beast+bottle: Wholly good food and wine

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It can be a nail-biter when fans of one beloved but now departed restaurant await the opening of a new restaurant in that location. Such was the case with beast+bottle, the new tenant in the 17th Avenue space of the former Olivéa. Fans can rest easy, knowing beast+bottle is a new Uptown favorite.

beast+bottle is a whole-animal restaurant that offers the cut of the day prepared with layers of texture and flavor. The current menu includes lamb, duck, pork, squab, and monkfish, as well as wheat berry risotto. Small plates include everything from oysters, charcuterie, and mussels, to grilled octopus confit, veal tongue, and Brillat-Savarin. Navigating the list of mainly European wines may require guidance from the sommelier. Always happy to see a Colorado wine on the menu, in this case Infinite Monkey Theorem, The Blind Watchmaker.

A good way to sample the creative cuisine is to share two small plates and two entrées. Our picks:

* Bangs Island Mussels with Celery Root Milk Celery Leaf, Shallots, and Walnut Oil
* Cauliflower Soufflé with Brown Butter Hollandaise, Chervil, and Pear
* Porcini-Crusted Lamb with Leek Puree, Gold Potato, Red Beet Tartare, and a Quail Egg
* Roasted Squab with Confit, Foie Gras, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Kabocha Squash, and Kumquat
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We selected a bold red blend from Portugal, Ciconia Alentejo 2011. Tasting the wine had the sensation of red berries popping in the mouth. It was round and juicy, and possessed subtle notes of toasted oak. It was a little strong for both small plates, but paired beautifully with both entrées. Highlights were a mouthful of lamb and red beet tartare, followed by a little wine, and a mouthful of foie gras, kabocha squash, and kumquat, again followed by a little wine. Divine!

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Dessert presented many tempting options, including Chocolate Dacquoise, Sweet Potato Dumplings, Brown Butter-Chestnut Cheesecake, Brillat-Savarin Cheesecake. Fortunately there was another choice: Petit Three, or a trio of mini-desserts. We selected a Chocolate Truffle, Blood Orange Ice Cream, and Almond Cake with Rose Water Icing. Yum!

We have been fans of owners Paul and Aileen Reilly’s first act, Encore. What a treat to discover the second act is even better than their first.

Until our next adventure in wine and food…

beast+bottle
719 East 17th Avenue, between Clarkson and Washington
Denver, CO 80203

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