No. 37: Dolmades from Axios Estiatorio
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For several years, Royce Oliveira, the exec chef of Axios, cooked alongside Frank Bonanno at Mizuna and Luca D'Italia, neither of which are Greek restaurants. And, in fact, Oliveira, by his own admission, had, up until very recently, never cooked Greek food in his life, which makes it all the more fascinating that he's turning out beautiful Greek cuisine at Axios, a new restaurant in Berkeley. His menu, a romp of traditional Greek dishes, deserves appreciation, and while just about every dish I've tried at Axios has convinced me that Denver finally has a Greek restaurant worthy of a resounding opa!, it's Oliveira's astonishing dolmades that are the most convincing proof. These are not the dolmades that sag in the bottom of a can, which is what most Greek restaurants pass off. Nor do all grape leaves come in jars. No, these dolmades are house-made marvels of chubby cigar-shaped, blanched green leaves squeezing a fusion of onions, garlic, pine nuts and red wine-soaked rice, the latter of which goes a long way in separating them from all others. And the lemon-spritzed cream sauce on which they squat is sublime.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro No. 93: Posole from The Porker No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano No. 84: Pork osso buco from Osteria Marco No. 83: Cazuela Colombiana from Cafe Brazil No. 82: Chicken potpie from Devil's Food No. 81: Sichuan braised beef noodle soup from Zoe Ma Ma No. 80: Larb nua from Taste of Thailand No. 79: Pork shank from Argyll No. 78: Truffo panino from Shangri-La Cafe No. 77: Pig-snout tacos from Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet No. 76: Speck and maple ice cream from Pizzeria Basta No. 75: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor No. 74: South African black ruff from TAG No. 73: Gumbo from Bistro One No. 72: New England clam chowder from Bittersweet No. 71: Celery and lime popsicle from Spuntino No. 70: Curried split pea soup from Modmarket No. 69: Mais pizza from Pizzeria Locale No. 68: Risotto frutti di mare from Firenze a Tavola No. 67: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & Wine No. 66: Sea scallop and rock shrimp noodle bowl from Bones No. 65: Luther Burger from Crave No. 64: Chongqing Chicken from East Asia Garden No. 63: Bouillabaisse from Deluxe No. 62: Crue fries from D Bar Desserts No. 61: Chili gobi from Jai Ho No. 60: New Mexican eggs Benedict from DJ's Berkley Cafe No. 59: Lamb vindaloo from Cuisine of the Himalayas No. 58: Gazpacho verde from Zolo Grill No. 57: Hama Hama oyster from Jax Fish House-Denver No. 56: Mixiote de borrego from El Trompito Taqueria No. 55: Samosas from the British Bulldog No. 54: Mole verde with carnitas from Tarasco's No. 53: Pork chop from Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar No. 52: Santa Fe skillet from Hits the Spot Diner No. 51: Pork tenderloin with bread pudding and green split peas from the Wooden Table No. 50: Noodle jelly salad from Thai Street Food No. 49: Telluride jalapeno poppers from Encore No. 48: Carnitas from Araujo's No. 47: Croque Madame from Pierre Michel Organic French Bakery Cafe No. 46 Xiao Long Bao from Lao Wang Noodle House No. 45: Pasta puttanesca from Sketch No. 44: Chimayo-chile flank steak and posole at Village Cork No. 43: Sobrebarriga from La Cocina de Paula No. 42: Raw carrot salad from Ambria No. 41: Goat curry from Phat Thai No. 40: Rail Yard Ale and cheddar soup No. 39: Pad Thai pig ears from Euclid Hall No. 38: Panna cotta from Il Posto
In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up...before Best of Denver® 2012. If there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.