100 Favorite Dishes: Head cheese from Olivéa

Olivea head cheese.jpg
Lori Midson
As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up, in no particular order, a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to cafe@westword.com.

Number 44: Head cheese from Olivéa

John Broening's charcuterie -- lamb sausage, pork belly, boudin blanc, smoked duck breast and duck liver mousse -- is, indisputably, one of the most sensational boards of offal and meats in Denver, and Olivéa, the Uptown restaurant where Broening is crafting all those marvels, is one of the only places in the city where a chef is making headcheese, the tour-de-force of all offal. There's something so ridiculously pleasurable about using the scraps from the meatiest parts of the pig's head -- tongue included -- to create a whole terrine of nothing but fine swine, fat and spices, including roasted and cracked juniper berries, that results in what may very well be the richest, most insanely delicious use of a pig, like, ever. It's not for everyone, and whoever came up with the name "head cheese," clearly had the brain of a cricket, but if you're in the house, and Broening is offering it as a special, which is the only way you're going to get it, you'd be remiss if you brushed it off because it's not named Joe.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100 Chicken-fried steak from Lola
No. 99 Alaskan reindeer sausage from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs
No. 98 Mac-and-cheese fries from Jonesy's EatBar
No. 97 Soft egg ravioli from Prima
No. 96 Pho - any pho -- from Pho 95
No. 95 Assiette de charcuterie maison from Z Cuisine À Côté

No. 94: Cheeseburger from Larkburger
No. 93: BBQ Masher from Cabin Creek Smokehouse
No. 92: Apple pancake from the Original Pancake House
No. 91: Burrata from Osteria Marco
No. 90: Eggs Benedict from Devil's Food Bakery
No. 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta
No. 88: Deviled eggs from Steuben's
No. 87: Corn-in-a-cup from Jack-n- Grill
No. 86: Enchiladas from Taco House
No. 85: Pupusas from Pupusas Sabor Hispano
No. 84: Baklava from Ali Baba Grill
No. 83: Masa-fried oyster shooters from Deluxe
No. 82: Tacos al pastor from Los Carboncitos
No. 81: Salsa bar from Tacos Y Salsas
No. 80: Dim Sum from Star Kitchen
No. 79: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket
No. 78: Fries from Encore
No. 77: Shanghai-style dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro
No. 76: Chile relleno burrito from El Taco de Mexico
No. 75: Fish fry from GB Fish and Chips
No. 74: Posole from Tarasco's
No. 73: Sausage, ham and egg biscuit from Table 6
No. 72: Bacon flight from the Berkshire
No. 71: Tasty Treats from Gaetano's
No. 70: French dip from Udi's
No. 69: Panang curry from US Thai Cafe
No. 68: Pineapple upside-down pancake from Snooze
No. 67: Saag paneer from India's
No. 66: Udon noodle bowl from Bones
No. 65: Grilled corn soup from Lola
No. 64: Sesame pockets from Lee's Garden
No. 63: Whiskey-braised beef from Steuben's
No. 62: House special from Viet's
No. 61: Sultan Combo from Phoenician Kabob
No. 60: Cake and a shake from D Bar Desserts
No. 59: Caprese salad from Gaia Bistro

No. 58: Fried chicken from Tom's Home Cookin'
No. 57: Molcajete a la Mexicana from El Paraiso
No. 56: Corned beef hash from Argyll Gastropub
No. 55: Aye Conyo from Buchi Café Cubano
No. 54: Fig n' pig flatbread pizza from Encore
No. 53: Toro sashimi from Sushi Den
No. 52: Spinach pinwheels from Virgilio's
No. 51: Chicken-fried steak from the Breakfast King
No. 50: Hot dog with hot sauce from from the Old Fashioned Italian Deli
No. 49: Adobada gordita from Tacos Y Salsas
No. 48: Curried Indian mussels from Argyll Gastropub
No. 47. Pasta carbonara from Fruition
No. 46: Amarena cherries and chocolate from Sketch
No. 45: Aloo gosht salin from the British Bulldog



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