By Jamie Swinnerton
By Mark Antonation
By Lori Midson
By Jonathan Shikes
By Amber Taufen
By Cafe Society
By Juliet Wittman
By Jonathan Shikes
After my friend arrived, the real feasting began. I'd asked for the short rib Benedict and was soon forking into perfectly poached eggs smothered in creamy, peppery chipotle Hollandaise on top of buttery guacamole, braised, fat-laced beef, and a dense English muffin. This mound of food was augmented by crunchy hashbrowns and a whole roasted tomato, its muted tartness a perfect palate-cleanser for the heavy meal. My friend had gone with the Croque Madame, a fluffy brioche stuffed with smoked ham, smothered with a lake of sharp Gruyère Mornay and topped with a fried egg. It was sided with crispy fries, but substituting fresh fruit might be the only way to stave off chest pains caused by all that oil and cream.
It was one of the most indulgent breakfasts I'd had in a long time — and oddly, it made me nostalgic for international travel. Not just because I could have funded a major excursion with the cash I dropped on a single meal, but also because, as noted earlier, the Edge dining room could be dropped whole into almost any country. And when I returned for dinner, I spent some time contemplating the mind-blowing idea that you could travel the world and never see more than the Four Seasons version of a place.
Not that the Four Seasons version of a place is bad. In fact, it's pretty tasty. My friend ordered the lamb chops, which arrived stacked in an angular arrangement on an oversized, sparkling-white plate; the long, pale bones looked like a piece of postmodern art. The Colorado lamb had been subtly seasoned, just enough to enhance the light gaminess of the juicy, medium-rare meat with its grill-crisped edges. My bison ribeye, Edge's signature steak, was positively velvety — no easy feat for a meat that's notoriously lean and tough — and paired with a swirl of sweet boysenberry reduction that enhanced the iron tang of the meat. The Brussels sprouts we'd ordered on the side, served in a little ceramic pot, were tender but not mushy, bathed in butter and studded with salty bits of pancetta; we fought over the last bite. Still, Purvis's version of the bubble and squeak may have been the highlight of the meal: a combination of potatoes, onions and carrots cooked soft and mashed together with plenty of salt and more butter, managing to be simultaneously hearty and fluffy.
1111 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Region: Downtown Denver
Plates cleared by those ever-ready servers, we contemplated a list of desserts ubiquitous in upper-crust restaurants: carrot cake, baked Alaska, bananas Foster. We went with the peanut-butter crunch, a classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter that our server insisted was unique. It wasn't — it tasted like a Butterfinger — but the construction was amazing: a half sphere of chocolate-encased peanut-butter mousse supporting a long, thin rectangle of chocolate embossed with the word "Edge," the rest of the plate filled with a linear sprinkling of peanut-butter crumble and dots of chocolate. There was harmony in the salty and sweet flavors, the crunchy and smooth textures — with good chocolate for good measure.
Then, in a twist, more chocolate: Along with our check, the server delivered a wooden tray bearing two chocolate lollipops shaped like cattle. Despite the heady perfume, the high fashion and the dizzying prices, yes, Denver can still be a cowtown.
Photos: A brief menu tour of Edge
Take your elitest rag and pompous reviewer and shove it up 1 per cent of your brain-hole. What a disgusting article, start to finish. Certainly done with Eastword.
The pic of the brussels sprouts above is emblematic of places like this that are still stuck in the food mentality of what was "high end" 20 years ago. If you cook brussels sprouts at moderate heat (steaming, boiling, or in a medium oven) so that they stay green and soft (as above), they will take too long and therefore develop those unpleasant sulfury compounds that are the reason all kids hate brussels sprouts. That's why they bathe them in butter and bacon, as old school fancy restaurants always do; to hide the fact that the sprouts themselves taste kind of unpleasant. The solution is to cook them correctly - at high heat under a broiler, seared in a pan, in a super-hot wood oven, etc. - so that they carmelize and cook quickly, giving the offensive compounds no time to form and concentrating the sugars in the sprout. If you do that, there's no need to add a ton of salt and fat to make them taste good. (Not to say you can't add the butter and bacon, of course... just that you don't have to in order to make them edible.)
I mention it because that pic is emblematic of what I hate about places like Edge. They cater to the expectations of a crowd that wants "fancy" food, and is willing to pay through the nose for it, but no one really cares if the food is actually good. Put enough hollandaise or mornay sauce on anything and it'll sell - but that doesn't make it a good restaurant.
Per ON FOOD AND COOKING by Harold McGee, "whether we cook brussels sprouts rapidly to minimize the production of thiocyanates, or slowly to transform all of the glucosinolates, the result is still bitter. Since these flavor components are concentrated in the center of the sprout, it helps to halve the sprouts and cook them in a large pot of boiling water, which will leach out both precursors and products."
Fair enough. A quick submersion in boiling water will indeed help, though I stand by my assertion that searing is always the preferred method to develop flavor in brussels sprouts. I guess my visceral reaction is to the particular picture above - they look yellowed (perhaps that's the light) and just kind of soggy, then dunked in butter and bacon. I don't understand why you'd choose that method if you've got other options. But in fairness, I haven't tried them yet, so I probably shouldn't have spoken until I do.
That Four Seasons brunch just made me think going to Edge Restaurant!!!!
Home-like taste is still the best taste for us nowadays especially fast-food chains are everywhere..
I hope Edge Restaurant will have some discounts and add it on Crumblrr...
i'll love that :)
In keeping with the theme, she gave us a 1% review. Here it is: The Brunch food is unremarkable, but boy does it remind me of my world travels. The Dinner menu has 5 things on it, the best being mashed potatoes, onions, and carrots.
This chick has a problem with inserting herself in her work too often to make sure we all know how hip and traveled she is.
Hey Laura, NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR LIFE, ( or your weight ). Review the food.
Is this a review of the restaurant or just a travelogue? Edge is the most overproced, overrated steakhouse in Denver and Laura doesn't even say if she liked it. What a waste of space.
Are you missing Sheehan or just lost without some sort of overt rating system (thumbs up, thumbs down!)? Just because the article doesn't come right out and say "I liked/didn't like this restaurant" doesn't mean that the opinions are not there. The restaurant's style and atmosphere are described in enough detail so that YOU can decide whether it's your kind of place or not. Each dish is evaluated individually so that it's fairly obvious as to which ones succeeded and which did not.
Sheehan was often criticized for adding to much personal info and background to his restaurant reviews, but when Shunk does the same, you criticize her for not being enough like Sheehan? Make up your mind.
So you don't care about a restaurant when you go to a restaurant? you don't want to read about what the place looks like, what kind of people dine there, how the front of the house makes the place feel? What a sad, narrow view of the world.
Food critic? Does she go into grocery stores and write about Kraft singles or the freshness of the bananas? No, she writes about food served in restaurants. She reviews restaurants. That means the food, the service, the atmosphere, the clientele, the prices. Her past experiences are relevant because otherwise we have no context. It's also entertaining. But I guess a row of stars or a smiley face icon would be so much easier to understand; no reading comprehension required.