Foodography: Charcoal opens in the Golden Triangle

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After hosting a charity dinner on Saturday night, Charcoal, a new 5,200-square-foot restaurant from Patrik Landberg, the former chef of Satchel's in Park Hill (now Pary's on 28th), opened to the public on Sunday, turning out contemporary European cuisine in an artfully choreographed setting.

The open kitchen, flanked by Colorado-designed, custom-made grills, is the dining room's focal point, and, says Landberg, the impetus for the restaurant's name. "What makes our restaurant unique is using the specially-sourced hardwood that burns at a high temperature and is virtually smokeless and odorless," he explains. The cooking technique for several of his grilled dishes, he adds, "actually comes from Asia and is referred to as 'bincho-style' cooking." It's a technique, he reveals, that cooks food more quickly than a traditional grill. "Meat is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and vegetables retain their flavor."

Charcoal is open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, and on Saturday and Sunday, Landberg -- a Swede -- is serving a Swedish brunch from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. In addition, the kitchen is offering a lounge menu every day between 2 and 5 p.m., and late-night dining on Friday and Saturday.

We got an early glance of what Landberg has in store, the photos of which are on the following pages.

Charcoal hosted a charity event on Saturday night, and to get things started, the kitchen featured a charcuterie board with various cheeses and meats, including prosciutto. Chicken liver mousse served with a side dish of pickled cucumbers and carrots, along with a basket of bread. Grilled New Caledonia head-on prawns plated with sauteed swiss chard and a pool of romesco sauce. Osso buco-style oxtail with potato gnocchi, shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and flutters of Brussels sprout leaves. Organic arugula salad, dressed with a sherry vinaigrette, and dotted with feta cheese crumbles, pine nuts and oven-dried tomatoes. A party of blushing strips of New York steak drizzled with a Bordelaise sauce and paired with a shallot tart, Stilton creme and swiss chard. Pan-roasted halibut with golden beet carpaccio, spinach, hazelnuts and a brown butter with capers. Hand-rolled spinach gnocchi forested with chanterelle mushrooms, sherry-caramelized pearl onions and blots of tarragon-specked ricotta. Pine nut-crusted apple tart with rosemary caramel sauce, vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries. A glimpse of Charcoal's dining room, which also flaunts a wine wall, exhibition kitchen with counter seating and separate bar and lounge area.

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