Picture-Pretty Plates at Palette’s

Kevin Taylor’s artistic cusine is worthy of its art museum setting

Kevin Taylor reigns as one of Denver’s best and most enduring chefs, and his namesake Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group operates several top local restaurants. He has opened, closed and renamed individual restaurants, but they always feature the boss’s exquisite modern American cuisine that is in equal part beautiful, palate-pleasing and service-oriented. Among his current restaurants is Palettes in the Denver Art Museum. Wherever you sit in this well classy space, there’s something to look at — sculptures on the plaza outside the large windows, large abstract paintings or the semi-open kitchen. Hours are geared to the museum’s opening days and times. To me, a weekday lunch is the ideal time to visit.

At Palettes at the Denver Art Museum, artworks and fine food exist side by side.

In my few times there, what came out of that kitchen was unfailingly excellent. Two friends and I went to see the evocative and moving Robert Adams photo exhibit. After seeing Adams’s subtle yet powerful black-and-white images of Western landscapes, Adams masterful photographic composition and Palettes exquisitely balanced presentations reflected sensitivity and artistry in two media — one edible.

Smoked sweet corn soup, a bit of guacamole and barbecued shrimp.


Roasted golden beets surround a heap of fresh greens with a sprinkling of Gorgonzola and also pistachios, pequillos and Gorgonzola vinaigrette.


Asian-inspired entree of Togorashi seared tuna, bok choi, sesame sticky rice, gingered pickles and wasabi ponzu.


Half a lemon and garlic roast chicken, fries and tarragon mustard sauce.


Sharp's orange Creamsicle "pie" with white chocolate base, meringue crown, raspberry compote and a fresh strawberry.


Vanilla crème brûlée with fresh berries and house-made cookies.

Price check: Three-course prix fixe lunch, a choice of one item from course on the lunch menu, $26. Appetizers, $9-$15; entrées, $11-$18; desserts, $10.

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