Ace Eat Serve, a relative newcomer to the vibrant 17th Avenue restaurant scene, offers Asian-inspired cuisine in a recycled garage complete with exposed wooden beams and a ping-pong hall. Arrive during happy hour to take advantage of the $1.00 Dim Sum and get a seat at one of the dinner tables with a front-row view of the dynamic Uptown neighborhood.
The friendly staff drops off plates for sharing and the parade of flavors begins to arrive. Food friendly Pinot Noir is a good choice from the wine list; the current feature is LaRoche Pinot Noir from France.
In the spirit of sister restaurant Vesta Dipping Grill, the sauces are superb. The staff invited us to adjust the crunchy-sweet and savory-umami sauces on the table to our liking by adding soy and sriracha sauces.
Armed with our interactive sauces, we opted for Dim Sum:
* Chicken Dumplings with Sesame, Chili Sauce and Chives. Tasty little morsels that disappeared quickly in two bites each.
* Shrimp Dumplings with Ponzu Sauce and Chives. Similar to the Chicken Dumplings, these were tidy packages of well-seasoned flavor, with the elements coming together in a yummy whole.
* Pork and Chive Shumai with Ginger, Napa Cabbage, Chives, and Black Bean Sauce. There was a dose of umami in this savory, open-faced dumpling. You may be tempted to order more, but then the next courses arrive.
Crispy Beef with Soy, Ginger, Honey, and Thai Chiles. This was an unusual dish, thin beef strips fried to a gentle crisp in a savory-sweet coating with a hint of bitter orange.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Shishito Peppers, Togarashi, Sesame Seeds, and Lime Mayo. Add this to your Brussels Sprouts Tour of Denver. This dish offered up umami in a bowl, with nicely textured sprouts and dense flavors. Plus, lime mayo! This unusual aioli was for dipping, and added the option of creaminess to the mix.
Kale Salad with Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms, Cucumber, Asian Pear, Crispy Shallots, and Tamari Cilantro Vinaigrette. If there is a Brussels Sprouts Tour of Denver, there could also be a Kale Salad Tour of Denver. This mountain of dense greens was a nice selection for the kale crowd, offering a mix of sweet and savory and plenty of crunch.
Mongolian Beef with Green Onions, White Onions, Fried Thai Bird Chilies, Cilantro, and Jasmine Rice. The flavors in this dish were hard to beat. More umami: savory, rich, and delicious. One of the highlights of the night.
Vegetable Fried Rice with a 63o Poached Egg. This is a healthy take on fried rice, made with brown rice and lots of vegetables.
Yes, we had leftovers.
Until our next adventure in wine and food…
Ace Eat Serve
501 East 17th Avenue at Pennsylvania
Denver, Colorado 80203