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None of the entrees had looked as appealing as these starters. But after I'd spent a few seconds nursing a juicy New Zealand pinot noir that could have been served a few degrees colder, our mains showed up — and what looked like predictable flavor combinations on paper proved surprisingly delicious on the plate. Despite my aversion to chicken (I can't help it; it's like eating tofu), I'd gone for the mole. Markus's version was lighter than most — redolent of cocoa, butter, cumin and cinnamon, almost curry-like. It coated the succulent, roasted chicken breast and thigh, which had been dusted with sesame seeds and placed on top of a pile of sofrito rice cooked in a pungent garlic-and-tomato combination that provided savory balance against the rich, sweet sauce.

On the recommendation of our server, we'd also gone with the Thai curry-braised short ribs. A brick of the meat came in a pool of heady, peanut-infused curry sauce, sided by crunchy wedges of hashbrown pancake and topped with pickled carrots and green papaya. Although the sour, salty and sweet flavors were in nearly perfect harmony, the meat was slightly overcooked, making it both dry and a little gummy. Still, this was a terrific dish. We ended dinner with the poached pear, floating in a clear broth made from sweet pear nectar and vanilla, enriched with cocoa salt and nubs of pungent Gorgonzola. I think of pear as a winter fruit, but this was an excellent way to cap a lovely summer night.

Fat, happy and a little tipsy from the generous half-pours of wine, we paid the check and sashayed out the door, pleased that we'd maneuvered our way through the menu rather than just ordering a burger. The result had been one of our favorite meals as a couple — and one of the best meals I've had in months. Row 14 may be geared to those who stop by before the theater or after another event. But I'd happily spend another long evening in this restaurant with no more entertainment on the docket than dinner.

Row 14 circles the globe with dishes like shrimp diavolo. Slideshow: Food Porn from Row 14
mark manger
Row 14 circles the globe with dishes like shrimp diavolo. Slideshow: Food Porn from Row 14

Location Info

Map

Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar

891 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Downtown Denver

Details

Row 14
Burger $10 (with everything $13)
Five-spice duck crepes $14
Shrimp diavolo $13
Panzanella $10
Thai curry-braised short ribs $24
Roasted chicken mole $21
891 14th Street
303-825-0100
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Friday, 5 p.m.-midnight Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday

Slideshow: Food Porn from Row 14

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3 comments
EatIt
EatIt

"None of the entrees had looked as appealing as these starters." Really?!? Nothing as appealing as a salad consisting of bread and tomatoes? And the majority of the review consisted of descriptions of wine?

Why not just suggest we sashay by Safeway and pick up a loaf and tomatoes on our way to Argonaut? Restaurant review, my ass.

mneale
mneale

ever heard of caprese you douche? good ingredients and thoughtful preperation

EatIt
EatIt

Ever heard of reading and spelling you anus? She ordered a panzanella, not a caprese. And it's "preparation"...unless you're a big fan of Chili's. Suck it.

 
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