Friday, February 1, 2013
Food Friday Colorado Edition: Euclid Hall
Sometimes one of the joys of traveling is having the locals suggest stuff. And knowing that I'm into food, I love it when locals suggest food! We had no particular plans on where we wanted to eat during our one night in Denver, but after a conversation at local taproom Great Divide Brewing brought up Euclid Hall (I believe the words duck, marrow and pig ears were uttered), I knew I had to go there for dinner. Immediately. Luckily my friends indulged my foodie urges and we made our way there.
The building itself is quiet impressive. The restaurant is two stories and it has the feel of a really hip bar. And that makes sense because the place is also a really hip bar. They have their own version of happy hour called study hall and they have a good selection of beers on tap. It seems like every place in Colorado has a good selection of beers on tap. Thus I was feeling pretty beer'd out by that point and opted for a cocktail instead. I ordered the Violet Hammer which was made with scotch, peach schnapps, lemon juice and blueberries. The best part was the unexpected sage leaf in the drink. I don't believe I've ever had a drink with sage in it but come herb o'clock in my garden all of my goodies will be getting a dash of sage.
There were 5 of us for dinner, and basically Steve and I ordered a bunch of stuff to split, and Emo.Matt, Alice and Fabian ordered a bunch of stuff to split. Plus, we all made sure to try a little bit of everything else. It felt like we ordered everything off of the menu! But this method is a really great way to try a lot of stuff out at a new place.
Steve and I started off the night with fried cheddar curds with a buffalo ranch dip. When growing up in New York, you don't get cheese curds. It wasn't until I went to some random state fair (Hello BIG E) that I was able to try this delicious fried delicacy. Euclid Hall's take on the treat was no exception. The curds were fried crispy to perfection- no extra oil or grease on these babies. And honestly, I'm always a fan of buffalo sauce. Such gooey deliciousness!
The next dish was the steamed mussels in a New Belgium Trippel Ale, garlic and shallots. The mussels were surprisingly sweet (even though I'm sure I had a male and not a female). But the sauce was delicious. I kept using my leftover shell to scoop it up like a soup spoon and shovel it into my mouth. If I wasn't sharing this dish with more people, I would have picked up the cast iron pot and drank it like a toddler.
This pretty plate is Pad Thai Pig Ears. YEP YOU HEARD ME RIGHT! Euclid Hall did away with those pesky noodles and replaced them with strips of fried crispy pig ears. If you are a regular reader, you probably know that I really enjoy pig ears (and most other random pig parts as well). This was the most inventive iteration of swine ears that I've ever had. The sauce was very sweet though, so about half way through I doubted my ability to finish the plate. Which was totally fine because we shared it and the plate was licked clean.
Here is another dish that is not surprising. MORE BONE MARROW. This was served with a sherry gastrique that was divine. I dragged the bone through the sauce and then scooped some marrow on the bread. The sweet onions on top added a nice high note to the dense sherry sauce. And don't worry dear readers, I did pick up the bone with my hands and sucked it clean. I'm in another state and I simply don't care.
One of the things that struck me on the Euclid Hall menu was the variety of poutines that they offer. I have only had real poutine maybe twice in my life, but those experiences were so memorable that I get giddy when I see a restaurant offer the dish. The duck poutine was deliciously foul. (get it?). The gravy was thick and reminded you of having a home cooked meal in a farmhouse. The duck itself was plentiful and the gravy made it stick like mad to the fries.
Steve and I opted for the rather nontraditional beef cheek poutine. It was smothered in tomatillo green chile, cheddar curds, goat cheese and cilantro. The green chile had a strong kick and by the time we got to the bottom of the plate my mouth was on fire. Beef cheek is the most tender sweet piece of meat and it was a perfect marriage with the green chile.
The grand finale was the cashew crusted cobia. Since this was a Matt, Alice and Fabian dish so I didn't get to try the fish itself. What I can speak to was how delicious the the sweet potato and apple puree was. It was almost dessert delicious (I kind of think sweet potatoes are desserts anyway). Also, apparently I was the only fan of the frisee salad so I kind of housed the thing. I have no idea what dressing they put on those curly leaves of joy but it was simply perfect and light. I really HATE overdressed salads. Is hate too strong of a word?
Overall I had a great time at Euclid Hall. If you are ever in Denver and are looking for an entertaining eating experience, I highly recommend it. And a big thanks to Fabian for suggesting this place!