A healthy new Denver restaurant has been on our radar long before opening here. Zeal, Food for Enthusiasts, is a casual Boulder-based food and juice spot attracting health conscious foodies for the past five years. Due to its popularity, owners Wayde Jester and Chelsea Norton decided to try out the Denver market and opened in the Tech Center’s Landmark development last Fall.
Zeal offers the best in flavor and quality thanks to their organic ingredients and superb chef. Zeal uses local and organic ingredients, much of which come from their small farm north of Boulder. Their Chef, aka Enthusiast de Cuisine, John Broening grew up in France, the Soviet Union and Portugal where his father was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. Broening has worked in several top restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Denver and has been a featured guest chef at the James Beard House several times.
During our dinner we enjoyed a range of veggie, fish, meat and vegan dishes as well as their cold-pressed juice and house made Kombucha. Their current juices were kale and ginger, beet juice, and carrot based and are available as a flight or stand alone. They also serve as flavor additions to their green tea-based Kombucha. These aren’t the only offerings on tap at the bar, Zeal DTC offers a selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails and offer happy hour 2:30-5:30pm daily.
We began with a bowl of marvelous mussels and their popular Conscious Kale Salad that’s been a staple since opening in Boulder. We saw, even before eating, how this salad has remained a staple for so long with its colorful array of superfoods portioned out artfully in the bowl. The salad is kale based and features bright pickled carrots, sweet golden beets, crunchy walnuts and sprouted lentils.
For our main we ordered the Lamb Burger and the Poke Bowl. The Lamb Burger comes topped with tzatziki and a tomato jam served with either greens or a side of scrumptious chimichurri smashed potatoes. The Poke Bowl was laid out like the salad with its colorful ingredients portioned out atop a bed of brown rice. The crisp cucumbers and drizzle of spicy aioli were a great flavor addition.
Our sweet ending was a not-so-sweet, but very much a treat, cashew-based cheesecake. This vegan dessert mimics the real thing in its creamy texture but with much less sugar and no dairy. With a walnut crust, fresh berries and agave drizzle, we loved every last bite of this delicious creamy treat.
Zeal’s casual farm to table restaurant will be opening a new Boulder location this summer and just launched weekend brunch in their DTC location. From 9:30am-2:30pm enjoy their popular Acai bowls and bullet coffee along with new items like Eggs Benedict, pancakes three ways, bacon fried rice, and $14 bottomless mimosas.
Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss