Acorn - Denver, CO
If you're going to be in Denver and have about two or three weeks lead time before you actually arrive, make a reservation at Acorn. Seats for the restaurant--arguably the hottest joint in town at the moment--book up about a month in advance for weekend evenings. Or you could do as we did: go there at exactly 5 p.m. and hope to get lucky with walk-in.
Acorn is located in an industrial area next to warehouses and auto body shops. It is, itself, inside a building that used to be a brick foundry back in the 1880s. The building was recently converted into an "artisan food market" called The Source with cheese mongers and microbreweries among them.
Yes, it's a gentrified food hall like those we've seen in OC, but the charm of the place is that it's out of the way and not even close to downtown--it takes a concerted effort to get here. And when you do, you are rewarded with some of the best food you'll ever find in a room covered in sheet metal.
This is where Mad Max and Furiosa would go on a date.
The restaurant is actually one of two inside the place, but it's the shining jewel of the entire hall. The menu is a hodgepodge of small plates sold for $15 on average. All are good to excellent. The New York Times agrees.
The spaghetti we had was electric with a sauce that's not quite marinara, not quite puttanesca, but somewhere in the middle. The meatballs were fall-apart-soft, served fuming with creamy polenta in an iron skillet. There was crispy pork belly added to a Thai mango and sticky rice dessert; and hamachi was served so beautifully it belongs in an art gallery.
And oh, that reminds me: when you're in town, also visit the Denver Art Museum.
3350 Brighton Blvd.
Denver, CO 80216
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