Celebrating a Birthday at Root Down in Denver
July 1, 2013 • Restaurants
My baby turned 23 this past week – yes 23, can you believe that? She’s now “officially an adult”, having graduated from college and culinary school, as well as having graduated from the parental payroll. She’s working some odd jobs this summer at various catered events and in various kitchens, then she’s off to tour SE Asia for 3 months before settling down to a restaurant job in Maui. It’s a great life, I know! But those who know her know that she’s worked hard to set herself up for this opportunity. We celebrated her birthday dinner at Root Down in Denver, one of the restaurants with an incredibly creative chef who contributed recipes to my Tasting Colorado cookbook. I took a cookbook to the staff to thank them, and in turn they produced a meal fit for a birthday celebration for us!Our waitress raved about the gnocchi small plate, so we shared that to start: ricotta gnocchi with a piquillo almond coulis, garnished with English peas, cherry tomatoes, a poached egg, and some bacon. Ridiculously tasty.Next up they surprised us with a course not on the menu, offered to us as a thanks, presented by the chef who whipped it up in the back. The drink is watermelon juice with some coconut water and prosicutto pureed together and strained, served with chef’s house made sausage, a bit of tomato, some black basil, and a slice of cucumber. Now that’s how you refresh yourself when it’s 100 degrees outside.Jenny ordered the chicken – served with a green chile grit cake, piquillo coulis and green curry sauce……while I chose the pan seared salmon served with beet-fennel slaw, black quinoa tabbouleh, dill creme fraÃ®che, and pumpkin seeds. Both were so original and thoughtfully created, reflecting the thought process and commitment of the chef, Justin Cucci.We intended to skip dessert, but how could we say no when they surprised us with the bread pudding with raspberry sorbet along with the chocolate torte served with avocado ice cream? Our waiter confided that pastry chef Samantha Sherman is pregnant and that her palate is “all over the place creative”. All we could say was thank goodness for that!