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Tapas the Rockies

Creative combinations and intense flavors make Triana the area's best new restaurant.

Using just one or two ingredients to coax out flavor is a forte of Spanish cooking and, not coincidentally, also a real skill of Mazzio's. In fact, the kitchen is so sure of itself that there are no salt and pepper shakers on the table -- an intentional omission that would seem presumptuous in any other restaurant but here conveys a sense of confidence (and makes the streamlined room look even cooler). Servers will bring seasonings if you ask, but if you need something beyond the flavor barrage that arrives with each plate, you're missing the point. And so a seemingly uncomplicated piece of snapper arrived swimming in what looked like a watery tomato broth, but appearances were deliciously deceiving: The ripe tomatoes had been smoked and then sharpened with shallots, which spiked the taste of the snapper's rich, oily flesh. The fish itself had been fried until the skin turned into a crispy, crackly and salty delight. An otherwise austere piece of broiled Atlantic cod was smartly matched with porcini mushrooms (porcini is the Italian word for a bolete mushroom, known for its meaty texture) that gave the cod body; a side of downy sage-permeated potato dumplings was the perfect light match for the moist fish.

As if he didn't have enough going on with the main courses, Mazzio is also doing his own pastry work right now. (Sous chefs Melanie Simpson and Corey Smith lend their talented hands in the kitchen.) And so we couldn't skip dessert, which includes some spectacular soufflés (the roster changes, but the raspberry was rife with fresh fruit) and a gooey-centered chocolate cake that made other eateries' versions look like so much Duncan Hines. We couldn't keep our eyes - or our forks - off the plate.

Denver's high-end restaurants should be keeping an eye on Triana. Although it's been open only half a year, the ownership group is already thinking about the future. "There's nothing definite enough to talk about yet, but we're thinking about putting a Triana in Denver and other places," Mazzio says.

The reign of Spain: With its cool interior and hot food, Triana is the top new restaurant.
Q Crutchfield
The reign of Spain: With its cool interior and hot food, Triana is the top new restaurant.

Location Info

Map

Triana

1039 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302-5110

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Boulder

Details

303-449-1022
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday
5:30-10 p.m. Sunday

Shoestrings & romesco: $4
Crispy clam strip cone: $7
Salmon margarita: $8
Baked eggplant: $5.50
Shrimp wrapped in bacon: $7
Gazpacho: $8
Lobster bisque: $10
Crispy red snapper: $19
Broiled Atlantic cod: $22
Soufflés: $9
Chocolate cake: $9

Closed location

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