Round two with Jeff Russell, exec chef of District Meats
This is part two of my interview with Jeff Russell, exec chef of District Meats. Part one of our chat ran in this space yesterday.
Favorite restaurant in America: Surprisingly, it's a very small place in Chinatown in New York City called Green Bo. The first time I went was in 2001, and we waited about an hour on a hot August day. When we finally got a table, we had to share with two other families, but the wait was so worth it. Hands-down the best soup dumplings in the country, and the scallion pancakes are out of this world. Every time I go back to New York, I make a stop there. No other restaurant in the country has seen more of my business.
Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: Linger. The concept, atmosphere, view and food are all amazing and well thought out, and the staff always seems like they're enjoying themselves, which makes the guests have more fun. I also like Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria because it's small and intimate, with great pizza. Even though I see a lot of pizza every day at Wazee Wood Fire Pizza, I still can't resist going back to Marco's on my days off.
Favorite cheap eat in Denver: Pinche Tacos. C'mon -- it's delicious and it doesn't leave me broke.
Best thing about cooking in Denver: I really like being a part of the movement of a culinary scene that's evolving into something to rival all major food markets. With the addition of the Kitchen, ChoLon, District Meats/Wazee Wood Fire Pizza downtown, along with great places like Root Down, Linger, Village Cork, Colt & Gray and Rioja, we're making great progress toward putting Denver on the map as America's next culinary hot spot.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: More great restaurants that care about their food and service -- and care about the community, too.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Bad pizzerias. I ordered pizza from a pizza place a few weeks ago and was very dissatisfied with what I purchased: terrible sauce, cheap cheese and dry pepperoni. That's why we really try to focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients for our pizzas. It makes all the difference.