El Five Adds Brunch & it's a Hit

Like its Edible Beats sibling restaurants Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s and Vital Root, this Spanish/Middle Eastern hot spot for tapas transports guests to a unique setting serving amazing dishes and delightful drinks. El Five sits high above the offices of LoHi in a fifth-floor penthouse and is also the fifth restaurant in the Edible Beats family, hence the name El Five. Stepping off the elevator on the 5th floor guests are greeted with the smell of spices coming from the open kitchen and a vibrant atmosphere full of color and a spectacular view.

Dungeness Crab, Shakshuka & Iberico Benedict

Dungeness Crab, Shakshuka & Iberico Benedict

Like Linger next door, El Five capitalizes on their perfectly perched location with a large patio and floor to ceiling windows/doors that showcases Denver’s downtown skyline. The décor is bright, bold and eclectic, the last word describing all of the Edible Beats restaurants. Colorful faces from midcentury Egyptian and Turkish movie posters are painted on the walls and reflected in little hexagon-shaped mirrors. The vibe is fun, funky, swanky and sexy. It’s a great place for a date, whether dinner or just drinks, the setting and menu lends itself perfectly. 

Photo taken from El Five’s website

Photo taken from El Five’s website

We went to try their new Sunday brunch and of course, we were impressed. El Five‘s menu is clearly Mediterranean inspired, but creatively combines flavors and ingredients from multiple countries in that region. Thus, El Five has created a unique cuisine coined Tapas De Gibraltar, as the countries are all connected by this body of water. Indeed, everything we tried here had a unique twist that either tantalized or surprised our taste buds.

 We started with Coda coffee, Bhakti chi and a pastry basket with sweet treats like chocolate Baklava. We then moved on to the Pintxos tasting plate which we noticed all the tables around us had also ordered and was just like the tapas you get in Spain!

Pastry Basket with orange jam

Pastry Basket with orange jam

Pinxtos Plate

Pinxtos Plate

For entrees we selected the Dungeness Crab with Potato Latkes, Iberico Benedict, Garlic Shrimp with Manchebo Polenta (our favorite) and the North African dish Shakshuka. All four dishes contained very different ingredients and flavors, having originated in different parts of the Mediterranean. While the menu is Mediterranean, the 10+ entrees on the menu provide a diverse spectrum to please any palette. 

Garlic Shrimp: Sunny Side Egg, Manchego Polenta, Crispy Ham, Ibérico Brown Butter, Chilis, Salsa Brava

Garlic Shrimp: Sunny Side Egg, Manchego Polenta, Crispy Ham, Ibérico Brown Butter, Chilis, Salsa Brava

To conclude we ordered a Moroccan Pancake, an Apricot FROSÉ (our favorite drink on the menu) and a Sangria con Frutas. A sweet ending indeed!  

The brunch prices are very reasonable, only a few dollars more than their cocktails lol. But don’t let the price steer you away, dining or even just coming for a cocktail is worth every dollar.  

Moroccan Pancake: Farmer's Cheese, Nutella, Apricot, Pistachios, Orange Blossom Syrup

Moroccan Pancake: Farmer's Cheese, Nutella, Apricot, Pistachios, Orange Blossom Syrup

Rooftop Sangria & Apricot Frose

Rooftop Sangria & Apricot Frose

elfivedenver.com

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesherBliss

Bottomless Bar Car Brunch at The Nickel

If you're looking for a booze infused brunch, The Nickel, inside Hotel Teatro, provides guests with three great bottomless beverage options. Even better, each is customizable and interchangeable, meaning guests can bounce from sophisticated mimosas to punchy Bloody Mary's to sweet cereal-infused White Russians!

Coco Puff’s infused White Russian

Coco Puff’s infused White Russian

Mimosa & Bombolone

Mimosa & Bombolone

Located within Denver’s historic Tramway Building, now Hotel Teatro, The Nickel pays homage to the space that was once used to collect fare from customers riding its resident streetcars: a nickel. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday's from 10am- 3pm and the Nickel is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Their full menu incorporates quality ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, distillers and craft producers, and is comprised of dishes that make guests feel the warmth of familiarity. The Nickel also has happy hour daily complete with cocktails, charcuterie, Colorado craft beer and wine from 3pm-5pm.

Biscuits & Gravy. Chicken & Waffles. Bloody Mary.

Biscuits & Gravy. Chicken & Waffles. Bloody Mary.

We thoroughly enjoyed all the bar car drinks and fixings and found many diners around us doing the same. For sustenance we ordered the Biscuits & (duck confit) Gravy which was good but not as decadent and delicious as we’re used to. Our other dish was Chicken & Waffles which had very lightly battered/fried chicken, with waffles that were nicely golden crisp on the outside and soft inside. We took our time enjoying the food, the ambience and the bottomless bar car. The restaurant was pretty busy with a diverse mix of diners; young and old, boozers and non-boozers, hotel guests and Denver locals.

The Barrel Bar

The Barrel Bar

Coda coffee & side of bacon.

Coda coffee & side of bacon.

At the end of the month Hotel Teatro, being one of Denver’s most pup-friendly hotels, will be hosting their third annual puppy brunch Sunday, April 28th! During this special brunch, puppies will be available to play with and adopt in the lobby in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. To help raise money for Underdogs Animal Rescue, there is a $5 suggested donation to play with the pups and The Nickel will then treat you to a mimosa for donating! More info on the event here.

Dog In Lobby of Hotel Teatro

http://www.thenickeldenver.com

Words & Photos by Tiffany Candelaria

Hedge Row Brunch

Cherry Creek has been known for its ritzy stores and high-end chain restaurants, however these days its restaurant scene is catching up with the rest of Denver's unique restaurants and bars, and offers more parking then you'll find in RiNo or Broadway. Hedge Row is different for a number of reasons; it's not a steakhouse, the prices are reasonable, they offer brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks, and most of the menu is locally sourced.

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Hedge Row opened in the latter half of last year and sits on the corner of Cherry Creek Blvd. across from the mall. They describe themselves as a relaxed American Bistro featuring rustic dishes from a wood-fired oven. This shone through in everything from the decor, to the open kitchen, to the menu, down to the clothes the servers wear. The restaurant is very bright and open, and has colorful touches aside wood accents. It is somewhat reminiscent of The Kitchen and that's because it is part of the same restaurant group that is dedicated to serving delicious, real food sourced from responsible and local farmers and purveyors. Not only do diners get to experience the local freshness and quality of the food, but the staff also gets to try everything and takes field trips to the farms and ranches used at their restaurant.

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We started with the Gulf Shrimp Hush puppies with hot pepper honey that were recommended. They were crispy little balls with warm, soft cornmeal and shrimp inside, atop a dollop of jalapeno infused honey that made for a scrumptious Southern starter. For our entrees we ordered the Slow Roasted BBQ Pork Spoonbread and the Char-Grilled Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich. Both were excellent and just the right size after our hush puppies and a Bloody Mary.

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The Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich comes on a local Grateful Bread ciabatta and is similar to a Vietnamese  Bahn Mi. The chicken was juicy and came with some crunchy slaw veggies and savory spices. The BBQ Pork Spoonbread features a perfectly fried Wisdom Farm egg atop house slow roasted pork and a thick, grilled price of cornbread. There wasn't any kick to the BBQ, but it was flavorful and they have an awesome hot sauce with dates, cumin and fresh carrots by Seed Ranch. Sounds kind of strange, but it tasted similar to any regular hot sauce, but better. Other brunch favorites are their Smoked Salmon Flatbread, Yogurt Panna Cotta and Wild Mushroom Toast.

Last, although we were full, we still had to try their pastries and ordered all four ($12) to go. Their cinnamon rolls are quite popular and are finger lickin good, yes, you'll be tempted to drop the utensils and pull it's sticky goodness apart with your fingers. However, it's not sticky from frosting like other places sticky rolls, but rather coated with a sugar and bourbon glaze and topped with glazed pecans for a delightfully satisfying treat. Their other pastries are also tasty and flavorful opposed to overly sugary. They offer a Pear-Cardamom Coffee Cake, the Bourbon Pecan and Sticky Bun, Spiced Carrot Muffin, and the Maple Old Fashioned Doughnut, which was sweet but in a nice way that reminds you of childhood.

Hedge Row will be participating in Denver Restaurant Week (happening now), with a three-course wood-roasted dinner menu for $35. Go try their dinner or brunch for yourself, and don't forget dessert!

https://www.hedgerowbistros.com/event/denver-restaurant-week-223-34/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria       Photos by Josh Stephens

Jax Fishhouse | Specials & Brunch

Brunch is often most popular among the ladies, but Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar in Glendale is getting the guys involved with its new Bottomless Crab Sunday Brunch. In addition to the regular Jax brunch menu, from 10am – 2pm Chef de Cuisine Matt Lewis will offer endless Snow and Dungeness crab, plus sides, for $48. Guests can also enjoy unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for an additional $15. The crab is served hot, a half-pound at a time with butter, lemon, and sides.

We were invited to this crab party and ate as many crab legs and sides as we could and loved every minute of it. The first round we had the Dungeness crab with their crispy potatoes, and were happily surprised by the sweet and spicy Cajun seasoning all over the potatoes. Next we tried Snow crab, which we really liked for its taste and the ease of getting the meat out of those clippers. Jax thoughtfully provides you with a cool bib, cracker, and a tiny fork for extracting the goodness. We then ordered the Bacon Braised Collard Greens and the Biscuits & Country Gravy sides and were very impressed. In fact, the guy who orders biscuits & gravy 90% of the time at brunch said both the biscuit and the gravy were top notch, and would be excellent if there was meat in the gravy. Lucky for him, the regular brunch entrée we ordered had spicy pork sausage in it and you can also order 3 pieces of tender belly breakfast sausage for $5 as a side.

 

The regular Brunch entrée we tried was The Hash: scrambled eggs, spicy pork sausage, shrimp, potatoes, grilled onion, arugula, and whole grain mustard vinaigrette. It was a perfectly composed brunch providing tons of protein, a good helping of greens, tasty potatoes, and a coating of mustard vinaigrette that really elevated all of the unique flavors. There is a lot going on in this dish and a lot of actual food, so it is very filling, delicious, and nutritious. Jax regular menu has many great seafood, meat, and combination plates like The Hash, such as Chicken & Crawfish Gumbo, omelets, bennies, French toast and waffles, peel n’ eat shrimp, etc!

 

All the Jax locations, Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Glendale, and Kansas City, have a great dinner, dessert, and happy hour menu as well. They’re also known for the various events and specials they hold throughout the year, like their Mardi Gras Crawfish Boil Tuesday 28th. All of March is Oyster Month at all Jax locations and they are celebrating with weekly chef specials, contests, giveaways, pints of Emersum Oyster Stout, and culminating with the fifth annual High West Oyster Fest at Boulder Theater April 4th. And, a portion of sales at this event and from Oyster Month at CO locations—Boulder, LoDo, Fort Collins, and Glendale—will be donated to their local charitable partners. The weekly oyster features will be different at each restaurant, created by the chef de cuisine and inspired by oyster-loving cultures from across the globe. Jax will also feature an expanded mignonette and oyster menu throughout the month.

 

Jax is the first restaurant in Colorado certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. The chefs work with sustainability-minded fishmongers from both coasts on a daily basis to ensure their seafood is of unmatched quality, flavor, and abundance.

Go crack a crab for us, or an oyster! www.jaxfishhouse.com

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