Humboldt Farm – Fish – Wine is one of Denver’s newer restaurants and already a favorite in our book. It joins the energetic restaurant scene on 17th Avenue in the former Strings Restaurant’s space and is a worthy successor to the longtime Denver institution.
The spirit of the Strings space is alive at Humboldt. This is good because Humboldt’s happening scene matches Strings at its peak. However, while the bar area has had a bit of a makeover and offers hightop community tables and a fun round booth, the dining room and back room seem largely untouched. This may be a missed opportunity for Humboldt to place its stamp on the space. Fortunately the menu is special enough to allow for a pass on the less-then-inspired dining room. Plan to eat a multi-course meal in order to experience the best of the locally sourced cuisine.
The opening act: Crispy Broccoli and Crispy Brussels Sprouts. You may want a second order of both – they are that good. The broccoli has a light and crunchy cheese coating, while the Brussels sprouts are prepared in more of a flash-fried style with a flavorful sauce. The broccoli is a “House Favorite” menu item, and deservedly so. The Brussels sprouts are a Daily Special. On the day we dined they were prepared with a chili truffle sauce.
Seriously, you may want a second order. Of both. Vegetables.
We added Crispy Fried Oysters with Peppadew Pepper Relish and Old Bay Aioli. All five of them disappeared quickly, down to the shell. Salads followed, a nicely prepared Fork & Knife Caesar and Simple House Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing.
The entrees were top-notch: Bolognese with Braised Crystal River Beef, Mirepoix, Crushed Tomato, and Red Pepper Flake over Rigatoni; and Chermoula Spiced Sushi-Grade Albacore Tuna with Warm Potato Salad and Heirloom Olives.
Two minor complaints: wait staff that could be overwhelmed (although this would mean that in three visits to the restaurant three different wait staff have been equally overwhelmed) so getting their attention is sometimes a challenge, and a restaurant that touts its locally sourced ingredients without offering any Colorado wine by the glass or bottle. There are definitely Colorado wines that are as worthy of being on the locally sourced menu as the Colorado beers and spirits that appear in abundance. Perhaps by the time of our next visit we will see Colorado wines on the menu!
Add Humboldt to your list of restaurants to try, and settle in for an exceptionally yummy meal.
Until our next adventure in wine and food…
Humboldt Farm – Fish – Wine
1700 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80218