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WIAW: Restaurant Edition

June 1, 2011

I am elated. 

Not only because it’s Wednesday and time for another installment of WIAW, but because you all had the best comments on my last post.  Seriously, my heart was all warm and fuzzy after reading your advice or just hearing that I’m not alone in feeling a little lost/pressured.  I love you all to the moon and back.  <—Do you remember saying that when you were younger?  I know I do.

Oh and about that new job.  I’m only one day in but in the words of little orphan Annie, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”  <—Please say you know what I’m talking about.  The people are super nice and patient and I get unlimited free drinks on the job.  Feel free to guess where it is Smile with tongue out  And no it’s not a bar.

Anyways, let’s get this party started, shall we?

Peas and Crayons

In  lieu of my good mood and as a thank you to my fabulous readers I thought it would be fun to give you a restaurant edition of WIAW, which should really be called “What Didn’t I eat Wednesday,” because I assure you a lot of devouring went down on Sunday. 

Root Down is a locally owned and operated restaurant in Denver that strives to serve food in the “field to fork” manner.  In other words, the food served there is mostly organic, local and natural.  My waiter mentioned that 70% of their menu fits the previous description.  They also grow a lot of their own herbs in a close-by garden.  Cool huh?  The atmosphere is a blend between sophisticated and funky.  An old gymnasium floor and bathrooms decorated with old scales on the walls  are balanced out by crisp white tablecloths and clean and artistic plates of food. 

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I was so glad the Colorado weather decided to behave so we could sit on the patio.  The actual dining room is rather small but it’s the patio you want anyways.  I was comfortable in a skirt and short sleeved shirt.  Hallelujah, it’s finally Summer!

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On Sundays the restaurant offers a 5280 menu, which just means for the flat rate of $52.80 (or $26.40 per person) you can get 3 courses and can usually have a few choices to pick from in the appetizer, entrée and dessert categories.  Denver’s elevation is 5,280 feet above sea level, hence the random price.  Half of our party opted to participate in the 5280.  The regular menu offers a bunch of small plates (tapa/appetizer size) so you can order a bunch and taste a little of everything.  Joey and I decided to order from that menu.

So what’d we get?

“Devils on Horseback” — Date and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews, wrapped in Serrano Ham, Smoked Paprika-Sherry Gastrique

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I know you’re wondering what a peppadew is.  It’s a cross between a tomato and a pepper.  There will be a quiz at the end of this post.

These were great!  A little spicy for me, but I’m also a huge spice baby.  Flavors were spot on.

Seared Colombian Arepas — Mozzarella, Poblano-Pistachio Pesto, Achiote Crema & Pico de Gallo

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Holy cheesy goodness.

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Organic Roasted Red Beet Gnocchi — Big B’s Apple Cider Reduction, Marcona Almonds, Iberico Cheese, Spinach, Organic Blueberries & Micro Rainbow Greens

I don’t know who you are, Big B but thank you for this dish.  Beet gnocchi is officially on my “to make” list.  Although the regular old golden beets may have been even better than the gnocchi.

This plate gets an A+ for visual appeal.

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Maple Leaf Farms Hoisin Duck Confit Slider — House Made Lemon Creme Fraiche, Fried Sweet Potato Garnish, Organic Arugula & Udi’s Challah Bun

I like to think of myself as adventurous when it comes to food, but duck is just out of my realm of comfort.  Joey ordered this one and didn’t like the sliders at all.  In other words, I don’t regret not trying it.  His Dad happily traded him a piece of chicken for a slider so all was not lost.  I guess you just have to be into duck.

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If you’re wondering what a sweet potato garnish looks like, here ya go.

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Veggie Burger Sliders — Tomato Jam, Sprout Salad, Organic Sweet Potato Fries,Udi’s Challah Bun & Curry-Lime Sauce

Veggie burgers and sweet potato fries are way more my thang.

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I wish I knew exactly what was in these burgers.  I could see broccoli and carrot pieces in there and some kind of grain.  Joey said “we’ve made better,” and while I agree that the texture of the burger was a little too much like the bun, I thought the tomato jam and sprout salad were both really delicious and unique. 

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Don’t even get me started on the sweet potato fries.  Loved!

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Also unique was the curry-lime dipping sauce.  It was fluorescent!!

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By the time the sliders came I was pretty full so a good bit of it came home with me.  I’ll know to order less next time!

However, there’s always room for dessert.  Am I the only one with a separate stomach for dessert?  I might be part cow.

Nutella Crepes

Pretty self-explanatory.  This one must have been special because it’s not on the normal menu.  Joey looooved it.

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And the dish I came for…

Udi’s Croissant Bread Pudding — Leopold’s Whiskey-Butter Sauce & Sour Cream Ice Cream

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Gah, so good.  I practically squealed when I saw the words “Udi’s croissant” and “bread pudding” all in the same sentence.

Good, but not this good.

I left one full girl.  The happy kind of full, though and it was oh-so-worth it. 

I had a few criticisms.  The timing was a little weird with the way things came out at different speeds, I’m not sure if that was planned or not, but ultimately I think Root Down has a good thing going and I can’t ignore their food/restaurant philosophy.  Good, local, deliciously creative food in a funky, fun and sophisticated atmosphere.

Verdict: I can’t wait to go back!  Good thing my birthday is coming up.

                                                                       

What was the best thing you ate today?

Oh and what’s a peppadew?  Told you there’d be a quiz Smile with tongue out

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2011 5:50 PM

    Coffee shop? I’ve worked at a few of those- free coffee is the BEST!!
    Those sweet potato fries look deadly.. omg. I want them.

  2. June 1, 2011 6:02 PM

    Mmmm all that food looks so good, especially the desserts and of course the sweet potato fries, yum.

    I ate stuffed peppadews recently. They were only stuffed with chive flavoured soft cheese, yet I found them way too spicy too…I think it’s the peppadews themselves.

    • June 1, 2011 10:01 PM

      It’s definitely the peppadews with the spice! That was my only complaint.

  3. June 1, 2011 6:12 PM

    I was drooling over the SP fries, and then I saw the nutella crepes and my heart stopped. Waaaaaaant some. I was gonna say that the best thing I ate today was the coconut-blueberry oatmeal I had for breakfast, but all your food makes mine pale in comparison, so I’ma hush now :X

  4. June 1, 2011 6:46 PM

    Yummm I’m drooling over here! The veggie burger and fries look amazing! And omg that nutella crepe has my heart 😛

  5. June 1, 2011 8:06 PM

    Beet gnocchi!?! YUM! The best thing I ate today was definitely eggplant parmesan – I love homemade comfort food!

    • June 1, 2011 10:29 PM

      Oooh, I love eggplant parm. Definitely something I need to make more often!

  6. June 1, 2011 8:31 PM

    those gnocchi look crazy!! I’ll admit – I’ve definitely googled pappadew on the blackberry/iPhone in a restaurant before. glad to have a refresher quiz 😉 i thought i was in heaven with those crepes but you’re right – croissant and bread pudding in ONE… AGH!

    -courtney

    • June 1, 2011 10:30 PM

      I don’t know what I did when I saw unfamiliar foods on a menu before the iPhone existed. Asking the waiter is just so hard…

  7. June 1, 2011 8:53 PM

    You must be working at a coffee shop…I hope you’re learning how to make a mean latte! I judge coffee joints on the quality of their soy lattes…I’m oh-so curious which coffee shop you’re working at! I love our local coffee shops in this area. 🙂 Also, the beet gnocchi look heavenly….I’ve never even heard of such a thing, but it sounds divine!

  8. June 2, 2011 1:15 PM

    Girl… what didn’t you eat wednesday!? bahahah loved that remark! and I’m glad you like your new job! Everything looks beyond awesome!!!! ❤ yum!

    • June 2, 2011 6:08 PM

      Wellll, it makes more sense than asking what I *did* eat. If you ask me, at least.

  9. June 2, 2011 1:49 PM

    Kudos on the new job 🙂 Glad that you have found something that makes our heart sing!

    Love the food, I am jealous that I do not live close enough to visit that lovely looking place.

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