Having opened their doors only a month ago, I was eager to try Charcoal, the newest restaurant on the Denver dining scene.
We went for Charcoal's brunch and perused their Swedish inspired menu. I ordered the Chefs Tasting menu – yes, they offer one for brunch. While tasting menus have become increasingly popular at dinnertime, this isn't so common for brunch time fare. I was delighted at their cleverness and jumped at the chance to try several dishes - five in fact.
Vanilla yogurt with granola, nuts and fresh berries parfait – The parfait had an inviting presentation and was a light and healthy start to the tasting menu.
Pancakes and French Toast – This course was served as 2 separate dishes. My favorite dish of the morning was the pancakes which were light, thin and fluffy. They were served with a blueberry compote and cream topper that made the overall dish sweet without being overwhelmingly sugary. The French toast, on the other hand, was not as exciting as the pancakes. It was served with a strawberry sauce that offered a flavorful component but the toast itself was nothing special. It was also served with a hazelnut crème that was disconnected from the flavor profile of rest of the dish.
Potato pancake with ligonberries and bacon – Second only to the pancakes, this dish was another favorite. The potato pancakes were dense, crisp and struck the feel of comfort food. Also, the combination of the savoriness from the potato and bacon with the sweetness of the berries hit a nice balance between savory and sweet.
Shrimp Benedict with horseradish hollandaise – Not being a big fan of anything benedict, this course surprised me with its lightness. When broken, the perfectly poached egg melted beautifully onto the shrimp and English muffin. The horseradish in the hollandaise was the highlight of the flavors as it worked to lighten the sauce while not overwhelming the bite.
Luker chili truffle with hazelnut mousse – The truffle was dense and chocolaty with a hint of chili flavor without the actual heat. The dish offered the second appearance of hazelnut mousse during brunch and this time, it accompanied the chocolate flavors nicely.
Having sampled much of Charcoal’s brunch menu, I look forward to trying their evening fare as well.
Final words on Charcoal… tasty, inviting brunch in a warm and contemporary atmosphere.
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