1691 Central Street, Denver, CO 80211

The 11 Best Things We Ate This Year (So Far) in Denver

By Ruth Tobias - Zagat Mon., Jun 30 2014 at 3:27 PM

What an embarrassment of riches 2014 has already yielded. Narrowing down every spectacular thing we’ve sampled in the past six months to just 10 (OK, 11) would have been impossible without some ground rules. One: we limited our boundaries to Denver proper (sorry, Aurum and D’Angelo’s Italian Deli). Two: the dishes had to be new to menus this year — unlike, say, La Calle’s unforgettable tacos de cueritos and East Asia Garden’s tofu and black eggs. Three: they also had to be currently available to you, dear reader. That meant excluding To the Wind’s chicken and dumplings and pretty much anything on Lower48 Kitchen’s exquisite but constantly changing menu, as well as overlooking this tonkotsu ramen (at least until Jeff Osaka’s upcoming noodle shop sets an opening date). Yet after all that, we were still left with a plethora of creations that will drop your jaw and blow your mind.

Lemonade-Cured Foie Gras at Central Bistro & Bar

Why We Love It: The words “foie gras” and “refreshing” rarely appear in the same sentence. But when they do, you can bet the name “Matt Selby” will be there too: as chef at this neighborhood magnet in LoHi, Selby has gone and built an exuberant showcase for everybody’s favorite liver. Exquisitely creamy and tinged with verjus, his torchon is set atop thin disks of custard-battered sourdough French toast, then accompanied by sweet-tart blueberry-rum jam and a zingy salad of mint and fennel whose seared slivers of yet more foie tie everything together. It’s an instant summertime classic, really. 1691 Central St.; 303-477-4582

 

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Central Bistro and Bar expands brunch to Saturdays

By Examiner.com Mon., Jun 30 2014 at 3:23 PM

Denver’s Chef Matt Selby and his brunch-partner-in-crime, Chef Jesse Vega, have long delivered a morning menu that is clever and imaginative. As of recent, brunch lovers can experience Central Bistro and Bar’s food, cocktails, patio, and view of the downtown Denver skyline all weekend long instead of only on Sundays.

It’s easy to find Mexican Chiliaquiles in Denver. But Chef Matty’s remarkable version of Bistro Chilaquiles layer crispy chips with braised pork, salsa roja, and crème, and are only made better as the runny egg yolk is broken spilling down the sides. The Smoked Salmon Flatbread can be split amongst the table as an appetizer, or ordered as a main dish. Crispy, hand-tossed flatbread is topped with whipped cream cheese, red and green onion, tomato vinaigrette, and Everything Bagel seasoning. The spot-on bagel seasoning quickly transplants you to an East Coast bagel shop. (And apparently stems from a who-makes-a-better-bagel-competition in the kitchen!)

Many of the brunch menu items were created by Chef Jesse as he was given some major creative authority. He’s quickly becoming renowned for his specials and supreme palate. Last weekend he was testing a dish called Egg Yolk Carpaccio. Reminiscent of something you would find on a dinner menu, stunningly plated egg yolks were topped with crumbled chorizo, crispy asparagus tips, sliced radishes, diced avocado and heirloom tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, and drizzled with basil mayonnaise. The extraordinary thought was only beaten by the exceptional flavor. This dish is one-of-a-kind and surely a memorable bite.

When asking the server what she recommends, she’ll tell you she consistently mentions Umami Fried Rice to brunch-goers. It’s another brainchild of Chef Jesse. Fried rice is topped with seared scallops, halibut, frothy eggs, carrots, celery, cilantro, and radishes. The hints are unquestionably umami, a little bit salty, and completely flavorsome. The dish was originally a kitchen favorite which was loved so much that it crept its way into the dining room.

As part of a seasonal and changing menu, the summer menu is receiving a slight refinement with Shrimp Tacos replacing the Cuban BBQ Pork Sandwich. Large shrimp are battered and quickly fried and served in a corn tortilla. Standard seafood taco fare – cabbage, cilantro, onion, and avocado – dress-up the tacos which are then drizzled with a slightly spicy chipotle cream sauce and fresh lime juice.

Of course, the patio cocktails are flowing all weekend long. Try the Bloody Mary with 42 Below infused vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix. The Bloody Mary mix is blended each morning by that day’s bartender. They combine tomato juice, whole peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, lemon and lime juices, and two types of Tobasco sauce to taste. The secret is a pinch of whiskey salt and a glass rimmed with chili lime salt. No weekend brunch would be complete without bottomless mimosas. Central Bistro and Bar takes morning mimosas one step further with a Seasonal Mimosa in addition to traditional orange. Seasonal fruity flavors rotate often.

Check out weekend brunch in LoHi at 1691 Central Street. Menus, events, specials, and more info is available online.

 

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Drink What’s New on Denver’s Summer Cocktail Menus

By Carrie Dow Thu., Jun 5 2014 at 1:42 PM

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Summertime and the living is easy.

Patio drinking season is here! With a change in the weather (Hail, hail, go away!) Denver bars and restaurants are rearranging the drink menus for the long warm days of summer. Here is just a small sampling of what will be found in Denver cocktail glasses. It also happens that all of these places have inviting patios to drink on as well. Coincidence? We don’t think so.

Central Smash The Central Smash from the Central Bistro in the Highlands brings the bar’s love of whiskey to a summertime cocktail. The drink features Old Forester Bourbon, Aperol, cherry bitters, tarragon and orange. The cocktail has a fruity sweet taste with the tart finish of smoke and cherry. Enjoy on Central’s patio overlooking the Denver skyline. (1691 Central St.; 303-477-4582)

- See more at: http://denver.thedrinknation.com/articles/read/12930-Drink-Whats-New-on-Denvers-Summer-Cocktail-Menus#sthash.6U8TG8Xy.dpuf

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8 Hottest Restaurants in Denver

By Zagat - Ruth Tobias Thu., Jun 5 2014 at 11:50 AM

With so many major openings just weeks or even days away, Denverites are facing a real feeding frenzy this summer. So we’re updating our Hottest Restaurants list now, before you’ve got more on your plate than you know how to handle. The following spots are all less than eight months old, with two impressive exceptions. If you’ve yet to hit any one of them, better put it at the top of your to-do list, stat.

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Central Bistro & Bar

Why It’s Hot: This modern American go-to in LoHi had plenty of mojo even before beloved veteran chef Matt Selby entered the picture. But his arrival means that the kitchen is operating on a whole new, exuberant level. Must Order: Thanks to weather that has delayed the crop cycle this year, most of the must-try dishes from the spring menu still are available, including this sumptuous seared lamb with fresh chickpeas and Robiola fondue. Don’t pass up the fried chicken oysters, either. Insider Tip: Throughout the season, keep your eyes peeled for the vegetable-based desserts Selby and pastry chef Heather Krussow are rolling out. Meanwhile, you whiskey fans should chat up the bar crew any chance you get (particularly on Wednesdays); they’ve got bottles by the dozens to try.

1691 Central St.; 303-477-4582

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Three’s A Trend: Vegetable Desserts

By Ruth Tobias, Zagat Thu., May 1 2014 at 4:15 PM

 

Mom said you had to eat your vegetables before you could have dessert. She never mentioned you could eat them as dessert. But these days, you can. Here are three spots to dig into the delicious (and maybe even nutritious!) trend in sweets.

1) Central Bistro and Bar. Making good on the promise he made when he released his spring menu, executive chef Matt Selby is working with pastry chef Heather Krussow on a whole series of desserts that feature produce, simultaneously “accentuating its natural sweetness” and highlighting its “aromatic or savory components,” as he puts it. For starters, there’s a terrific fennel cake with citrus-cream cheese frosting and root beer-poached fennel in beet-Luxardo cherry reduction (pictured). Coming soon are avocado-cream-filled “Oreos” on masa-dough cookies fortified with cocoa powder and powdered sugar, then smeared with milk-chocolate cremeaux. And clafouti starring Kalamata olives simmered in simple syrup “to give them that preserved mouthfeel – but not so far that you lose that briny bite.” And morel mushroom-and-white chocolate cake served with porcini ice cream: “Morels are so earthy, dark and rich; when you smell dried morels, there’s almost a dark chocolatiness to them. So I don’t want to mess with that, but rather balance it with lighter white chocolate.” And after that? “I would love nothing more than to receive challenges from guests and servers, like, ‘OK, garlic – go.’ Or, ‘Let’s see you use eggplant,’” Selby says. 1691 Central St.; 303-477-4582

2) Aiko Pops. This happening little cafe on Old South Pearl turns out an array of handmade popsicles in ever-changing flavors that may, at any given time, incorporate corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocado or green chile as well as garden herbs like cilantro and basil. The owners also accept custom orders, should you have a craving for, say, zucchini-cardamom pops. 1284 S. Pearl St.; 303-996-6400

3) Linger and Root Down. As pastry chef at both of Justin Cucci’s lifestyle-conscious LoHi destinations, Samm Sherman makes a concerted effort to integrate seasonal produce into her creations. Just a couple of weeks ago, we featured her carrot-garnished vegan truffle in our roundup of Decadent Chocolate Desserts; she’s also worked with parsnips and sunflowers, and Root Down’s currently pouring a celery agua fresca with strawberries. On August 19, Sherman will even be teaching a course at The Seasoned Chef Cooking School on this very subject; get the details and enroll here. Linger: 2030 West 30th Ave., 
303-993-3120; Root Down: 1600 West 33rd Ave., 
303-993-4200

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