Getting together on the day after Thanksgiving with Society of American Travel Writers buds who live in or visit Colorado at this time of year is something of a tradition. Rich Grant of Visit Denver can always be relied on to pick a cool place to gather. This year, This year, we met at the Matador Restaurant & Tequila Bar that opened just a few weeks ago in the heart of Highland, one of Denver’s most wonderful neighborhoods.
Tasty Tex-Mex food, a busy bar and window filled with tequila bottles are noteworthy in this congenial corner restaurant. The tequila selection is imposing, whether straight with lime or fashioned into margaritas or other cocktails. I ordered a Top Shelf Margarita, a tall, limey cocktail that packed a Rio Grande Restaurant degree of wallop, and that means strong.
Tequila bottles backlit take on the aspect of a stained glass window.
We sat at a high-top table with a gas fire in the middle — a bit of overkill on a warm, sunny afternoon, but I’m sure fabulous on a cool winter evening. In addition to baskets of chips with piquant salsa (chipotle, I thought) , soft-shell tacos — a choice of flour or corn tortillas, hit the spot.
Price check: Happy hour tacos are $5; cocktails are $6-$10.
Unusual selections for Denver Restaurant Week at Highland steakery
The most common mix of courses for Denver Restaurant Week is a choice of three or four appetizers, three or four entrées and a like number of desserts for each person. LoHi Steakbar marches to its own DRW drummer offering a choice of 13 starters and two entrées per person, plus a choice of thee desserts for two people to share. I’m not sure what they do if there’s a solo diner or an odd number at the table. Six of us occupied a round table in the busy dining room, but it did seem as if the similarly sized bar area was equally busy. We all ordered from the DRW menu..
New gastropub features rustic-style decor, tightly focused pork- and seafood-centric menu and keg wines
There’s a literary reference to the name Old Major, chef Justin Brunson’s latest venture in the neighboring red hot restaurant districts west of the South Platte and I-25. In Highland, Old Major, named after the featured porker in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, sports the trendy rustic look utilizing reclaimed wood and hefty furniture, has a small menu (changing every two or three months, says Brunson) and a big vision of featuring the distinctive tastes of “seafood, swine and wine.” A cool slogan, and the adjective “fine” could accurately be attached to each.
The upscale gastropub’s buzz built instantly from a soft opening over the weekend, a couple of private parties and a mid-day media preview today. The food at Old Major is both robust and sophisticated, but what also really impressed me is the restaurant’s ground-breaking policies in the food service biz. There are no runners or bussers (those who bring the food-laden dishes also take the dirty ones away). In fact, there are just two levels of servers, a word that general manager Jonathan Greschler says actually isn’t used. because it implies a class system that is eschewed.
Along the same egalitarian line, Brunson says they’ve hired cooks who might become chefs and waitstaff who might become restaurant owners. Additionally, to help staff on the road financial stability should they want to take out a loan or a mortgage, tips are added to each person’s paycheck rather than distributed nightly in cash. Real admirable policy which Greschler calls revolutionary in the restaurant industry. In other words, policy copycats welcomed.
Rosa Linda’s is owned by the Aguirre family, US citizens who originally came from Mexico and happen to be Mormons. The headline stated and the post itself implied that Romney was not welcome. It turned to be a twist of what Oscar Aguirre had told Romney’s handlers last August, which was simply that the family said they would welcome the candidate but did not want to be a campaign stop.Nevertheless, the reaction from who-knows-who was swift and ugly. Westword’s Cafe Society post unleashed a torrent of actions based on ignorance, hate and bias ranging from name-calling to death threats. “Denver restaurant receives death threats after passing on Romney campaign stop,” Channel 9 reported. Continue reading A Meal at (and Support for) Rosa Linda’s→
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news.