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Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two brings low-country cuisine to the Mile High City

See also: A Closer Look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two brings low-country cuisine to the Mile High City
Mark Manger
Chris Wray makes shrimp and grits at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two. See also: A Closer Look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

Being a restaurant reviewer is a lot like being a detective. With each spoonful of soup and every morsel of fish, I'm gathering clues about what's afoot in the kitchen. Sometimes the mystery lingers, but as I sliced through the seared duck at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two, the low-country restaurant that opened on Old South Pearl Street in September, I pieced together what had happened as if I'd found the smoking gun. There, between the scored, espresso-colored skin and the nearly rare flesh, lurked a plump parka. My duck must've loved it — after all, it offered protection from the cold and damp — but in my mouth the fat was so thick that it was almost impossible to swallow.

See also: A Closer Look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

Everyone has a different palate for fat. Some like it cooked off (think brittle bacon), whereas others prize the stuff. But when it comes to this water bird, there's little room for disagreement: Duck should be cooked with care, so that its unusually large layer of subcutaneous fat has time to render, or melt away. In this case, an over-hot pan had likely caused the skin to darken too quickly, making the duck look done before enough fat was gone. That's a mistake a home cook would make — which is somewhat fitting, because Fourteen Seventy-Two is located in a home. At least it was a home for 100-plus years, until Dave Chmura, Rob Young and Scott Bergin transformed it into a restaurant.

Location Info

Map

Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

1472 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80210

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Denver

Details

See also: A Closer Look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two
IPB Island pork buns $11
Seared duck breast $12
She-crab soup $9
Barley salad $8
Chicken and waffles $16
Chipotle-maple ribs $14/$24
Stuffed pork chop $19
Shrimp and grits $18
1472 burger $11
Cream grits $6
Carrot cake $6
Ice cream sandwich $6
1472 South Pearl Street
303-325-1447
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Gone are the extra kitchens, bathrooms and walls that had divided the Victorian house into three rental quarters. What remains is a dining area that feels like a cozy living room, with walls relieved of their plaster to reveal nubby brick and a wood-burning fireplace, its mantel bedecked with candles and bottles of wine. Walk out the front door — the original one, that is (the new entrance lies up a long ramp on the side of the building) — and you step down to a front-yard-turned-patio, now enclosed by glass doors but designed to be fully open-air come spring, with the sounds of blues spilling out to the street. Seating in both rooms totals about fifty, a number that more than doubles when the roof deck and outside tables are included.

Chmura and Young followed an architect's drawings but otherwise handled most of the renovations themselves, laying floors, scraping walls, putting in the deck, etc., which explains why the process took two years. It also might explain why, more than four months after opening, the restaurant still feels like it's in the soft-opening stage, with no signage (unless you count a paper sign taped to the door), servers oblivious to guests desiring a check, and a kitchen that runs out of a dish at a not-so-busy lunch.

But like a home, what the restaurant lacks in polish it makes up for in heart, with recipes as likely to come from the owners' families as from kitchen managers Matt Altevogt and Chris Wray. Portions are generous; you leave, as you do from Grandma's, with a bag of containers brimming with food.

You'll want those leftovers if you ordered the 1472 burger, a hefty patty of beef and venison loaded with Gruyère, caramelized onions and fried green tomatoes, or the maple-and-chipotle-glazed wild boar ribs, braised overnight for meat so tender, the bones slip out as you slice into them. The shrimp and grits are another score, with five perfectly cooked large Gulf crustaceans, two pan-fried grit cakes and a bed of dark-roux gravy. A side of cream grits, large enough to serve the table and still have some left over, would make a fantastic breakfast — though, like all starches when they sit, the grits would lose their pillowy lightness. The double pork chop — partially frenched, with stuffing spilling out of the space between two chops — is surprisingly moist given its hulking state-fair-turkey-leg stature. And if you could find a way to get it home, you'd also want the remainder of the she-crab soup, lily white with pools of butter floating on top and so rich from a bottle of brandy in every batch that all you really need is a few bites.

But other dishes are as disappointing as my duck. Raw onion is so prominent in the pineapple salsa paired with pork belly and corn griddle cakes, it's all you taste. For hours. Sage-and-sausage dressing, available as a side or stuffed inside those chops, is overly salted. An otherwise promising bowl of chewy barley, mixed greens, apples, cranberries and goat cheese sports enough dressing for several salads — and I left mine almost untouched, a sad state of affairs unnoticed by the cheerful server. The waffle in the non-traditional chicken and waffles needs less sugar, less vanilla and more time to crisp in the iron. Topped not with bone-in fried chicken but with pulled white meat soaked in maple-whiskey sauce, it's nearly sweet enough to count as dessert.

Speaking of which, the carrot cake — a teetering, four-layer creation with raisins, nuts, spices and thick cream-cheese frosting — would be fantastic if it weren't served so cold. So would the ice cream sandwich. Not that this confection of Sweet Action's Stranahan's Whiskey ice cream wedged between housemade pecan cookies should be served warm, but it seems to come straight from the deep-freezer, with the potential to chip a tooth.

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17 comments
dano323
dano323

I hope they are very successful....Their menus have nothing to do with real "Low Country" style food...Except they have shrimp and grits....Their shrimp is not fresh....Charleston and Savannah have fresh shrimp for this easy dish.....don't eat Mexican food in Charleston and don't eat shrimp in Denver....LOW COUNTRY COOKING IS ONLY IN SOUTH CAROLINA...MURRELS INLET TO HILTON HEAD...That is it...Period...Just to let you know...

itsbootytime
itsbootytime

I think MO_242 did a very fair summation of the article.  However the article itself is a bit ridiculous.  Where is the constructive criticism in the headline.  If I had to guess this critic is some Californian or New Yorker gone Denverite.  She obviously is not from Denver and is another critic writing for the top 2% of the population.  Well I come from the other 98% and was born and raised in the city of Denver, and visited this restaurant back in October.  I will agree they had some kinks to work out, including the sign and several other fairly glaring issues, and the service needed polishing at that time.  I also know that they had just opened, and having worked in the industry for years, know that even great servers struggle in new restaurants.  I also have been a patron in the birth of many of the neighborhood and local restaurants and bars in Denver and have seen their early struggles and now see many of them thriving today.  I think there is a lot of promise for this concept, and hope to see them overcome the usual issues.  I personally think this will be a great fit to pearl street and to the city as a whole and will be making a return visit to hopefully look for all the changes and to see this business grow.  Overall this article was jaded, and without question the title was a joke, and an embarrassment to any critic.  If I could make another prediction I don't see this critic lasting long in our great city.  I personally don't want a starbucks on pearl, i like stellas, and hope they ship this small business hating critic to wherever she came from.

Cathy Bowen
Cathy Bowen

Hope there is potential for it to get better, I'd like to go and really be wowed.

MO_242
MO_242

Tmolsen, the review seems well-balanced to me. Gretchen found fault with the execution of some of the dishes but spent a whole paragraph praising the burger, ribs, shrimp & grits, pork chop, and she-crab soup. She also liked the carrot cake and ice cream sandwich were it not for the serving temperature. To me, this reads as a place with lots of potential which just needs to tighten up some things such as service. As a consumer, I like being pointed to which dishes the kitchen is currently knocking out of the park and which ones to be wary of.

Tmolsen
Tmolsen

As a resident and business owner in the Platte Park area, my family and I have grown very fond of 1472. We went in last night specifically for the kids' grilled cheese and chicken sandwich. There was a wait for tables, the place was popping. And to hear about the sad unjust write up by Gretchen in the Westword was very disturbing. We watched the building go up, we have met the owner's we have grown to love them and their story-watching the transformation of the old delapitated rental home it used to be. Seems Gretchen went in there just looking for something to be wrong. They are three months new-they are not a corporate company with millions of dollars that built a restaurant to simply run itself. Things take time. Changes are always being made. Suggestions are one thing, but to completely slamm is another. It is Low Country compfort food. There are going to be heavy dishes. Had they been open for months and months/years, and made no effort for change-then yes the write up would have been justified. Take the time, take a tour, meet the owners try the She Crab Soup and my favorite Key Lime Pie...They are the best- and a quiet jazzy comfortable spot to relax and fill your belly is WONDERFUL- Give them a try. Support your local business and non corporate owner's don't slam them- This write up is business suicide and undeserving. Read all the other reviews...I would not take Gretchen's seriously. This place is the new hot spot and it is a neighborhood gem.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

Gretchen listed "IPD Island Pork Buns" along with the price in the details, but I didn't see anything about them in her review.  Am I missing it?  Or were they so bad that they weren't even worth mentioning?

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

We tried it for lunch.  $72 plus tip.  Shared many of Gretchen's concerns - especially the "dessert" chicken and waffles.  The grit cakes with the shrimp and grits were really heavy and greasy.  Plus we were the only two people actually eating lunch - one couple at the bar and another just drinking coffee.  Kind of depressing and certainly not worth the tariff.

lindy022
lindy022

I like the detailed review, makes you wonder why people start a restaurant when they have no idea what it really takes

WillieStortz
WillieStortz topcommenter

@dano323 Other than 2 weeks out of the year you are getting frozen shrimp no matter where you eat it.


Bottom dwelling shrimp from the polluted Atlantic??? You might as well be eating raw sewage....no you are eating raw sewage.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@itsbootytimeWhat planet are you from?  Denver isn't a planet, BTW.  I don't know what kind of headline you expect (I don't expect headlines to say much unless the restaurant was a 100% home run or abysmal), or what in the article says that Gretchen is writing for the 2% or what being born and raised in Denver has to do with anything here.  You said " I will agree they had some kinks to work out, including the sign and several other fairly glaring issues, and the service needed polishing at that time.  I also know that they had just opened, and having worked in the industry for years, know that even great servers struggle in new restaurants. . . .  I think there is a lot of promise for this concept, and hope to see them overcome the usual issues."  Seems the review said the same thing, basically. Have people become so sensitive to restaurants they like or want to succeed that they can't accept any negative words at all?  You yourself saw issues, Gretchen did too, and she reported on them.  You seem to agree with what she saw, but expected her to somehow not report them?  What kind of review and what kind of reviewer do you want?

Julie293
Julie293

@Tmolsen Seems like a resident and business owner in the neighborhood would know how to correctly spell Platt Park. Just sayin.....

Every time I walk by I wonder why there is no sign on the establishment. If you aren't familiar with the businesses in the area you might think the restaurant is an extension of Stella's. 

eyeroll
eyeroll

@Denver Dave $72 for lunch may be high, depending on what you had to drink.  However, since the cost of the meal appears to be your primary basis for judgment, I can suggest a simple remedy for this unfortunate occurrence.  It's called addition.  

dano323
dano323

@WillieStortz @dano323 YOU have no idea what you are talking about...I see commercial shrimpers everyday...Private Shrimping season yields as many shrimp as you can handle.....Willie, you are wrong on this one...Sweet Carolina Shrimp...

Tmolsen
Tmolsen

@Julie293 WOW- did not know typos were worth commenting on.

There seems to be a lot of irritation. I defended this restaurant because I took the time to get to know it. I enjoy it and felt the write up was unfair.

Really is sad to see how many negative people there are out there. It is true, you can't please everyone!

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

@eyeroll @Denver Dave I am not opposed to spending a wad o'cash for a good meal.  This one simply wasn't worth the cost.  But, if the food had been exceptional I'd be singing their praises.  It wasn't terrible (and I don't think Gretchen totally trashed them) but I think they could definitely make some improvements.  Had a much better lunch at Gaia yesterday for 1/3 the price and far better food.



TheJeff
TheJeff

@Tmolsen @lindy022 Did lindy022 start a restaurant?  if not, it doesn't matter if he knows what it takes or not.


I'm starting to think Tmolsen works there.

 
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