Cafe Society

Year in review: Tables and Ace change up their menus

Since my first review appeared in Westword in September -- it was of the then-six-month-old Kitchen Denver -- I've reviewed sixteen spots.

And already, some of those spots are changing -- menus, if not more. See also: - Attention to detail would safeguard the Kitchen's brand in Denver - The family operation at Tables is both comforting and surprising - Ace scores with action, drinks and decor; food is a tie game

Some of these changes were to be expected, as restaurants updated menus to reflect colder temperatures and seasonal produce. At Tables, for example, late-summer dishes such as pork with sautéed peaches and scallops with minted summer squash have been pushed aside by holiday-inspired entrees such as duck breast with cranberry preserve. In mid-January the menu will change again, with even heartier fare such as bass with cracked pepper-parmesan spoon bread and duck confit-fennel ravioli joining the lineup.

Ace is also launching a new menu, though not because of the season. As I reported in my December 20 review of Ace, the changes reflect this veteran team's efforts to make sure they're offering what people really want. According to Josh Wolkon (who owns the place with his wife, Jen), the new lunch menu "puts less emphasis on small plates and sharing and allows guests to more easily order individual, complete lunch entrees."

New items have been added at both lunch and dinner (where family-style dining remains in place), including a wider selection of banh mi sandwiches, spicy pork ramen, miso soup, Mongolian beef and coffee crème brulee. A dim sum cart for parties in the ping-pong hall is also new -- and an idea that should score big in the new year.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz