Small-plate sampling very promising.
Uncle Joe’s: A Hong Kong Bistro is an intriguing addition to the downtown Denver dining scene. As much as I can piece together, it is the brainchild of Dr. Dennis Law, a retired physician who wants to bring Hong Kong food to the US — this being the flagship of the concept. I don’t have a Law family tree, but I think this is the Dr. Law who also produces the dazzling Shen Yun stage show of music, dance, costumes of culture. It comes to Denver again in March.
But I digress. The family’s prosperity goes back to the real Uncle Joe, who a made a fortune as the manufacturer of most of the world’s Star Wars action figures in the last quarter of the 20th century. He was also something of connoisseur, and Uncle Joe’s Bistro honors the namesake’s passion for food and the good life. “Uncle” is a term of endearment used to address male elders in the Chinese culture, and the restaurant began as a labor of love by Joe’s four sons to honor a man who loves living the good life, which includes his passion for food in general, and the pork dish called cha shao in particular.
I was invited to a tasting of some of the restaurant’s specialties, but was handicapped by come straight from a French luncheon at the Brown Palace. I ate what I could and enjoyed every bite. Uncle Joe’s is down the street from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, so I’m betting I get back there — with room in my stomach to actually eat. The executive chef Thach Tran came to Uncle Joe’s from ChoLon, where he was the longtime executive sous-chef.
Uncle Joe’s: A Hong Kong Bistro is in the soaring Spire Building at 891 Fourteenth St., Denver; 720-330-8487.