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100 Favorite Dishes: Head cheese from Olivéa

100 Favorite Dishes: Head cheese from Olivéa
Lori Midson

As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up, in no particular order, a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to cafe@westword.com.

Number 44: Head cheese from Olivéa

John Broening's charcuterie -- lamb sausage, pork belly, boudin blanc, smoked duck breast and duck liver mousse -- is, indisputably, one of the most sensational boards of offal and meats in Denver, and Olivéa, the Uptown restaurant where Broening is crafting all those marvels, is one of the only places in the city where a chef is making headcheese, the tour-de-force of all offal. There's something so ridiculously pleasurable about using the scraps from the meatiest parts of the pig's head -- tongue included -- to create a whole terrine of nothing but fine swine, fat and spices, including roasted and cracked juniper berries, that results in what may very well be the richest, most insanely delicious use of a pig, like, ever. It's not for everyone, and whoever came up with the name "head cheese," clearly had the brain of a cricket, but if you're in the house, and Broening is offering it as a special, which is the only way you're going to get it, you'd be remiss if you brushed it off because it's not named Joe.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100 Chicken-fried steak from Lola

No. 99 Alaskan reindeer sausage from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs

No. 98 Mac-and-cheese fries from Jonesy's EatBar

No. 97 Soft egg ravioli from Prima

No. 96 Pho - any pho -- from Pho 95

No. 95 Assiette de charcuterie maison from Z Cuisine À Côté

No. 94: Cheeseburger from Larkburger

No. 93: BBQ Masher from Cabin Creek Smokehouse

No. 92: Apple pancake from the Original Pancake House

No. 91: Burrata from Osteria Marco

No. 90: Eggs Benedict from Devil's Food Bakery

No. 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta

No. 88: Deviled eggs from Steuben's

No. 87: Corn-in-a-cup from Jack-n- Grill

No. 86: Enchiladas from Taco House

No. 85: Pupusas from Pupusas Sabor Hispano

No. 84: Baklava from Ali Baba Grill

No. 83: Masa-fried oyster shooters from Deluxe

No. 82: Tacos al pastor from Los Carboncitos

No. 81: Salsa bar from Tacos Y Salsas

No. 80: Dim Sum from Star Kitchen

No. 79: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket

No. 78: Fries from Encore

No. 77: Shanghai-style dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro

No. 76: Chile relleno burrito from El Taco de Mexico

No. 75: Fish fry from GB Fish and Chips

No. 74: Posole from Tarasco's

No. 73: Sausage, ham and egg biscuit from Table 6

No. 72: Bacon flight from the Berkshire

No. 71: Tasty Treats from Gaetano's

No. 70: French dip from Udi's

No. 69: Panang curry from US Thai Cafe

No. 68: Pineapple upside-down pancake from Snooze

No. 67: Saag paneer from India's

No. 66: Udon noodle bowl from Bones

No. 65: Grilled corn soup from Lola

No. 64: Sesame pockets from Lee's Garden

No. 63: Whiskey-braised beef from Steuben's

No. 62: House special from Viet's

No. 61: Sultan Combo from Phoenician Kabob

No. 60: Cake and a shake from D Bar Desserts

No. 59: Caprese salad from Gaia Bistro

No. 58: Fried chicken from Tom's Home Cookin'

No. 57: Molcajete a la Mexicana from El Paraiso

No. 56: Corned beef hash from Argyll Gastropub

No. 55: Aye Conyo from Buchi Café Cubano

No. 54: Fig n' pig flatbread pizza from Encore

No. 53: Toro sashimi from Sushi Den

No. 52: Spinach pinwheels from Virgilio's

No. 51: Chicken-fried steak from the Breakfast King

No. 50: Hot dog with hot sauce from from the Old Fashioned Italian Deli

No. 49: Adobada gordita from Tacos Y Salsas

No. 48: Curried Indian mussels from Argyll Gastropub

No. 47. Pasta carbonara from Fruition

No. 46: Amarena cherries and chocolate from Sketch

No. 45: Aloo gosht salin from the British Bulldog