Restaurant Review: Brider

Restaurant Review: Brider

March 9, 2016

The newest incarnation from chef Steven Redzikowski (Oak at Fourteenth, Acorn), Brider feels like the chic yet comfortable living room of Denver.

Though sleekly appointed with marble slab backsplashes, retro-industrial lighting and a lounge area stocked with bertoia diamond chairs, the restaurant (pronounced bree-DAY) manages to retain the warmth of home and the welcoming aura of a beloved local hangout with polished wood, chalkboard walls and smiling service. Perky lime accents, relaxed seating areas and a comfortable mix of stand-alone and community seating bring together area residents, power lunchers and hungry hipsters alike for family meal.

With breakfast, lunch and dinner service, as well as a high-end selection of take-out goodies, this casual offering from Redzikowski embraces and exemplifies the current Denver dining scene – casual-leaning and unpretentious, exacting quality and ingredient standards and food prepared with nurturing care and sentimentality.

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Restaurant Review: Sushi Rama

Restaurant Review: Sushi Rama

February 3, 2016

As you walk into Sushi Rama, smack in the epicenter of white-hot and evolving RiNo, petite, clear-domed plates of sushi whiz like flying saucers up and down the length of the central dining counter by “kaiten,” a special food conveyor belt that is the core concept of James Beard semi-finalist and restaurant visionary Jeff Osaka’s latest venture.

Forget waiting for hoverboards – the future is now.

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Torchy’s Tacos Queso Pop-Up, Ink Lounge

Torchy’s Tacos Queso Pop-Up, Ink Lounge

January 29, 2016

Only a Texas transplant truly appreciates the rarity of good queso north of the homeland.

Though many I know judge – and harshly – the quality of a restaurant based solely on the mastery of its salsa offerings, I tend to lean toward queso as a barometer of success instead. To reach the Tex-Mex ideal of a golden, molten, not-entirely-natural bowl of mildly spicy cheesy heaven, viscosity is key. The mixture should be not so thick as to support a standing chip, but not so thin as to drizzle miserably off a wanly-coated one, either. It should be just spicy enough to light a fire in your mouth, but not so much to make you suffer before your inevitably delayed water refill, and I prefer mine to be festooned with some mixture of south of the border goodies – pico de gallo, cilantro, jalapenos and yes, even more cheese in the form of queso fresco or cotija.

Settle in with a toasty bowl of lightly salted tortilla chips (not from a bag, please and thank you), or better yet, a few hot griddled flour tortillas for dipping, and tell me you’ve never eaten your fill before the entree arrives.

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Restaurant Review: Ototo Raw Bar and Robota Grill

Ototo Restaurant Review

October 20, 2015

A welcoming, narrow space warmed by exposed brick and charcoal tinted pendant lights, comfort and ease permeate the latest reincarnation of Ototo alongside subtle whiffs of smoke from the open kitchen. Now featuring grilled dishes and skewers, shared plates, and dont worry, sushi enthusiasts! a raw bar, this prime South Pearl Street corner location offers a more intimate, neighborly ambiance than brother institutions Sushi Den and Izakaya Den.

With a sake pitcher collection cozily adorning the space above the bar and a wall of retractable garage doors, the crisp fall air trickled in and convival chatter spilled out on the leaf-strewn sidewalk the evening of our reservation. A robota restaurant focusing on dishes and skewers slow-grilled over bincho-tan charcoal, Ototo steps away from the sushi that made big brother Sushi Den one of the most long-standing and celebrated institutions in Denver, and opted instead to experiment with shared plates, grilled items, ramen and more.

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