Monday mornings are tough, but this series isn't. Social Sightings is a quick taste of recent food tidbits. It goes down as easy as your first cup of coffee, and should whet your appetite for the week ahead.
When the temperatures decided to plummet last month, I made a beeline for El Tepehuan in Englewood, for one of my all-time favorite dishes in town, the carnitas plate. Loaded with charred onions and chiles and smothered with green chile, the pork here is cooked to tender perfection, then crisped. Served with rice, beans and tortillas on the side, the only way to improve this meal is to pair it with a crispy, smothered chile relleno and a house margarita that melts away any worries about how long this ice will stick around.
Address: 3495 South Broadway, Englewood
Shin Myung Gwan Korean BBQ. During a meal that also included impressively crisp pan-fried dumplings, a savory kimchi pancake and plenty of banchan, the standout was the skillet of bulgogi, which arrived still simmering and steaming, a bubbly cauldron of beefy goodness that was scooped over rice.
Address: 2680 South Havana Street, Aurora
the best pizza in Denver, and during a recent visit to one of last year's picks, Joy Hill, I found a new favorite order: That 70's Pie. While pretty much anything tastes good on the charred sourdough crust here, this veggie-packed pie was just the nearly-healthy but still satisfyingly cheesy bite I was craving. It boasts a base of arugula pesto topped with kale, roasted golden beets, garlic, red onion, mozzarella and feta. If you need a more greasy fix, get an order of pepperoni rolls on the side.
Address: 1229 South Broadway
Viet's Restaurant has a menu almost as big as its sprawling dining room, making it ideal for a group that likes to share. There are several options for make-your-own spring roll platters here, including one that comes with pork, beef, shrimp paste and bò cuốn lá lốp, grilled beef wrapped in grape leaves. There's also a large selection of vegetarian dishes, among them a lemongrass tofu that pleased a trio of meat eaters.
Address: 333 South Federal Boulevard
I got a taste of Molotov Kitschen and Cocktails, the restaurant from Misfit Snack Bar chef Bo Porytko that's set to open on Wednesday, January 18. While the beet-less borscht was the most surprising dish, the one I've been thinking about ever since is the spelt pelmeni, small dumplings stuffed with pork pâté for a truly decadent bite bolstered by tarragon béarnaise and caramelized shallots. This cozy spot only has about twenty seats and another eight at the counter in front of the kitchen, so reservations are highly recommended.
Address: 3333 East Colfax Avenue