Hold the Line

Parallel Seventeen revives culinary history.

By the time we finished dinner, crowds surrounded the perimeter of the small bar and pressed in on the overworked tenders like Khe Sanh in reverse. Waiting parties milled by the door, standing, holding champagne flutes, like fashion models unsure of who among them was the photographer. And yet there were no signs of stress, of desperation or disconnect. Our server stopped by our table again to chat, to make sure that everything had been to our satisfaction, and pointedly did not mention how much of the profiteroles we'd left behind. I could've stayed all night -- but when I looked at my watch, I realized we pretty much had.

Not bad, I thought as I paid the bill, stretched the martini-anesthetized kinks out of my back and silently counted heads. Not bad for a Saturday night on 17th Avenue. Not bad for a cuisine as old as kings and queens, a style born of Sunday dinners and diaspora and a cook who was really an investment banker.

Parallel Seventeen takes Vietnamese food back to 
Mark Manger
Parallel Seventeen takes Vietnamese food back to basics.

Location Info


Parallel Seventeen

1600 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80218

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Central Denver


1600 17th Avenue, 303-399-0988. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 5 p.m.-close Monday-Saturday

Vietnamese-coffee martini: $9
Chimay red label: $12
Spring rolls: $6
Pommes frites: $5
Gaufrettes: $5
Charcuterie: $11
Riblets: $8< br>Scallops: $13
Whitefish napoleon: $10
Quail: $10
Curry: $11
Cinnamon wonton: $6
Profiteroles: $6

I stepped outside into the icy cold where the overflow crowd stood shivering. I lit a cigarette, thinking that Nguyen's mom should be awfully proud.

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