Cafe Society

hushDenver gets down with Root Down, and looks to expand

The organizers of hushDenver hit another grand slam on Saturday night at their third dinner party - this time with kitchen magic by current and former Root Down chefs Erin Boyle, Victor Mena, Brent Buxton, Samm Sherman and Samuel Martinez.

I'm not a food critic - thank god, for the sake of my waistline - but the six courses were very different and of varying tastiness. All were presented beautifully, with the kind of panache that perfectly matched the setting, inside Studio Como, a gorgeous furniture and interior decorating showroom at 2590 Walnut Street.

My favorite dish was the roasted Kobocha squash soup with cilantro-squash seed pesto, smoked brown sugar and lime crème prepared by Buxton.

I also really dug Boyle's duck mousse bonbon on a nutmeg cookie with poached cranberries and micro arugula that was served as an appetizer.

The other courses included seared scallops with braised root vegetables, pork belly and yucca; braised lamb with Israeli couscous, pan seared marlin; and rose panna cotta with lemon saffron sorbet and Madhava's Golden Gold Clover honey.

Each course was paired with a wine from Winejester, a shop at 4340 Tennyson Street.

While hushDenver co-founder Phil Armstrong had expected around 75 people at his invite-only event, there were at least fifteen no-shows, a difficult situation when enough food is prepared for more. Armstrong says he had a 150-person waitlist and hopes to come up with a way to limit the number of the no-shows in the future.

And that will be important. While hushDenver began as an underground supper club designed to bring together some of the best, most creative chefs in Denver and allow them to cook meals to their own tastes and styles without the restrictions of a boss or a menu, Armstrong says he has plans to expand the idea to Boulder, Vail and Aspen and to present at least two events in Denver each month rather than one.

To learn more, or to score an invite, log on to Meanwhile, don't miss Tyler Nemkov's assessment of the last hushDenver dinner with molecular gastronomist Ian Kleinman.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes