Toby, my waiter at Restaurant Kevin Taylor, is very excited. When he hands me the menu, the look on his face is one of barely contained joy. He waits while I look over the first page -- beaming, fairly spilling over with enthusiasm. I've already told him I haven't been here in a couple of years, and he's already told me that I am in for a surprise. He's been working the floor at Restaurant Kevin Taylor for seven years, and he says this is one of the best menus he's ever seen. And you know what? Toby is right. I've been writing about food for five or six years, and cooked and wrote menus myself for more than a decade before that -- and this is one of the best menus I've ever seen, too. Apple-glazed foie gras with Colorado peach preserves, sweet corn soup with lobster, corn dumplings and chorizo, seared diver scallops over braised pork belly and heirloom tomato with a maple gastrique, squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and almonds laid over a canela sauce, Colorado lamb over lamb cassoulet with poached Mission figs and vanilla-glazed lobster with blue crab cakes washed in a roasted lobster veloute -- it is poetry without a single word, a single breath, wasted. Toby nods as he takes my order, and promises to hurry back with my first course. But before this, he brings an amuse bouche of wild mushrooms chopped into a simple wild mushroom stock, crowned with a tiny whole wheat cracker and a shaving of luxurious black truffle. Then comes my chilled lobster parfait of sweet roasted plums, blood orange gelee and a perfectly poached lobster tail floating on a cloud of avocado mousse. After that, a pavé of Atlantic salmon is so good it renders me speechless -- so I don't answer when Toby stops by to ask how it is. It's just fish -- roasted, lightly touched with salt, topped with a smear of spiced papaya preserves and mounted atop semolina gateau in a tarn of earthy green leek and sorrel emulsion -- but it is stunning. In fact, the entire meal is almost beyond description. Right now, Restaurant Kevin Taylor is amazing, finally -- and perhaps only briefly -- deserving its lovely room and high prices and glut of fawning press. The summer menu has been in effect for three weeks already and will disappear come fall, so go now. Order wildly, eat hugely and steal menus -- because I don't know when you'll see a better one.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.