Restaurant Roundup: Departure Restaurant & Lounge

August 18, 2016  •  Restaurants

departure-denver-barI feel fortunate to be involved in the food industry in Denver, and one of the best perks has to be invitations to soft openings or training meals for new restaurants. It’s a chance to be one of the very first to experience the food, and you get a chance to give valuable feedback to the restaurant as they prepare to open to the public. I’ve been to some where I left thinking they really needed a couple more weeks to get ready. Not the case with the Friends & Family Meal at Departure in Cherry Creek. Other than a short wait longer than our reservation time – which was enjoyable anyway because we were ushered to comfortable seats in this cool bar where we sipped on a beverage while waiting – everything seemed to go without a hitch. And the food? Wow. I will be back for sure, and soon! Here’s what we enjoyed:departure-denver-tuna-poke

Big Eye Tuna Poke, with house made sesame crispsdeparture-denver-chile-wingsChicken Wings, as in the best I’ve ever had – crispy, meaty, moist drummettes, with sweet chili glazedeparture-denver-chicken-yakitoriChicken Yakitori, with yuzu and chili – they were good, but I was kind of wishing I had gotten the teriyaki version –
next time I guess!departure-denver-crab-and-sausage-XO-riceDungeness Crab, Sausage, and XO Fried Rice – yummy, savory, and a BIG bowl of fooddeparture-denver-duck-curryCurry Duck, served with a piping hot fresh loaf of French bread and half sour pickles, to make into a Bhan Mi type of sandwich – the bowl was brimming with slices of the duck breast and chunks of duck confit from the legs,
and had I not been stuffed at this point, I would have eaten every morsel of this dish!departure-denver-sauteed-greensSautéed greens with garlic chips – good enough to make you want to eat your vegetablesdeparture-denver-guava-mousse-and-coconut-iceGuava Mousse over Coconut Ice – I’m not usually a dessert person, but this was light, refreshing,
and we couldn’t stop eating it despite all of that other fabulous food we had tried.

Bottom Line: this place has a lot going for it! Great design, trendy neighborhood, cool (large) bar, hip lounge music playing, fabulous food, great service, and interesting drinks. Stop in for lunch or dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

Sage Restaurant Group
Departure Restaurant & Lounge
249 Columbine Street, in the Halcyon Hotel
(720) 772-5020

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