You have six more nights to behold the wizardry of Ian Kleinman, the molecular genius behind the Inventing Room -- the Willy Wonka of Denver who's currently on center stage at Studio F, the culinary event space and cooking school that James Mazzio unleashed a few months ago to give himself, along with local and national chefs, a pop-up platform to perform their magic.
Kleinman, who also has plans to unleash a pop-up java joint and molecular doughnut den later this summer, took to the spotlight on Friday night for the first of his nine Studio F pop-up dinners, and the results were nothing short of mesmerizing. From the shrewdly artistic cocktails concocted with everything from rosemary foam to blueberry caviar to bright blue cotton candy to plates dotted with black truffle caviar and habanero tobiko, each creation erupted in a whimsical mix of temptations.
I was there Friday night for the first dinner, which went off without a hitch, and I highly suggest you book a table. Now. But if you need incentive, the photos on the following pages should give you motivation. You can make a reservation by calling 303-226-9460.
James Mazzio, owner of Studio F, and the adjacent, Red Star Deli, started off the evening with complimentary bags of liquid nitrogen bruschetta popcorn. St. Germain, grapefruit juice and rosemary-infused vodka cocktail crowned with rosemary foam and garnished with a frozen sprig of fresh rosemary. Jason Sheehan, former restaurant critic at Westword, once called Kleinman the "Soup Nazi." And Kleinman's carrot and artichoke puree, bobbing with roasted peas and candied shallot croutons, and topped with warm Parmesan foam, personifies that in spades. If you don't order this, you're crazier than Kleinman. Lump crab "creme brulee" with ginger-poached pears, soy singer and habanero tobiko. A palate cleanser of strawberry yuzu sorbet, frozen olive oil and goat cheese jelly. Eggs are a passionate project of Kleinman's, and one of the available plates on his pop-up dinner menu is a148-degree eggs Benedict puddled in a foie gras hollandaise and paired with grilled avocado slices, au gratin Russet and sweet potatoes, and dotted with microgreens. Kleinman, perhaps more than anyone, knows how to properly prepare eggs, and it's a good skill to have. A duo of lobster crepes, haloed with salt water bubbles, are served on a plate sauced with mornay and black truffle caviar. Sous-vide spiced beef shoulder with candied shallots, smoked pudding and mushroom caps stuffed with "baked potatoes." Fried pork belly with Israeli cous-cous carbonara, smoked spinach and a perfect poached egg. Maple Maker's Mark bourbon cocktail with lime juice and ginger beer accompanied by maple syrup cotton candy, which added a hint of sweetness -- and color -- to the cocktail when it was stirred in. Sky Goble, the pastry chef at the Sheraton, created four different desserts, including a thirty-second chocolate sponge cake with purple Pop Rock-surfaced chocolate-covered cherries, cherry sorbet and a cherry blossom chocolate lattice.
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