Eatin’ in Denver 3

December 18, 2015 at 8:23 PM Leave a comment

What’s the best restaurant in Denver? Why Frasca in Boulder, of course! This may be an old joke where adjoining cities and dining establishments can be interchanged at will, but visit after visit to the Mile-High City, research told us Frasca is the place by which all others are measured. This trip, Jeff was able to finally see what all of the fuss is about. While he really enjoyed this meal and it will stick in his mind as one of the best prix fix experiences, he keeps telling others of his second dinner that trip at Work & Class. In addition, his undying LOVE for Fruition remains.

Get out a map and locate the part of Italy that intersects with Slovenia and jointly meets Austria. Food from this region is the specialty of Frasca. Northern Italian food with Slovenian and Austrian influences. Can you think of a restaurant that has sliced into a more peculiar sector of geography? While it may be difficult to measure the results against a host of others, the new experience is exhilarating and one which a fan of food can only embrace.

The Prix Fix is a seven-course explosion of finesse. While Jeff has arranged and rearranged favorite courses multiple times, he thinks the crown goes to the first appetizer. Deep fried polenta was topped with a very salty prosciutto. Eaten together the balance was flawless. Salty, starchy, crunchy and smooth combined for a perfect mouthful of goodness.

Course Four (Quarto) “Zlikrofl” still battles for first in his memory. Nicely ground chicken and prosciutto was rolled in pasta (ala ravioli) and bathed in a rich broth. This reminded me of classic Chinese dumplings, but with a decidedly Germanic bend. Stunning!

The rest of the courses could be ranked almost in any way possible. Suffice to say, each was excellent in their own right. The Risotto Marinara was a nutty, non-dairy version with seafood bits in a rich tomato base. Venison Tartare featured a blossom of dill and a rich raspberry / horseradish topping. The salad course consisted of julienne fennel, pureed squash and cubes of rutabaga allowing each fresh flavor to blossom. Course six was a rolled guinea hen set upon puréed potatoes and accented with crispy kale. The final course was a perfect Crostoli with pears, hazelnuts and gelato. Just writing these paragraphs makes us want to return!

While Jeff will always remember the meal at Frasca, the price will likely keep large crowds away. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Work & Class. Food here is ridiculously cheap. Actually, it could easily garner $2 or $3 dollars more per dish, it is that good.

The menu is simple (and perhaps the reason for the reasonable prices.) Meats are roasted and sold by ¼ pound increments. The menu offers Pork, Rotisserie Chicken, Beef Brisket, Lamb and even whole Trout. Jeff could not, however pass up the roasted Goat. Goat is hard to find and good goat, even harder. This was great goat. Appetizers all sounded scrumptious and he ordered the Lamb Sausage because he didn’t have the roast lamb. It was perfect with just a bit of pickled onions and course ground mustard on the side. For dessert, butterscotch pudding was a nice ending to a perfect meal.

At his penultimate visit to Denver, Jeff did try a few other places. Colt & Gray served a wonderful Colorado Lamb with Brussel Sprouts and Farro. A pile of coworkers and Jeff went to Tables, far away from the city center and each dish was excellent. The Sweetbread appetizer and Duck entrée was perfect. Both of these places are now on our radar with additional visits to insure they stand up.

So, is Frasca the best restaurant in Denver? No. Frasca is the best restaurant in Boulder. Fruition is the best restaurant in Denver. With a sixty-minute drive between them, we think we are safe and not required to make a decision! Will we go back to both? You bet, as long as we don’t need to pick one over the other!

http://www.frascafoodandwine.com/ 1738 Pearl Street Boulder, CO 80302 303-442-6966

http://workandclassdenver.com/ 2500 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205 303-292-0700

http://www.coltandgray.com/ 1553 Platte Street #120 Denver, CO 80202 303-477-1447

http://tablesonkearney.com/ 2267 Kearney Street Denver, CO 80207 303-388-0299

http://fruitionrestaurant.com/ 1313 E 6th Avenue Denver, CO 80218 303-831-1962

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