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calling all CO hounds: single most cherished dish

So, coming from Boston where posters are VERY active (OK, obsessive)--as in there's a post every couple of minutes on average (that may be a slight exaggeration but I don't think so)--I'm still trying to get a sense of CO's Chowhound community. Thought I'd try to bring you out of the woodwork (or motherboard) by asking a slightly diff. Q than the one I asked before I moved here: what's the one dish, served at which place, that you'd miss most if you left the area?
So far the only dish I've had multiple times and enjoyed thoroughly each time is the amazingly tender chili-fried calamari--a lightly dusted, not heavily breaded version--at Black Pearl, so I guess that would be my temporary default.

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  1. I have moved away, and really miss the "Roll Your Own" Spring Rolls at Thai Heip. I found other places in Denver that served something close, but so far haven't found anything even close in Phoenix (and beleive me, I have looked).

    1. The Cassoulet at Z Cuisine. And I don't normally like duck.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Megiac

        Only one dish from one place? No fair. Although I too am enchanted by the marvelous Cassoulet at Z Cuisine (even in warm weather, so I’m glad it’s a constant on the menu) and there are plenty of dishes elsewhere like the Artichoke Tortelloni at Rioja and the Mango BBQ'd Shrimp Salad with Napa Slaw and Miso Vinaigrette at Q's that give me that perfect zen feeling, I’ve got to say that I would not want to part with the Frico Caldo and Salumi (washed down with Prosecco or Tocai) at Frasca Food and Wine. If I moved away, it’s the one place I would specifically fly back here for. It's impossible to pick an entree from there since their menu is constantly morphing.

        I'll amend this by adding that anyone with a great corn soup on their menu this time of the year is my hero. I see that Rioja has one back on their menu, and Kevin Taylor's places have always had a nice one that made the pages of Bon Appetit back in the day. It was also the first thing I ever had at Frasca back in August of '04 but I haven't seen its return yet this summer.

        1. re: rlm

          Good start, thanks guys! So is it a fairly traditional cassoulet, or lightened up, or...?

          I've had that frico caldo, and it is good. I do think so highly of Frasca already--so I was surprised last week when, at Rioja, I had an app of pork belly that outshone the one I'd had at Frasca a couple months before it (for about half the price). It was handled just beautifully, so crispy/unctuous, set in a light stew of fresh green chickpeas. I'd put that dish on my list except my answers don't "count" yet, since I just moved here and can't speak yet of anything with any confidence w/r/t the regularity of its appearance/consistency etc.

          So look forward to hearing more!

          1. re: tatamagouche

            It's a very traditional cassoulet.

            Also, on my list of favorite dishes are:

            Mac and cheese at Mizuna
            Pork Larb at Chada Thai
            Chocolate pudding at Potager
            Tamal plate at Mezcal (I have a love-hate relationship with this place. I live in the neighborhood and go all the time, but the service is generally awful. These are not the best tamales I've had by any means, but I still order them 9 times out of 10. They are total comfort food to me.)
            Shrimp and grits at Lucille's
            Moules frites at Bistro Vendome (which I think is generally overrated, but the mussels and brunch are great)
            Lola Bowl at Lola (a brunch hash with lobster)
            The seared tuna entree at Vesta (as long as it comes with the wasabi cream)

            1. re: Megiac

              Thanks Megiac...Does Chada Thai serve liquor?

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Yes. Their wine list is pretty weak, but I like my Thai food with a Singha anyway. I am not sure if they serve anything besides beer and wine, but if you want to grab a drink, The Thin Man is just two doors down.

            2. re: tatamagouche

              The Rioja pork belly with the Indian spices is amazing. That’s definitely on my list too. I had that for the first time at the end of last year after walking across downtown in the bitter cold and snow with a friend and there was no dish that could have been more perfect for that point in time.

              Frasca’s original pork belly entrée was superior to the appetizer portion they were last offering. I am anxious to see what they do with it next. If they offer the braised short ribs again this fall/winter, that is a must-try. They are using lobster for the heavenly Fritta now (appetizer), and if you see a fish entrée with vermouth butter, jump on it. I would say skip their chilled tomato soup, except my better half vehemently disagrees with me on that point and has ordered it twice in a row.

              Troy Guard’s mini Won Ton Tuna Tacos have to be on the list somewhere. As far as I know, they’re still available at Zengo and nine75 on Lincoln at dinner, although the new-ish nine75 North location in Westminster does not have them (only the steak and lobster variations) and the original spot took them off the lunch menu.

              The Lobster Roll at Steuben’s rocks. Pretend you’re a Brady and order some deviled eggs too while you’re there.

              For breakfast/brunch, I can’t seem to stop ordering the Long Family ham with poached eggs and hollandaise at The Kitchen (with an accompanying mimosa featuring fresh-squeezed OJ). If you go at breakfast during the week, ask for the home-style potatoes or they’ll give you a boring, healthy salad on the side (and who wants that?…heh heh). Potatoes come with it during weekend brunch.

              I am destined to think of 1,500 more as soon as I post this.

              1. re: rlm

                You might consider looking at 5280's "101 Dining Experiences Every Denverite Must Have" cover story from March 2007. You can order a back issue from their site. They also have a view-only PDF you can buy for $3.99: http://5280magazine.stores.yahoo.net/...

                1. re: rlm

                  Oh, that sounds like a useful piece; thanks!

        2. My dinner tastes change too much, so I think my absolutely favorite dish in CO is the Cajun Breakfast at Lucille's. It might be a comfort food thing with me, but their red beans topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce and served with grits (and a side of pan perdu syrup of course) is outstanding and one of the few foods I crave on a regular basis :)

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. I love all of Sam's #3's breakfast burritos and would cry if they went away. Along with that, the Funky Monkey Baby sushi roll at Banzai is one of my absolute faves as well as the corn chowder at Lola and the minestrone at Pagliacci's. Oh, and the queso at The Loop in Manitou Springs is fantastic and Chicken Tikka Masala at India's AND India Oven are wonderful. Ok, now I need to go out to dinner. ;)