Charcoal Restaurant Week: Food to change your life

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Salmon smoked then seared?  Brussels sprouts to change your life?  Those were but two of the menu items we sampled at Charcoal Restaurant during its bonus Charcoal Restaurant Week. Similar to Denver Restaurant Week, they offered a special prix-fixe menu for $31.00 per person. Their regular menu was also available.

Over a glass of crisp, yeasty Tiamo Prosecco we settled on our dinner selections from the special menu.  The waiter recommended the Brussels sprouts, saying they had “changed his life” as a former Brussels sprouts hater.  I could relate, having experienced my life-changing Brussels sprouts at django’s in Crested Butte three years ago.

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* Swedish Meatballs “KOTTBULLAR” – now on Charcoal’s lunch menu, by mentioning them to the waiter, the chef accommodated our hankering for the traditional dish made famous by Ikea.  However, these were a bit more gourmet, served with lingonberries, mashed potatoes, and house pickles.

* Bacon Wrapped Dates with Humboldt Fog goat cheese and a Concord grape reduction. It was hard to pass up bacon and goat cheese.  Seriously.  This appetizer offered a taste of both, plus dates, the whole dish drizzled with the grape reduction.

* Crispy Brussels Sprouts with duck confit, 147˚ egg, pistachios, and red wine vinaigrette.  The waiter did have a point.  We had already experienced our Brussels sprouts revelation or this dish might have done it.  A powerful burst of flavor and texture.  How could it miss, given its ingredients?!

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It was time to switch to red: Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. This is a light ruby-red wine with good fruit and acidity – very food friendly.

* House Smoked Salmon with gribiche, asparagus, and baby fingerlings. It was smoked, then seared. Amazingly delicious!

* Grilled 6oz Dry Aged Coulotte Steak with organic rainbow chard, ramps, chimichurri, and fries. Meat and potatoes with a twist made for a clean plate.

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We did pass up Salty Crème Brûlée with rosemary cookie, but got a lovely Cheese Platter with local chèvre, honey, and spiced walnut date crisp in return. It was a light and flavorful way to end the meal.

Charcoal will participate in the Denver Restaurant Week in August. Watch the website for more details.

Until our next adventure in wine and food…

Charcoal Restaurant
43 West 9th Avenue
Denver, CO 80204
Neighborhood: Golden Triangle

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