Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at [email protected].
No. 84: English pea agnolotti from Harman's Eat & Drink
Years ago, while living in Chicago, I was a militant vegetarian, which, in retrospect, was a really stupid decision considering the city in which I lived. I subsisted mostly on plants in one of the most progressive food cities in America, a decision that was reversed the moment I found out I was pregnant. At that point, I was back in Denver and my body craved meat, any meat. Hell, I even made a run for bologna in the supermarket at one point -- another really stupid decision. But while I love the pig, the lamb, the cow, the occasional chicken and seafood and fish, there's still a part of me that's bewitched by vegetables, and when I find a dish that has the ability to transform vegetables into sheer magic -- the English pea agnolotti pooled in a sauce of pureed carrots, for example, from Harman's Eat & Drink -- I want to kiss the cook that made it.
See also: - Mark Fischer opening Harman's Eat and Drink in Cherry Creek at the end of June - Get your pig fix at Harman's Eat & Drink, now open in Cherry Creek - Chef Mark Fischer on treating knives badly, pussies and unicorns
Harman's, a restaurant in Cherry Creek that's owned by Mark Fischer, is one of those places where vegetables aren't an afterthought, and for that, you can thank chef John Little, a self-described pig fiend who understands that while you might be contemplating a towering heap or truffled pork rinds, it's entirely possible that your mood favors a compelling homage to summer's stash of vegetables. Housemade pillows of agnolotti, enveloping fresh peas, float in a smooth carrot sauce, the taste of which moonlights as a full harvest of the root vegetable, its penetrating sweetness enhanced by rainbowed ribbons of more carrots, fresh English peas and beautifully roasted radishes. One spoonful of this dish and you'll learn to love your vegetables...even if you're a pig junkie.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2013 countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa No. 99: Porchetta from Parisi No. 98: chocolate caramel sea salt tart from Spuntino No. 97: Nachos from the Pioneer No. 96: Fried pickles from TAG Burger Bar No. 95: Breakfast burrito from Jalapeños Mexican restaurant No. 94: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant No 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar No. 92: Fried rice from Benihana No. 91: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna No. 90: Schezuan beef in numbing chile oil from Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine No. 89: lamb tartare from Epernay No. 88: Reuben from the Bagel Deli No 87: Wood-fired chicken from Pizzeria Basta No. 86: Watermelon and frisee salad from EDGE No. 85: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras