| Booze |

Elway's/Matsuhisa shochu dinner so good

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

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

I hated the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For a year the PR hype machine had told me how great it was going to be, and then everyone I know who saw it told me how great it was and how much I'd love it. So by the time I finally saw the movie, it could never match the hype surrounding it (I couldn't wait for him to die). I feared the same thing would happen when I walked into Elway's in Cherry Creek last night for a special shochu dinner.

I'd been reading for a month about the dishes that chefs Tyler Wiard of Elway's and Philip Tanaka of Nobu Matsuhisa in Aspen were going to pair with this Japanese liquor that comes in a variety of flavors (versions are made from rice, wheat, sesame seeds, even from sweet potatoes); they sounded so spectacular that I was prepared to be let down.

But now I'm thrilled to report that the food more than lived out to the advance billing - as did the liquor. Standouts: Tanaka's Matsuhisa surf menu of potato gauffrette, Bigeye tuna tartar, spicy miso and foie gras snow (yes, that's right, foie gras snow) and Wiard's turf menu of grilled rabbit saddle with black truffle-scallion rice cakes, candied galangal root and micro arugula, and the flash-seared Colorado lamb loin with grilled maitake mushrooms, wilted tatsoi greens and crispy lotus root.

As for the shochu? My favorite was the Nobu, made with rice, imported from Japan and, unfortunately, available in this country only at Nobu. My second favorite was the Kitchom shochu, made from wheat. You can drink Shochu straight or enjoy it in a cocktail. I tried the White Rabbit, made with rice shochu and Calpico (a sweet and tangy Japanese soda), and garnished with yamamomo (a small, cherry-sized Japanese fruit). At the end of the night, after an amazing amount of amazing food and shochu, little cedar boxes masquerading as glasses and filled with sake were handed to everyone -- because who can't have just a little more Japanese alcohol.

It was a great night full of really exceptional food that I could live on for years. Domo arigato.

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.