Fruition's "grazing vegetarians" entree is a special deal at a special-occasion place

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When you're looking for a special-occasion dinner, it's hard to beat Fruition. Alex Seidel's place is nationally renowned, but the house-turned-restaurant off Sixth Avenue looks deceptively unassuming, with simple furnishings in the small dining areas. But the good that comes out of the kitchen here is incredible. Coupled with a killer wine list, the unbelievable seasonal fare -- featuring many ingredients that come from Seidel's own farm -- makes every meal at Fruition worth celebrating.

See also: - Linger's small plates have room for vegetarian (and vegan) cuisine - EDGE has a fresh thing going with its fifteen salads ready in fifteen minutes - Gaia Bistro wraps up a veggie-friendly brunch, French-style

You'll want to book a table in advance, though, because the odds of being able to just walk in, especially at peak dining hours, are very slim. And while there's always something for vegetarians -- including a "grazing vegetarians" main course that's actually two courses for $24, and changes regularly -- you might want to check the menu in advance to make sure the dishes work for your dietary needs.

Pictured above is the main course in the "grazing vegetarians" entree the day we dined at Fruition: an open-faced lasagna with heirloom tomatoes, fresh ricotta, grilled squash, baby greens and round, flat, al dente pasta. The ingredients were perfectly balanced, and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs gave the dish a little extra zest.

For a starter, check out the extravaganza above: fried green tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms wrapped in impossibly thin cuts of eggplant, with white asparagus, arugula and a carefully crafted and placed tomato-based sauce -- all adorned with tiny violets.

For $24, the grazing vegetarians entree was a real deal. Many restaurants will charge the same for a vegetarian dish as they do for one with meat, and you don't get anything extra, much less a second course. Both of these dishes were truly something special.

If you can still stomach dessert after all that, the flourless chocolate torte -- with caramelized banana pudding and Marcona almond brittle -- is decadent and rich and exactly the thing if you're craving chocolate. But the real winner on the dessert menu is the creme fraiche coffee cake, featuring Vietnamese coffee panna cotta, toasted almond streusel and chantilly cream. The bittersweet balance between coffee and sugar is sublime.

Fruition is open every night for dinner; call 303-831-1962 or visit fruitionrestaurant.com.

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