My meal at Wild Catch was stunning, even if it won't make the review
Rob and I had been talking about Wild Catch since it opened this summer, our anticipation building with every friend we ran into who raved about the place. "The food's damn near perfect," one promised. "Best restaurant in Denver right now," said another.
We were waiting. Or, more specifically, I was. I was giving the place the requisite two-month grace period before dropping in for critical purposes, because I think it takes that long -- sometimes longer -- for a restaurant to really get up and running. But after Wild Catch had been open sixty days, the place moved to the front of my dining-out docket.
I finally made a reservation there for this past Friday, looking forward to rewarding Rob's unrelenting willingness to travel to all corners of the city and eat anything I order by treating him to a work-related meal that would actually be a romantic date, complete with good wine and foie gras.
We pulled into the valet three minutes late for our reservation, but when we approached the host stand, the hostess graciously informed us that our table wasn't quite ready. So we stood at the bar and examined the drinks list on an iPad, admiring the producer representation and price span of the wines and delighting in cocktails like the 50/50, a half-and-half blend of green and yellow chartreuse.
The sparsely decorated dining room was oddly bright, the exposed brick of one wall offset by the white color scheme and light woods that filled the rest of the room. That spartan feel could have easily made the place cold, but the chatter, along with a busy, smiling staff, made the room feel warm and good -- and removed from the rest of the world.
When we finally did sit, we were attended to by a well-choreographed team. The army of servers kept an eye on our sourdough bread and nori-dotted butter, our water and wine glasses, our utensils and our plates. They were conversational and warm, and, for the most part, they exhibited fine-dining professionalism.
Most important, they never interfered with our enjoyment of the food, which was immense. We ate a velvety lobe of seared foie gras over a flaky apple tart, enjoying the classic savory-sweet pairing. "Excellent foie," I noted under the table while Rob snapped photos with his phone so that I could remember everything. "Want the pastry recipe." The scallop entree, served with a cauliflower puree and a warm cauliflower salad, got an "absolutely perfect." The pork osso buco on a bed of braun-studded charcute received a "rich, tender, voluptuous and sexy." And the pumpkin doughnuts, I wrote, were one of my favorite desserts of the whole year.