A stop at Williams & Graham for a cocktail on Friday night yielded the expected result: a creative, tasty and unique mixed drink from expert bartenders. But what wasn't quite so expected was the pork schnitzel on the food menu -- a dish that doesn't show up with much frequency outside of German and Eastern European restaurants.
I thought I was done with my search for good schnitzel in Denver, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it at this dark-wood den of drinking. I was caught off guard, though, so had to sneak a photo with my less-than-adequate iPhone camera. As my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit interior, the details of the plate emerged: The breaded cutlet in this case came with sides of spaetzle and Brussels sprouts, the first of which was coated in mustard sauce, while the second was sweetened with a balsamic glaze.
Th pork itself, courtesy of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, was a thin and crunchy schnitzel, with just a touch of minced herbs in the breading and a traditional wedge of lemon in lieu of sauce. While well-made and filling, the meat was not the star of the plate: The spaetzle stole the show with its creamy, buttery sauce tinged with just the right amount of coarse mustard. The Brussels sprouts were stars, too -- roasted and browned around the edges so that bites of the tender vegetable alternated with crisped outer leaves. The sweet sauce pooled in the tiny, cupped cabbage leaves and balanced the bitterness with mild acidity.
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Ethniche is back tomorrow with a new month of international cuisine: Thai -- and specifically, Pad Thai -- will be November's theme. Let us know, though, if you've found any great schnitzel in unlikely spots; it's never the wrong month to spring for a hearty plate of breaded veal or pork.