Restaurant Roundup: Old Major, Denver

January 29, 2015  •  Restaurants

old major denver logoHow can you not love a restaurant whose logo is seafood, swine and wine? I’ve had this place on “my list” ever since I fell in love with Owner and Executive Chef Justin Brunson’s food at the Cochon555 event in Denver last year. (How did I not blog about that incredible feeding frenzy of pig? I must have been too busy eating to shoot photos!)old major denver pretzel roll mustard butter-1I hate that I only have this blurry photo of the pretzel roll they bring to your bread plate when you first sit down. I almost never start with eating the bread in a restaurant, but this is served hot out of the oven, loaded with coarse salt, with a small tub of mustard butter – all four of my group ate every bite.old major denver brussel sprouts kale apple bacon-1The restaurant was packed (even the bar) and bustling already at 6:30 on a Saturday night, so we decided to order a couple of appetizers to share when we placed our drink order. I know Brussels sprouts, bacon, and kale have been a bit overdone lately on restaurant menus, but when you put these three together with apples, hazelnuts, nam pal, and a sauce heavy on the maple syrup, you can’t beat it. Fortunately my husband with the small appetite doesn’t usually “waste” space with veggies like this so my friend and I polished this off ourselves!old major denver sausage potatoes-1The other appetizer was an apple sausage that was nicely paired with some pickled cabbage and potato croquettes.old major denver mussels smoke pork shank mustard greens-1When trying a new spot like this I want to sample as many of the dishes as possible, so we all agreed to order four different entrees that we would pass around and share. The mussels and smoked pork shank comes with stewed marrow beans, mustard greens, pickled fennel white wine, and grilled bread. It’s actually on the small plates menu, but because of the addition of the beans and the bread, it’s a fairly hearty dish. You’ll want to soak up all of the broth with the nicely charred bread.old major denver scallops shrimp cappelini-1My husband opted for perhaps the lightest dish on the menu, the scallops and shrimp with capellini, lemon, Calabrian chile, romanesco, garlic bread, and kale. I was actually in search of the bacon when I tasted it, but I’m guessing the restaurant wants to be sure to cater to non-meat eaters too. The flavor was great, the broth rich, and the charred bread with pesto smeared on it a nice way to again suck up all of those juices.old major denver english meat pie bone marrow-1All of us were intrigued by the English Style Meat Pie – braised beef shank and short rib inside a nice flaky crust served with bone marrow, potato purée, and glazed winter vegetables (including purple carrots that were sweet and savory at the same time). It comes with a nice blond gravy to pour over the top and indeed you’ll feel like you are in an English pub when you eat this.old major denver nose to tail plate polenta sunday gravy-1The feature dish – the one my friend and I had already decided to order two days before we even got to the restaurant – is the Nose to Tail Plate. It’s a dream for pork lovers and comes with a meatball, some braised belly, a smoked rib, and crispy ears, all served over creamy polenta and Sunday gravy (that’s marinara for you who aren’t familiar with this Italian-American slang), alongside some broccoli rabe, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. When you read the menu you might envision a huge platter of pork landing in front of you, but in fact, this is a very approachable dish that lets you savor all the parts of the pig, including the ears in a non-intimidating way (think pork rinds or chips).old major denver mapel bacon flan-1I’m not much a dessert eater but we decided we had to share the signature dessert – a maple bacon flan, that comes with a full slice of candied bacon (from Denver Bacon Co.) and bourbon caramel corn. This is like cracker jacks on steroids, and we actually all couldn’t stop eating it, despite being VERY full at this point. The menu at Old Major lives up to it’s tagline – seafood, swine and wine – and it was such great comfort food for the winter that I’m intrigued to come back in the summer to see just how they lighten it up for warmer weather. Not that bacon is a bad idea any time of the year!

Old Major
Owner and Executive Chef Justin Brunson
3316 Tejon St
Denver Co, 80211

DINNER: 7 days, 5pm-10pm
HAPPY HOUR: Mon – Fri, 3pm-6pm
Sat & Sun, 4pm-6pm
BRUNCH: Sat & Sun, 9:30 – 2pm
RESERVATIONS: 720.420.0622

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