Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalog 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 particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com.
No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa
Wayne Conwell, the chef/owner of Sushi Sasa, is no ordinary sushi chef -- and Sushi Sasa is no ordinary sushi bar.
See also: - Fat, full and happy: Westword's 100 favorite dishes in Denver - 100 Favorite Dishes: 2012 - Sushi Sasa's Wayne Conwell on working for Iron Chef Morimoto, the genius of Jeff Osaka and sushi "edibles"
Here, in the rollicking confines of Conwell's kingdom, the raw-fish elitists expect more -- and they get it. This is the kind of place where you become submissive, where you peer in wonder, as Conwell, who spent some time in Philadelphia dicing and slicing alongside Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, grates fresh wasabi behind a glass barrier that also exposes slabs of lush, ultrafresh fish that he breaks down and turns into transcendent sashimi.
Conwell is a master with oysters, too, which, when he's done performing his magic on the liquored bivalves, are like voodoo, none more so than his oysters tricked out with foie gras. Those -- those are spellbinding. They wiggle and jiggle in their shells, their delicate flesh topped with blots of beautifully seared foie gras and quivering quail eggs, sunny-side up.
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But Conwell doesn't stop there: His final flourish is a light drizzle of balsamic and white truffle reduction. The oysters aren't for the faint of wallet -- a half dozen is $36 -- but they will make you faint of heart.