Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Two Denver Gems: Euclid and Rioja

You might have heard the buzz if you watch cooking show competitions.  Chef Jenna's growing her an audience of adoring fans on interwebs and in real life.  Her restaurant, Euclid, located in the Larmier area of downtown Denver is a still very young two years old.  I visited it when it had just opened, and I visited again during the Great American Beer Festival in 2013. 

I was pretty lucky on this trip to Denver to be able to visit not one, but two of Chef Jenna's dishes.  Here's a photo sampling of the dishes we had.  Needless to say, her 2013 James Beard Award is well-deserved!

This was the pig ear pad thai.  The fried pig ears were perfectly fried and crunchy on the inside with the sweet and tangy sauce on the outside.  This was a great twist of familiar flavors with a new piggy texture. 

For all the chocolate lovers, this dessert is for you.  It is a pots de crème smores - thick bottom layer of chocolate, layer of smoky marshmallow toping, and graham cracker on the side.  It is a rather large serving, easily shared.  Or better ask for a bunch of spoons and make some friends. 

For lunch the last day in Denver, we visited Rioja - a casual yet elegant restaurant.  Also, by elegant, I mean dimly lit.  However, here are some photos that I could snap.  The one above was the luscious cheese and meat plate. 

Needless to say, we didn't skimp on the desserts.  The first dessert was the black and white cheesecake dessert -
blackberry filled white chocolate cheesecake, toasted black sesame ice cream, blackberry coulis, sesame nougatine, and black sesame paint.
The second dessert here is the raspberry spuma, white chocolate brushed frozen raspberry meringue, lemon pound cake, lemon confit, spun sugar, and raspberry dust.  This is close to the most elegant and delicate desserts ever.  The meringue and white chocolate shell was incredibly delicate and just the right amount of tart and sweet.  The spun sugar on top completed the beautiful dish. 
On a cold Winter evening, this would be the perfect dessert.  Lavender roasted pineapple filled croissant pastry, hot buttered rum caramel, and dulce de leche ice cream.  This dessert was topped high like a tower of glorious deliciousness.  I haven't had a cronut before, but this is probably better anyways.

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