4

Denver's best Caesar salad award goes to...

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Last night I witnessed the Greatest Caesar Salad competition, an annual battle of the romaine hosted by the Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, that pitted seven local restaurants -- Squeaky Bean, Root Down, Campo de Fiori, Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza, Opus, Black Pearl and Izakaya Den -- against one another in a spirited duel to see which chef would walk away wearing the leafy crown.

A few hundred guests turned out to sample the salads and vote for their favorite, while three judges -- me, Penny Parker from the Denver Post and Pat Miller (Gabby Gourmet) -- cast our own ballots.

The final results?

Best Caesar by the people: Izakaya Den. Hardly a traditional Caesar, chef Darren Pusateri's modernized version paired butter-poached halibut with crisp romaine and frisée, halved tomatoes, sliced radishes and a zippy dressing. Best Caesar by the judges: Squeaky Bean. Chef Max Mackissack blanched whole leaves of romaine and used the wilted leaves to wrap his Caesar, an inspired and wholly unique mix of house-cured fresh anchovies, shreds of romaine and dehydrated chicken skins that were so crisp, they shattered. He dusted the wrap with fried chicken powder and Parmesan cheese and, just for fun, added the world's largest Parmesan crouton.

For their wins, both chefs received bragging rights and plateware inscribed with the words "Greatest Caesar Salad in Denver."

Until next year.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.