Restaurant Roundup: Spuntino, Fooducopia, Tacos Tequila Whiskey (Pinche Tacos)

July 18, 2016  •  Restaurants

denver-spuntino-charcuterieI haven’t been doing very well with my resolve to get to new restaurants this year. There are just too many new great ones to possibly fit in, and there are ones I’ve been to already that I wanted to get back to, and then there are ones that for whatever reason weren’t on my radar when they should be. Today’s post is all about those “other” places – my next restaurant review will be about Bar Dough, which was actually on my list for this year!denver-spuntino-pastaSpuntino in the Highlands is small, and menu is also short and sweet. But what’s on there is fabulous – Italian food with a slight reinvention, a twist. I like when you go as a group because you can share more courses that way. The charcuterie platter here is ordered by the item for $8 each – had we know that it would be the largest mound of porchetta and prosciutto we’ve ever seen, we might have only gotten one since we also ordered burrata and another cheese they had that night. The platter comes with house made mustard, membrillo, and pickled veggies, and although we shared it with 4 people, we had trouble finishing it! I can’t recall everything that was in the pasta special that night, but it was made with bucatini in a Romesco sauce with some sausage, and we polished it off entirely.denver-spuntino-beef-cheek-saltimboccaSaltimbocca is my husband’s favorite Italian dish, but it’s usually veal with sage and, in the US, sometimes cheese. Spuntino’s version was made with beef cheeks (melt in your mouth deliciousness) over fregola, a Sardinian pasta similar to Israeli couscous, with fried sage leaves. So very, very good!denver-fooducopia-signdenver-fooucopia-pantry-productsNext up, Fooducopia, one of those unusually placed small neighborhood eateries that doesn’t seem to have enough customers to stay in business. They are passionate about what they do – which is serve inventive local food, alongside a small shop of many local Colorado food products. But I found the store a bit odd. Right next to a section of Colorado hot sauces are some Italian products; next to the presumably homemade ice cream are a few random things from around the world. I couldn’t quite get the point of the store itself.denver-fooducopia-salumiThe food, on the other hand, was surprisingly upscale, creative, and delicious. Just look at this charcuterie platter! We had to take half of it home just to be able to eat some of our dinner.denver-fooducopia-gnocchiPretty much already full, we decided to just share two small plates, the sage & brown butter Parisian gnocchi with walnuts & local micro mustard greens (best walnuts I’ve ever eaten, soaked in that sage brown butter sauce)…denver-fooducopia-duck…and the smoked duck breast with red cabbage purée & pickled blueberries. Although this dish was well done, I wasn’t a huge fan of the pickled blueberries, and think I would have preferred fresh instead. They also have several really interesting sounding salads, along with a pretty wide assortment of entree options, ranging from scallops to Colorado bison.denver-pinches-tacos-signFinally, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, I am pretty sure formerly known as Pinche Tacos. Am I the last person in Colorado to make it to this place? And can I blame my daughter for “forcing me” to split eight tacos? I mean, when you see the pictures and look at the description, what were we thinking? I was still full the next day! Note: the waitress was very clear that people usually eat from 2-5 tacos, and it should have occurred to 2 petite women that we’d be full on the low end of that range. But don’t get in the way of two chefs with big appetites on a mission!denver-pinches-tacos-4Clockwise from top right:
Triple-cooked Colorado beef tongue–served crispy, avocado, diced onion & cilantro, roasted tomatillo salsa, guajillo honey mayo
Queso a la Plancha
Griddled cotija cheese, avocado, roasted tomatillo salsa, lime
Citrus-marinated skirt steak, avocado, diced onion and cilantro, cotija cheese, lime
Mahi Mahi “Chimichurri”
Grilled mahi mahi, Mexican “chimichurri”, pico de gallo, avocado, papayadenver-pinches-tacos-3Pollo Agave
Agave-dipped fried chicken, slaw, Mexican “chimichurri”denver-pinches-tacos-1Carnitas
Crispy roasted pork, pickled red onions, avocado crema
Braised lamb shank, esquite, queso fresco, cilantrodenver-pinches-tacos-2Shrimp & Scallop Xnic-Pec
Pan-roasted shrimp & scallops, yucatan pico de gallo, avocado crema, lime


2639 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

1939 East Kentucky Avenue
Denver, CO 80209

Tacos Tequila Whiskey
1514 York Street
Denver, CO 80206

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