Waxing poetic about a mangorgasm at Venue

It's the explosion of flavor that's so exciting--taking an ingredient and making more than it was to begin with.

This is what Thomas Keller said on page 31 of his French Laundry Cookbook. And although the father of modern American cuisine was talking about his philosophy regarding making soups, the same guidelines apploy when making a variety of other things. Sorbet, for example. Mango sorbet, to be exact.

Sorbet usually consists of a base of flavor (most often fruit) and then some water and sugar. It differs from a granita in that it's made in an ice cream machine, while a granita generally is just frozen and then scraped with a fork. But there was nothing usual about this mango sorbet, which gave me a mangorgasm.

Let's set the scene: We'd just finished three fantastic courses at Venue Bistro. And Jason Sheehan was right -- those grits, which won Best Grits 2009, were off the chart. Although relatively stuffed, I looked at the dessert menu and ordered a trio of sorbets and ice creams. There must have been divine intervention involved, because I never get ice cream at restaurants. I always find myself leaning towards stuff that's more, I don't know, interesting. Ice cream always seems like something I can grab at home.

But you won't find anything like this mango sorbet in my freezer. It isn't even made by Venue. Sometimes it's what a restaurant doesn't do that shows its real talent. Because Venue was smart enough to go to Red Trolley for this.

I was expecting a burst of temperature first (okay, this is cold), followed by a strong, sweet taste of mango. But the second this hit my tongue, all of my brain switched into "mango mode." My heart probably stopped, because the part of my brain that keeps it going was busy thinking about mangoes. 

The texture was smoother than The Most Interesting Man in the World and I almost felt like rehashing a scene with Johnny Depp in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. You know, the one where he loves the pork carnitas he gets so much that he decides that the dish is too good and he must go back and kill the chef. Which he did. But that's s just a movie reference, Red Trolley fans, don't worry!

Besides, there are so many more Red Trolley sorbet flavors I still need to try...

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