Restaurant Roundup: The Wooden Table, Earl’s, McLoughlin’s

January 21, 2013  •  Restaurants

mcloughlins omelet and hash brownsI had somewhat of a disaster this past week – when searching for photos for a new magazine food writing assignment, I discovered that when migrating to my new iMac, I accidentally wiped completely clean and reformatted the external drive with the most current backup of all of my food photos. The net result? I lost about 18 months of my most current photos. I cannot tell you how bummed I was, but what’s a girl to do? Get cooking and start photographing again, I guess. In the meantime, I happened to have a few shots from recent meals out that I thought you might like to hear about.mcloughlins restaurant and barFirst up is McLoughlin’s, an Irish Restaurant and Bar down near Platte Park (right by Zengo). When driving back from visiting our little puppy Lucy back in December, we stopped here for a quick Sunday brunch one day. Good omelet and home fries, nice mimosa, decent service, not too expensive. Definitely worth a pop in if you’re in the area.the wooden table linguine amatriciana with pork bellyPerhaps my most favorite new find is The Wooden Table, just south of Denver in Greenwood Village. They serve up seasonal Italian fare, and since it was snowing the night I went in with friends, a big old bowl of linguine with amatriciana sauce seemed perfect. What seemed even better – and felt very seasonal – was the huge slab of pork belly on top. Instead of dicing up pancetta and cooking it like a traditional amatriciana sauce, this was layered over the top, perfectly crisp and tender, and frankly was so generous that I enjoyed another full meal of it the next day. If you find yourself south in the ‘burbs, be sure to check this place out.earls kitchen and barThe last place I ate where I happened to snap a few photos was Earl’s in Cherry Creek. I’m not really one to frequent and write about chain restaurants like this, but I had such a nice lunch that I decided to share. We went in here because my husband wanted to be sure to catch the football game – and you can see from the screens that this place would appeal to the sports fans among us. In fact, Coach John Fox of the Broncos came in while we were there to sit at the bar for lunch.earls fish tacosWhat I found surprising for this kind of a place was how delicate and delicious the food could be, like these fish tacos…earls caesar salad…or the Caesar salad. Notice how light the dressing is, not a thick creamy mess in a bowl. Like I said, chains aren’t usually on my list, but the sunny booth, the nice service, and the decent lunch – all while my husband was blissfully watching the game – added up to a lunch spot I’m quite likely to visit again.


4 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Cate Simpson says:

    Hi Michele, thanks for such a great shout out to Earls, we really appreciate it! And so happy you like our Caesar dressing. Earls is a family owned restaurant group, still run by Montana restaurateur Bus Fuller and his son Stan, the same family who started Earls 30 years ago in Edmonton, Alberta. We are pretty sure we were the first casual restaurant, way back then, to have Caesar salad on the menu and the dressing has always been made from scratch. All our food is actually made fresh and from scratch in each individual restaurant and although yes, Earls is a chain, we offer up as much as 20% regional differences in our menus to ensure we meet the needs of the neighbourhood we are in and that we support local suppliers. Cheers and thanks again! Cate Simpson, Earls Restaurants

  2. Cate Simpson says:

    PS, that pasta dish at The Wooden Table looks awesome! Love pork belly and will make sure to dine there next time I’m in Denver

  3. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    I first went to Earl’s when it opened in Park Meadows as part of a Chamber event I believe. Thought the food was great then too but I will never forget the pricing. It was as if someone has done the exchange and not rounded, so dishes were odd prices; for instance $7.62 for a salad, etc. Made us chuckle; haven’t been back for awhile but yes, wondering if they ever modified that system!

    I’m getting my home ready to go on the market and looking at some properties in the area of the Wooden Table…another plus if you ask me…thanks for the review!

  4. Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) says:

    Michele, I’ve been wanting to go to the Wooden Table for months. It was recommended to me by someone who is very hard to please when it comes to restaurants.

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