First Look

The Noble Swine Supper Club serves up seven stellar courses

Last night, I had the best cup of coffee of my life.

It was the Novo-roasted Brazil Cup of Excellence poured from a French Press, hot and complex, and so good I wanted the owner of Crema Coffee House, who sells the java, to relinquish the whole pot, letting me blissfully drink myself into a caffeine-induced anxiety attack.

That cup of liquid gold was the send-off to seven fantastic courses prepared in a makeshift kitchen in an unassuming warehouse space in Five Points by a group of chefs from some of Denver's best restaurants, including Jonathan Power from Root Down and Andrew Van Stee from Potager. Those chefs and a couple of cohorts are the organizers of the Noble Swine Supper Club, an invitation-only dinner group that now has five events under its belt.

While Hush Denver, the not-so-secret supper club in town, has garnered a massive following through events catered by big name guest chefs held all over the Front Range, Noble Swine has been plodding along quietly, turning out multiple courses with brilliant pairings for intimate groups of about thirty. I'm letting the secret out, though, because last night's dinner was the best of its type that I've attended.

Three hours prior to that cup of coffee, we started our night with gin gimlets made with thyme and pink peppercorn on a sidewalk, entirely uncertain of what was to come. We made friends with our dining companions on the street, and as twilight settled, we were led inside Crema Coffee House to a long table of assigned seats. The Noble Swine crowd was a group from all walks of life brought together by food enthusiasm, and we made conversation about personal kitchen experimentation and recent meals, becoming better and better friends with each course and accompanying beverage.

Noble Swine represents a chance for the chef-organizers to play outside of the confines of their home restaurants, and last night's menu saw some inventive use of produce. Like a single cherry stuffed with smoked blue Gruyere served in an Asian soup spoon. A palate-cleanser was comprised of intense, crisp carrot sorbet garnished with a single leaf of cilantro. And the best course was a rye steamed bun wrapped around tender corned beef tongue, accompanied by spicy kimchi.

And the beverage pairings, which were all local, were outstanding. Mountain Sun's XXX IPA played on the green notes of a chilled pea soup. A chef-brewed American black ale balanced a coffee-crusted pork loin. And that carrot-centric palate cleanser came with a Dark and Stormy that was light and crisp, made from Montanya Rum and Oogave Ginger Ale.

The Noble Swine supper club is taking a break in July, but it'll resume in August with an event offered to an invite-only guest list. Want to be included? Email them at [email protected] to hear about the next party.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk