Reader: Those that can, cook; those that can't, critique

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For this week's Cafe review, Gretchen Kurtz visited Epernay, the restaurant that opened nine months ago in front of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Although she appreciated chef Duy Pham's artistry in the kitchen and the sleek, modern setting, she found that the staff really needed to clean up its act if Epernay is going to be a hit.

See also: Hold your applause until Epernay cleans up its act

Her review inspired this from peoplebasicallysuck:

Those that can, cook, those that can't, critique, and after a fabulous meal, complain how the wonderful food's mother isn't mowing the lawn up to snuff for the snooty neighbor.

But davidjhuff agrees with Kurtz's assessment:

My meal there was equally rife with service snafus and hit- and-miss dishes. Duy is indeed an incredibly talented chef but he keeps winding up at spaces that try to be all things -- high-end lounge, dance club and fine-dining destination,a concept we've seen collapse time and time again (including at the Jet hotel -- another of Duy's stints). A reworking of the service would have a chance to save Epernay but it will never survive when the investors are more concerned with the scene than focusing on the restaurant itself. Case in point, my wife and I were seated directly in the path between the lounge and the bathrooms only to have several groups of drunk douches stop next us and fill the whole (empty) dining room with their blather. It was actually almost entirely laughable to the extent I decided I felt sorry for Duy for ending up at yet another spot destined to fail. He graciously heard me out and it sounds like the dishes have improved but, unfortunately, the service remains a joke.

Have you stopped at Epernay before or after a show? How did you find the service? How did you like the food?

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