No counting calories or fat grams in this indulgent LoDo eatery
The buzz about Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen has been loud and the reviews over-the-top enthusiastic ever since it opened in August. Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, who partner in the the super-successful Rioja and Bistro Vendôme, both on Larimer Square, grabbed the former Martini Ranch (and former a lot of other things) space around the corner on 14th Street. They call Euclid Hall, their third hit eatery, an “American travern,” but its dishes are adventurous, internationally inspired and rich. How do you say umami in American?
It took me three post-opening months to get there, three months when I kept reading and hearing good things. When my husband Ral and I planned to meet our friend Bernie Weichsel, the producer of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo, for dinner in Denver, Euclid Hall was the fist place I thought about. Bernie’s late father, a wholesale butcher in Manhattan, was a purveyor to many of the city’s top restaurants. Bernie grew up appreciating good meat, and in everything I read and heard, Euclid Hall’s meat was praised. Make that, swooned over.
Jasinski and chef de cuisine Jorel Pierce have crafted a menu that revolves around house-made everything: they butcher their own meats and make their own sausage sausages, pickles and even mustards, four of which are magnificent with the signature sausage tasting dish.
We were seated on the second floor of the restaurant between the bar and the big front windows. Solid chairs surround bare tables, set with simple napkins wrapped around heavy flatware. A stubby candle in a Mason jar in the center of the table underscores ambiance but without frou-frou accents. My husband ordered the Lefthand Breweing Co.’s Milk Stout from the impressive big beer list, and I couldn’t resist trying Infinite Monkey Theorem wine on tap. Wine on tap?!?!
The menu is seasonal and clever: sandwiches, sausages, poutine, schnitzel and desserts have their own sections of the menu, but seafood is listed under “Dock,” meats under “Block,” and salads and side dishes under “Roughage and Sides.” As we were studing our options, Chef Pierce emerged from the kitchen and suggested that we try Euclid Hall’s specialties and his favorites. Sure, we agreed.
The first item was Oyster Shells and Shots, Two Ways. Three oysters on the half-shell with a super-spicy bloody Mary granita alternated on the plate with three oyster shooters in a cucumber gin gimlet. We devoured the dish arrived before I had a chance to take a picture. However, click here to see Lori Midson’s shots for Westword.
And now for the rest of the feast.
Fall mushroom soup, a potent shiitake brothenriched with'lardo' and aromatic with fresh dill.
Probably about the season's last heirloom tomato salad with mache, Stilton vinaigrette and a frill of crisp-fried shallots.
Seared Marlin with capers, lemon, pine nuts, argon oil and parsley -- and a deviled for good measure.
Broiled bone marrow with demi-glace, sherry reduction and sliced, grilled sourdough.
"The Works" is a sampler of hand-cranked sausages with housmade pickles, additional condiments and a fine bretzel roll. Pretzel Fried Pies, the final indulgence, are donut-dough torpedoes respectiavely filled withcheesecake, peach preserves and dark chocolate, fried and coated with sugar.
Sociable Euclid Hall portions all dishes to share, and was I glad! I rarely indulge in food so rich and probably was able to hold my own only because I was recently in training in Germany. Truth be told, I tasted foods I haven’t touched in years. I was glad the chef picked for us, because every single dish, including blood sausage and marrow that I never would have selected on my own, was tasty and immensely satisfying. But don’t just take it from me. My husband and Bernie, far more carnivorous than I, gave Euclid Hall thumbs up too.
Price check: Fresh Hand-Cranked Sausages, $3-$15 for one to three sausages; poutines, $9-$12; Schnitzel, $12.50-$14.50; Dock (seafood), $9.50-$15; sandwiches, $9.50-$10.50; Block (meats and poultry), $5-$16; Roughage & Sides, $2-$12.50; condiments, $1.50-$5; Desserts, $3-$7.50.