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Tapas- small plates- DENVER- Help!!

e_bone May 23, 2008 11:35 AM

Denver Hounds,

I'm late figuring this out but I want to take the much-better-half out for small plates / tapas tonight. We've tried and loved 9th Door. We tried and loved Something Else before it was killed dead.

What else is out there? Is Fruition small-platage or is it big-platage? Any other spanish spots?

TTMG, Claire, Long-E... you reading today?

  1. c
    calibretto Jun 6, 2008 04:37 PM

    I'm surprised that after all the replies, that no one mentioned Izakaya Den on Pearl St. It's across the street from Sushi Den. Being Chinese myself, I'm not a big fan of Asian fusion cuisine. That changed after my first visit there few months ago, I was brainwashed by the beautiful decor, presentation, and the flavors of all those dishes. The one lesson I did learn though, and I'm sure it goes for all tapa restaurant, is not to go when you're very hungry, that sucker of a bill really stacks up, fast!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: calibretto
      tatamagouche Jun 6, 2008 05:36 PM

      I do like Izakaya Den, although I don't adore it. Despite more hits than misses, there've been just enough of the latter to give me pause. Also hate the crowds, just as I do at Sushi Den. It's a little less nuts on a weeknight.

      But I agree that the space sure is gorgeous, and those dishes I do like I *really* like, as in regularly crave.

    2. c
      ClaireWalter Jun 4, 2008 07:30 AM

      b.sides is a new small-plates place in Boulder -- 13th St between Pearl and Spruce in the old Trilogy space. Haven't been there yet, so this is informational but not a personal recommendation.

      1. h
        Heyteacher May 26, 2008 12:42 PM

        Don't you love THe 9th Door? It's one of my favorite restaurants in Denver for sure. Nine75 has small plate options but in comfort food. They are FABULOUS - just went back again on Saturday night and it was heavenly. We had the lobster tacos, BBQ pork sliders and the goat cheese ravioli...yumyumyum.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Heyteacher
          e_bone May 27, 2008 11:35 AM

          To all- thanks for the advice and direction. Several good ideas and I'm ashamed to admit I used none of them! Logistical issues abounded and we had to cancel our reservation at B&W. When we discussed where to turn (we live south Denver) we decided that what we really wanted was something close to home and that limited our choices. We batted around a few ideas (Barra, Chianti, etc..) but once I brought up oysters we couldn't get past the idea since we hadn't had any in months. We ended up at McCormick and Shmick's (sp?) and had a good to very good meal. Seated right away, solid service, snappy cocktails (Plymouth Martini was stout and refreshing)

          Sampler platter of oysters (2 each of 6 varieties from North Atlantic, Mid Atlantic and Pacific NW all very good and "moistly fresh"). I'm a simple lemon and tabasco guy w/ oysters but i have to say the mignonette here was the best I've ever had. Maybe not as peppery as usual but it tasted like they used high-dollar vinegar and the shallots were supple and flavorful.

          I had 3 plump Sea Scallps pan seared (does anyone do them any other way anymore?) each served on top of a potato cake shaped to match the scallop. In between was a layer of cilantro pesto. Fried potato shreds placed vertically between the scallop trio made a nice presentation. Very good stuff.

          The wife had marinated black cod (sablefish) on a bed of soba noodles "a la nage" with bruinoise vegetables and a miso sauce drizzled tableside. It was a light and delicious preparation.

          Very nice night although we still have a yearning for some small plates to satisfy!!

          1. re: e_bone
            tatamagouche May 27, 2008 04:57 PM

            As seafood chains go, I actually rather like Oceanaire...pretty darn good oyster selection.

            1. re: tatamagouche
              e_bone May 28, 2008 12:21 PM

              very much agree. I'd like to go to Jax and then to Oceanaire one night and see who comes out on top. I like both places for oysters about the same. Oceanaire is obviously more of a destination spot.

              1. re: e_bone
                tatamagouche May 29, 2008 05:53 AM

                Turned out I was at Cruise Room last night, so we ended up having some oysters from M&S ourselves. I'd never had Hama Hamas before. (Having been out east for so long, it has been a joy to get to know my Pacific oysters.) Wacky! The shells were like 5 inches long.

                1. re: tatamagouche
                  e_bone May 30, 2008 07:23 AM

                  One of my principles when dining is that I simply will NOT share my oysters. I'm okay knowing I'm only getting 6 but if I'm getting 12 I'm not okay just having 10 and giving you 2. People will say "do you want to split some appetizers?" Sure.. but not oysters. Get your own.

                  Hama Hama .. <sigh> ... that's almost dirty talk. You're making my appetite soar again. I just love love LOVE those cold water pacific oysters... A plate of 12 of those "gigas", 12 kumamotos and 12 cold eastern oysters from PEI or Newfoundland or Maine and I'm in straight up heaven. If I had 36 I might even share. I have an oyster spot secret I'll post to your blog (I don't want it avail for public consumption)

                  1. re: e_bone
                    tatamagouche May 30, 2008 11:16 AM

                    Hey, awesome! I'd love it, thanks!

        2. c
          ClaireWalter May 26, 2008 06:47 AM

          e_bone - If you can make it all the way to Boulder, the Mediterranean ("the Med") on Walnut Street made its rep on its tapas selection.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ClaireWalter
            l
            lotuseedpaste May 26, 2008 09:53 AM

            I have to confess that I have been completely underwhelmed by the Med, especially their tapas. I've been there several times, and while the prices are low (for the tapas, at least), the food was very meh. The artichoke hearts and calamari were nearly flavorless and overly greasy, various cheeses were not very impressive, and I can't remember what else I had. Maybe I've been ordering the wrong things? Are there particular tapas that they do really well?

            1. re: lotuseedpaste
              c
              ClaireWalter May 27, 2008 12:13 PM

              Lotusseedpaste - Always enjoyed the Med's eastern Mediterranean (i.e., Middle Eastern) offerings fr the tapas menu: falafel, tahini, tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanouj, etc. Also, roasted, almonds, olives, bacon-wrapped dates, sauteed mushrooms and other REALLY small plates. Will stay away fr artichoke heats and calamari. Thnx for the warning.

          2. tatamagouche May 25, 2008 06:42 AM

            Where'd you end up?

            BTW, I've asked about other Spanish restos too and there doesn't seem to be much.

            1. v
              vanillagrrl May 23, 2008 11:49 AM

              From Jason Sheehan's Bite Me column, in this week's Denver Westword:

              Leftovers: Two big small-plate openings on Broadway last week. Beatrice & Woodsley, a concept restaurant — small plates with a turn-of-the-last-century flavor — brought to us by the folks behind Two-Fisted Mario's and Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto, opened at 38 South Broadway, although it will be reservation-only for the first few weeks. And within spitting distance, at 32 South Broadway, chef Dylan Moore opened Delite, a bar/lounge right next to Deluxe, his small-but-killer California-inspired restaurant at 30 South Broadway. Deluxe has been one of the few places in town to pull off the small-plate/grazing approach to dining, and Delite will have its own small-plates menu.

              5 Replies
              1. re: vanillagrrl
                tatamagouche May 23, 2008 11:53 AM

                delite's menu is much like Deluxe's; I'd just as soon go to the latter and get the full experience.
                B&W is stunning, truly. Make reserv. and go now before word gets too far around. I already fear what a scene it's going to be.
                I've got recent posts on both places; blog address in my profile.

                1. re: tatamagouche
                  eatdtown May 24, 2008 06:44 AM

                  I was lucky and got to go to many of the pre-opening dinners and lunches at Beatrice & Woodsley. It is truley the best looking restaurant in Denver. The guys that brought us Two fisted Marios and Double daugters are great for their vision and "theme". The food at Beatrice & Woodsley is all over the place and there is something for everyone. But be prepared to think out side of the box with ingrediants and usage. The drinks are big and strong and the wine list is extensive. This is yet another independent restaurant that needs the support or all people especialy the "foodie" community to stay alive and thrive like it should. GO NOW!!!

                2. re: vanillagrrl
                  Megiac May 25, 2008 04:58 PM

                  What exactly is a turn of the last century flair? Like late 1990s cooking?

                  For other small plate options, Cafe Star, which has a fairly extensive small plate menu, and Parallel 17 are other options.

                  And like the OP, as much as I love Fruition, I still really miss Something Else.

                  1. re: Megiac
                    tatamagouche May 25, 2008 05:07 PM

                    Ha, no, I think the Westword meant late 19th century flair. What was Something Else?

                    1. re: tatamagouche
                      c
                      ClaireWalter May 26, 2008 06:45 AM

                      Tatamoguche - Once upon a time, a talented chef named Sean Kelly owned Aubergine in Denver. After he and his wife had twins, who were growing up while he was in the kitchen, he'd had enough of a running a restaurant that I believe served lunch and dinner six days a week.

                      He closed it, took a year off to contemplate the next step before opening Clair de Lune. It was a precious, boutique-y restaurant that served dinner only. He himself was back in the kitchen, churning out magical meals. But the business model didn't really work. It was a small, special-occasion restaurant, busy on weekends but not on too many Denverites' weeknight list. AND, Clair de Lune didn't take credit cards, which some say was a major tactical mistake.

                      Kelly then closed Clair de Lune, took over the space of a bakery nextdoor and opened a larger place called Somethin' Else, specializing in small plates. It seems to become popular and had quite a following, but Kelly was ready for more "normal" hours. After he closed it, he took a job w/ a resaurant corporation. See http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com... for the last I knew.

                      The space that had been Clair de Lune and then Somethin' Else is now Fruition.

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