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Restaurant Roundup: Undici, Chinook Tavern, and Vert

October 5, 2012 | Restaurants

I try to snap a quick photo or two at just about every restaurant I visit. Not because I’m one of those obnoxious foodies who has to photograph every morsel that passes my lips (ok, I might be a little bit like that), but because I want to remember where I ate so I can share it with you readers so as to guide you to some great spots. So here’s the rundown of where I’ve eaten recently, starting with Undici. Undici in Italian means “eleven”, and the name indicates this is the 11th restaurant operated by the family of Alex & Dina Kallas. The food is consistently good, the service lovely, and it’s easy to get into. It’s also about a mile or two from my house, so a simple place for us to head to. My husband, who loves Italian food, and I – well I happen to love just about anything Italian at all – gravitate to this spot in between newer and trendier spots that we check out. The baked cannelloni, filled with spinach and ricotta, is lovely, and large enough to share or bring home for leftover lunch the next day. Chinook Tavern, and it’s executive chef, Markus Georg, aren’t new to Denver. But the location, the vibe, and many elements of the current menu are. Chef Markus still features some of the original signature items from his menu in Cherry Creek, but he’s added more European and other dishes. I personally judge how great a restaurant is by how they do chicken. If it’s dry, it they don’t tell you where it’s from, if it’s flavorless, then I’m not a fan – fortunately, it was just the opposite at Chinook Tavern. My husband’s ribs were equally good. I do worry about how large the space is and whether they can attract a crowd large enough to fill that space since they are housed south of the city in Greenwood Village. Give them a visit – I’d hate to see them close for lack of traffic.Last up on this restaurant roundup is Vert. Friends took me here just a few weeks after my knee surgery this summer to get me out of the house, and I was thrilled with the food. Everything at this restaurant is “proudly made in house using 100% organic and locally grown produce, all natural, sustainable meats and dairy, plus the finest pantry goods in Denver.” How can you not love that?I had a wonderful summery gazpacho soup followed by a perfectly seasoned curried chicken salad (that came with a lovely side salad as well). My friends had the signature Salad du Marche, which in this case featured a wonderful combination of tomatoes, corn and peaches (Colorado summer in a salad bowl!), paired with a nice goat cheese topped baguette slice. There isn’t a ton of seating space – only a few small tables inside – but they do have a back patio and a couple of sidewalk tables in front. It was also clear they do a brisk take out business – seems like the perfect thing to pick up on the way home if you’re just out of steam, running late, and can’t face the kitchen to cook.

Stay tuned for future restaurant roundups, and if you’re interested in where I dine internationally, check out my travel blog, where I continue to add to the 172 posts already included there!

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