Best Neighborhood Restaurant Denver 2009 - Venue - CLOSED
Readers' Choice: Root Down
Venue serves American comfort food. It serves American comfort food prepared with French technique, with a little Italian influence, with a greenmarket sensibility. But that doesn't begin to convey the wonders coming from this kitchen: Manila clams with crumbled fennel sausage and roasted quarters of tomato in a sweet and rich broth spiked with lime and smoked paprika; slow-slow-slow-cooked beef short rib with oyster mushrooms, the meat so sweet and soft that it seems to melt; homemade tomato soup (a perfectly smooth purée of house-roasted tommies) with fresh thyme and garlic, an unexpected dart of spice that hits you right on the back of the tongue. Holly Hartnett's new restaurant is the neighborhood place everyone wishes was in their neighborhood — a place that will happily serve you grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and then agnolotti with brie, white beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and leeks for dinner just a couple hours later.