5280 Restaurant Week just came to an end. Sigh. Sad face. Rofc (rolling on the floor crying, duh). But, seriously, I've always enjoyed this time of year. Restaurant Week gives you something to look forward to during that time when all of the holidays have come and gone, and it is still too cold out to know what to do with yourself.
For those who aren't from Denver, or who are from Denver and have never heard of 5280 Week (shame on you!), it is a glorious time when the finest restaurants in the metro area introduce a menu with anywhere from 3 to 5 courses for only $52.80 per couple. If you're like me, and aren't exposed to a regular diet of filet mignon and fine dining, this is awesome. (5280 = the elevation of Denver = 5280ft/mi = Mile High City, etc etc etc.)
In recent years, this event has gained a lot of exposure and has become quite popular. So much so, that some restaurants are booked 3 months in advance! For instance, I have yet to be able to make a reservation for Elway's - John Elway's top notch steak house - yum! Boulder and neighboring cities have also started to participate in 5280, and it has been expanded to be TWO weeks instead of one. Lucky for me, Denny's birthday falls within this time span, providing a great opportunity for an awesome birthday dinner!
This year we tried two new restaurants, with the intention of only trying one - a restaurant called Duo that is right near our house. We were invited to the other restaurant by friends, and it was great, more on that later. As for Duo, we have heard rave reviews about this place and I had been dying to try it. It is mentioned in all of the local magazines, and all of my friends who have eaten there have said it was great. However, I have to say that I was a little disappointed by our experience. Before I get into the reasons it wasn't "great", I have to say that none of the food was "bad," it just didn't compare to other fine dining experiences I have had. Also, I apologize for the lack of pictures to accompany the descriptions that follow...I'm not much of a picture-taker in restaurants, unless the plating is really amazing.
It started with the smell of the restaurant as we walked in the door. We were not greeted with the aroma of their hopefully great food, but rather the smell of a mildewing wet rag :( And that, alone, could have been the reason for our lackluster experience. The portions were very small, and the flavor was not shockingly good.
Dessert was my favorite part (this should not surprise you). Denny got the chocolate hazelnut cake, I got the toffee pudding, and Jackie got the pear sorbet. While the toffee pudding was to-die-for (! - I would go there again for that alone), I have been on a pear kick lately, and their pear sorbet was excellent. All around, I would eat their dessert again.
All being said, I am willing to try Duo again, on another day - just because I keep thinking of that damn toffee pudding and how if they could unleash that potential in all of their other dishes, it would be great. Perhaps we can go for brunch, which I have heard is great. I really think they were having a bad day, and perhaps their 5280 menu doesn't reflect their best work.
Edge was the second restaurant that we tried, by invitation from our friends :) I'm so glad we got to try this place. It is the steakhouse that is in the Four Seasons hotel. First off, the waiter had a gift for describing their dishes in such a way that you would order a piece of dog poop if he were to explain it to you. At first I found his excitement to be a little over the top, but by the time he was done talking about a dish, we all found ourselves wanting to order it, even if it wasn't on our radar at all. All of our food was great, and their cocktails were amazing. Being infatuated with pears lately, I got a pear martini and it was awesome. I left this place feeling so satisfied by the flavors, and probably OVER satisfied by the portion sizes, but nothing to complain about there!
Well, until next 5280! Hopefully I can be on top of my game enough to get a reservation at Elways! Wish me luck!