroom ragu (and white truffle oil)--much as I liked my pork, I wish I'd ordered that pillowy, earthy goodness. :rolleyes: I had the best dessert of the three on offer, though--frozen pistachio nougat. Lovely texture with the creamy frozen "nougat" and chewy, slightly salty, chunks of pistachio (and possibly caramel?) throughout. Nice presentation too--with a crispy tulle wrapped around it (obviously at the last minute, since it was still crispy). I must say, though, that that creme fraiche ice cream that accompanied the chocoloate dessert was exceptional--I'll take a gallon to go, please.

The best part of the night, though, was the service. They had lost our reservation (not a good thing in the middle of a very busy restaraunt week) and weren't sure they were going to be able to seat us, but as we were driving there, the manager called us to say that, indeed, they had found a table and that he'd beaten off at least 10 other parties to keep it for us. We were seated prompty and graciously (and the restaraunt was definitely busy). Our server was friendly and, best of all, knowledgable--when we were ordering wine, she prompty pointed out the top 5 reds (running the spectrum of pricing) they offered, then just as promptly picked one of them when we told her our preferences. Not earthshattering stuff, maybe, but all too often, when there is no somalier, the waitstaff can be painfully unhelfpul with the wine list. Even though the restaraunt was busy, we were never unattended and our water and wine glasses were refilled with pleasant continuity (by which I mean, they weren't rushing us through, but made us feel like they really wanted us to enjoy ourselves). The pace of the courses wasn't rushed (always a danger when you order the full meal at once) and we were allowed to thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

All in all, a great experience and I will happily go back once restaraunt week is over.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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someone arrived with a glorious basket of mixed breads (the goat cheese biscuits are to die for).  I had the pork belly  :wub: , which has got to be one of the top five things I have EVER eaten, followed

I probably should find one of the Rioja threads to post this in, but it's the above quote that tipped the scales in favor of Rioja for my birthday dinner last night. We'd missed it during restaurant week, and looking over menus it's the pork belly that caught my eye - I've read about its wonders on this site and had never had it.

BekkiM is right....the fresh bacon has got to be the best thing I've eaten this year. Oh, my, it was GOOD. Not that the rest of the meal had any issues...but oh my god the pork belly.

I want to go back there for more soon.

Thanks for the review!

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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It looks like the Restaurant Week page is updated with this year's list of restaurants, but the links to the menus are not yet working.

I went ahead and made a reservation at the one restaurant I wanted to try most last year but couldn't get into - I don't care what they're serving, I'm sure it'll be good, I want to go, and they were already booked at my requested time on the day I wanted to go (but I got a reservation an hour later, so I'm pleased).

The link is the same as last year: http://www.denver.org/denverrestaurant/Restaurants.asp

Prices are also the same according to the web site: $52.80 for two or $26.40 for one (not including tax and tip).

(I hope it's ok to just bump and use last year's topic!)

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I went ahead and made a reservation at the one restaurant I wanted to try most last year but couldn't get into - I don't care what they're serving, I'm sure it'll be good, I want to go, and they were already booked at my requested time on the day I wanted to go (but I got a reservation an hour later, so I'm pleased).

That's a heck of a cliffhanger. :wink: Which restaurant are you going to?

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I went ahead and made a reservation at the one restaurant I wanted to try most last year but couldn't get into - I don't care what they're serving, I'm sure it'll be good, I want to go, and they were already booked at my requested time on the day I wanted to go (but I got a reservation an hour later, so I'm pleased).

That's a heck of a cliffhanger. :wink: Which restaurant are you going to?

The Denver Restaurant Week website should be live by the middle of next week with menus from the 175 participating restaurants. Some of the restaurants even throw in wine with the two multi-course dinners for $52.80. This is a great opportunity to try out a new restaurant with little risk or return to an old favorite. The hot spots will fill up quickly so make your reservations soon.

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I went ahead and made a reservation at the one restaurant I wanted to try most last year but couldn't get into - I don't care what they're serving, I'm sure it'll be good, I want to go, and they were already booked at my requested time on the day I wanted to go (but I got a reservation an hour later, so I'm pleased).

That's a heck of a cliffhanger. :wink: Which restaurant are you going to?

Whoops, sorry, no cliffs intended! I wanted to go to Restaurant Kevin Taylor after seeing their Restaurant Week menu last year, but they had something like only Tuesday at 9pm open when I finally got around to making reservations. So I promised myself as soon as I knew when it was this year, I'd get a reservation. I've wanted to eat there for awhile, and it just didn't happen with the chaos of this past year.

I'd be going to Rioja, but my birthday is less than a week after Restaurant Week ends, and I'm going there for my birthday already :biggrin: . I'd rather try somewhere new (and after the menus are posted, we're going to do our best to stretch the budget and try somewhere else too based on what sounds good.

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Most of the menus are up, and most of the typos that gave errors are fixed :biggrin:

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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We ate at Restaurant Kevin Taylor in the Hotel Teatro tonight. I had a moment to chat with the folks at the door, and they said they were pretty much sold out about the time they started the table layouts (I think that's the word he used....). So I guess I was really lucky to get a reservation!

We started with an amuse of some pumpkin creme, a slice of halibut mousse, a salsa of pineapple, poppy seeds, and tomato (I think it was tomato), and some microherbs. Very tasty.

We were served bread: a salted rosemary roll and a poppyseed something roll. They were tasty but surprisingly they were somewhat dried out/stale.

My first course was the bacon, lettuce, and tomato bisque. They bring out a soup plate with a pile of butter braised argula in the center, topped with a slice of smoked pork belly, and a crouton on top. The soup is in a silver pitcher and they pour it all around. A lovely presentation and an incredible taste - the soup tastes like pure essence of roasted tomatoes. If Campbell's tomato soup tasted like this I wouldn't hate it so much.

For the main, I had the salmon with ricotta potato puree, creamed asparagus, and tarragon foam. The salmon was cooked perfectly - and I do mean cooked, it wasn't left half raw in the center as a safety measure like many other restaurants. The ricotta potatoes were like eating heavy cream, so good. But I thought the tarragon foam was too strongly flavored for the salmon - when I had a bite of both, all I could taste was essence of licorice, the salmon was pretty much lost. So I avoided the tarragon foam and enjoyed the salmon.

Dessert was a deconstructed German chocolate cake: an almost flourless brownie with a caramel/coconut/pecan sauce on the side and a scoop of coconut sherbet on top. The sherbet didn't taste too much like coconut to me, but the brownie was delicious.

Two housemade chocolates ended the meal: my husband had the hazelnut one and said it was good, I had the solid chocolate pyramid with pecans in it because more chocolate is always better.

Service was generally attentive and smooth, with a few puzzling glitches. We didn't order any alcohol because my husband was getting over a cold and I'd had some stomach upset earlier in the day, and I wonder if that painted us as Cheapskates because we were not offered any other drinks throughout the meal, not even coffee with dessert. I decided not to press the issue because we'd had an unexpectedly long day and were pretty tired by then (which is why coffee would have tasted good).

At the end of the meal we were given certificates for dining at two other Kevin Taylor restaurants - Kevin Taylor at the Opera House and Prime - where, with presentation of the certificate after March 1, we'll have the opportunity to order from a special menu priced at $52.80 for two. I dare say we'll be taking them up on it because even with the bobbles, I consider this meal one of the greatest bargains I've had to date.

(And we had free passes for light rail, making the night even a bigger bargain!)

I don't have any other reservations for Restaurant Week, but depending on how things go, we may try to dine at another participating restaurant. I'd love to hear about others' experiences if you're going to any of them!

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Thanks for posting the list. I'm of two minds about Restaurant Week... On the one hand, for a relatively low investment, I get to try a place that I've never been to. On the other hand, I've been to a couple of places that were so completely overwhelmed by the volume of diners that they performed incredibly poorly and I never went back (as the experience left, ahem, a bad taste in my mouth). What to do, what to do... :unsure:


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Thanks for posting the list.  I'm of two minds about Restaurant Week...  On the one hand, for a relatively low investment, I get to try a place that I've never been to.  On the other hand, I've been to a couple of places that were so completely overwhelmed by the volume of diners that they performed incredibly poorly and I never went back (as the experience left, ahem, a bad taste in my mouth).  What to do, what to do...  :unsure:

I've wanted to try Mizuna for a long time, but at their price point, I really want the lower risk trial. So I grabbed a reservation for Friday night - Saturday was already almost completely booked. We're waiting for menus to be posted to decide if we can swing another restaurant sometime that week.

I know it's a risk for places that bite off more than they can chew, but this is the kind of adventure I like. Worse comes to worse, I can always grab a burrito at Chipotle if they fail utterly.

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I think you have the right strategy... Choose an established restaurant that doesn't have to cope with the double challenge of a huge influx of diners and half-trained staff. Where we've had the worst problems has been at new places that weren't ready for prime time even with a "normal" night's worth of diners. I'm sure Mizuna will be fabulous--don't forget to post your review! (I ate there years ago and have just remembered that we need to do it again. :biggrin: Thanks!)


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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The menus are posted on the site above. I may cancel my reservation because the menu does not thrill me. And make a new one somewhere else :)

Marcia.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Many of the restaurants are extending their Denver Restaurant Week menus for another week, through March 6. It may be a little late to get a reservation for tomorrow (Saturday night), but it does provide another week of some great bargains (and has royally fouled up my birthday dinner plans, but that's a rant for another space).

We went to Mizuna tonight (one of the restaurants not extending their specials) and had a lovely meal. The bacon emulsion served with the roast pork tenderloin and wild mushrooms was simply outstanding - I had to eat the whole dish slowly to enjoy all the flavors. And I can't complain one bit about the Chocolate Brownie Bread pudding with walnut ice cream - not only was it a chocolate bread pudding, one of my favorites, but Chef Frank Bonnano himself brought them to our table. It was a terrific dinner and a true bargain at $52.80 for two.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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