Under normal circumstances, an early evening at Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery on a brilliant sunshiny week would be a matter of course. But things being as they are, the next best alternative is the urban winery's takeout specials. Along with wine growlers (which are 25 percent bigger than a bottle) and a live Instagram happy hour every Wednesday, Bigsby's Folly prepares some of the most delightful food I’ve had in Denver. Could it be the comfort food-craving, pandemic-weary soul in me talking? Could it be the joy of beholding a man in a tiger suit handing me my order? Yes to both (and I think you’ll agree).
The wine growlers are half off right now, so mine rang in at $17 (cheaper than many beer growler fills), and the food menu offers the kind of fare you (according to the internet) and I are yearning during the mandated stay-at-home period. We can’t have a barbecue with friends in the park, we can’t sit on a restaurant patio and delve into a molten pile of nachos, so instead we’re turning to our favorite snacks and comfort foods. Bigsby’s has you covered, but with class. The current menu includes everything from Hatch green chile mac & cheese at $5 (with optional short rib for another $5), a sourdough grilled cheese sandwich for $9, wedge salads and ham and pea soup as starters (both $8), and a variety of meat and cheese boards, ranging from $16 to $28. But I couldn’t resist the pulled pork dinner for two ($29) while the marinated burrata and spinach artichoke dip ($7 each) were also no-brainers.
I bicycled to the winery and placed a walk-up order, but Bigsby’s also allows you to text in your order so you can spend a little less time out and about. I requested a growler fill of Bigsby’s “bone dry” riesling, an impressive, fruity white made from all Colorado grapes coming out of Grand Valley. The bar is fully stocked, as the winery's Instagram feed illustrates, leading me to add on a couple of Ball jars of pre-made Hurricane cocktails.
After a brief wait, “Chad Exotic” (co-owner Chad Yetka sporting his tiger onesie) delivered our neatly packed goods. The aroma of pulled pork wafted from its container as we made our bike journey home. A brief pause outside to wash our hands and wipe down the containers and we were ready to assemble the feast, starting with the extra-sweet, plenty boozy Hurricanes ($10 served two of us heftily).
How the pesto-marinated burrata maintained its structural integrity and beauty through transport is beyond me, but more impressive was the rich flavor of the pesto balanced with the bright and fresh and creamy burrata. Meanwhile, the roasted tomato-infused spinach artichoke dip offered nothing but comfort; I can only imagine how mind-blowing it is when the parmesan gets a quick broil before serving. We were given plenty of spelt crackers and thin baguette slices to get us through, and it was everything I could do to pause snacking to move on to the pulled pork sandwiches. While the price tag initially gave me pause, Bigsby’s pork servings are definitely enough for three to four sandwiches, including the separate container of sweet tangy sauce. However, the steakhouse potato salad, with it’s gorgeous halves of purple potatoes, crumbled bacon and light creamy dressing, is something you will have to fight over. That is, I don’t even like potato salad and I’d order this for lunch on its own. The coleslaw was a welcome pork topping, but probably wouldn't work on its own as a side.
Although Bigsby’s pork sandwich kit was offered with everyone’s favorite homestyle dessert bars (whether you call them dream bars, magic bars, Hello Dollies or seven-layer bars), I could not forgo a slice of the kitchen's special Easter carrot cake. Isn’t cream cheese frosting a must when times are tough? While Bigsby's has stopped taking pre-orders for the Easter cakes, inquire when you're placing your post-holiday order to see if there are any slices left to split with your mate (or hoard for yourself). The dessert bar, meanwhile, was the perfect morning accompaniment to coffee the next day.
In short, you get a liter of wine, exquisitely executed comfort foods and various pantry items brought out to you curbside by a man in a tiger/bunny/sumo costume in a clean and safe manner. Is there anything else you'd ever need?
Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery, at 3563 Wazee Street, is offering carryout and curbside service from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday (except this Sunday, when the restaurant and bar will be closed for Easter). Visit the winery's website for text and email instructions.
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