First look: Food porn from TAG|RAW BAR
At exactly 11 a.m. today, the doors of TAG|RAW BAR, located in the newly remodeled Larimer Square walkway, swung open, and by 11:30, the orange sherbet seats at the pint-size raw bar were jammed with chefs, including Lola's Jamey Fader, curiosity-seekers, tourists and regulars from TAG, the whimsical Larimer Square restaurant owned by husband and wife team Troy Guard and Leigh Sullivan, who also operate TAG|RAW BAR.
Lori Midson The team behind TAG RAW BAR, which opened today in Larimer Square
One by one, they sauntered in, greeted by jovial shouts of "poppycock!" from the line, led by Guard, Sam Freund and Shawn Motoda, both of whom came from TAG. "It's like when you walk into someone's house, and they say 'welcome,'" explains Guard, who gives everyone an amuse of poppycock when they sit down. "It's our way of welcoming people inside our restaurant."
A restaurant, says Sullivan, who recognized several faces that wandered in, that's definitely not your typical dinner destination for a heavy meal that sits in your stomach like a house of bricks. "The entire menu is small plates, and if you want to leave really, really full, then you're going to have to eat quite a few things on the menu," she says. "You're not going to get an entree, but you're going to leave filling satisfied and energized," echoes Guard, adding that nothing on the board, which is divided into sections -- "Raw," "Almost Raw" and "Sushi" -- is cooked beyond 120 degrees. "What we're doing is all about fresh, clean, pure, raw flavors that make your body feel good," he says.
Sullivan and Guard are still waiting on their liquor license, which they should have by tomorrow night, but while the cocktails, all of which are concocted with fresh-squeezed juices and fresh fruits, sound amazing, there's also a section devoted to "Sober Sips," alcohol-free liquids that also benefit from the use of fresh ingredients, not to mention wacky little nuances, like red hots. "You know what Troy's like," says Sullivan. "He likes to do all sorts of crazy, weird things."
Today, though, Guard was all business, turning out artistically composed plates that do a body good. We stopped in early this afternoon to sample a few dishes and brought back a taste of what you have to look forward to.