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Sunday, March 04, 2007

denver restaurant week

This last week was Denver Restaurant Week, where more than 150 restaurants in the metro area were offering prix fixe meals for two for $52.80 (5,280 feet is how far above sea level the mile-high city is). Some of these were incredibly swank restaurants like The Palm; others were less swank but still expensive, like Dave & Buster's. We landed somewhere in the middle with The Village Bistro.

We had talked about trying to go to a nice restaurant sometime during the week, but it began to get away from us. Then, I kept reading that all the participating restaurants were booked for the whole week. So on Thursday, I thought if we were going to try it, we ought to do it on a week night -- we wouldn't have a chance at the week end.

So the Husband called up The Village Bistro, a little restaurant we had seen and read about that is quite near us, and lo and behold, they were able to give us a table at six thirty. The restaurant itself is adorable and wee, tucked into a corner of a new shopping center they are building at Zia and 120th where our favorite Caribou Coffee shop is. It has a lovely sort of nouveau loft look about it.

For starters we received a lovely little crab cake floating in a sea of corn bisque with a drizzle of some sort of herb oil and a little pile of fried onions on top. The onions really made the dish, adding a little zing to an otherwise very nice, but very normal crab cake. We were also brought some little sticks of toast, served upright in something reminiscent of the metal stands they serve cones of french fries in at diners like Ruby's, with a lovely roasted red pepper sauce to dip them in. We also got an entire bottle of Shiraz -- and it was a brand I recognized, but now I can't recall the name.

The main course was an OUTSTANDING pork loin drizzled with some sort of lovely cherry vinaigrette and served with mashed sweet potatoes topped with stewed fruit. If there is anything I like in this world it is pork loin with sweet potatoes, and these were done absolutely wonderfully. We savored every single bite. And proceeded to try very valiantly to drink our entire bottle of wine, because...

Dessert was an individual sized chocolate lava cake topped with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, and honey roasted peanuts (a nice touch). The cake itself was lovely and rich, but I didn't really notice much of a "lava" center -- but no matter. I was too busy enjoying the chocolate martini they brought for us to share.

So, all of this -- one appetizer, two dinners, one dessert, a bottle of wine, and a chocolate martini -- for $52.80, as promised. Having glanced at the menu before ordering, I can tell you, it was a pretty good deal. The same meal would have cost at least that much -- without the alcohol.

And speaking of the alcohol? We were quite pleasantly tipsy. Good thing we didn't end up going to some posh restaurant downtown... Much shorter trip home from The Village Bistro.

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