Denver's five best seafood restaurants
Anyone who says you can only find good seafood on the coasts is just plain wrong. A number of restaurants in Denver are helmed by chefs who really know their way around fish. They bring in the best specimens they can find, and they turn out some truly exceptional ocean-focused dishes.
Mark Manger The seafood at Charcoal is stunning.
Some spots do it better than others, though, offering up long lists of innovative creations featuring creatures from the sea. Here, in no particular order, are Denver's five best seafood restaurants.
TAG|RAW BAR, 1430 Larimer Street
When Troy Guard opened TAG|RAW BAR in a Larimer Square basement address, he didn't even have a kitchen at his disposal. Instead, he got creative, building a menu from things he didn't have to heat -- or could heat sufficiently with a blowtorch. His resulting list -- which includes creative takes on sushi rolls, ahi poke matched with hearts of palm, bruleed avocado filled with crab meat and a ceviche shot that changes every day -- is one of the most inventive in Denver, each dish proof positive of the innovation that comes with limitations.
Charcoal, 43 West Ninth Avenue
Patrik Landberg built the menu at Charcoal, which I review this week, from his Scandinavian roots -- which means his list is riddled with fish. That's good, because the chef's seafood dishes are like a fun, fast joyride. His pickled herring, imbued with mustard and sided with fingerling potatoes, makes an ideal appetizer. So does his aquavit-brushed gravlax; he cures his own silky salmon in-house. For dinner, there's skin-on trout that's crackly, supple and infused with the char of the grill. But the scallop and prawn fricassee may be the best example of his talent of all: supple scallops pair with fat shrimp in a saffron-scented foam; a thin square of pistachio baklava adds an excellent finishing touch.