Ten best restaurants in the Golden Triangle
If you're going to the Westword Music Showcase -- and why wouldn't you be? -- you'll likely be prowling the Golden Triangle for sustenance and refreshments before, between, and especially after the shows. Luckily, in this neighborhood there is no shortage of options for the discerning palate, the ready-to-snarf, the caffeine addict or the late-night lingerer. Here are ten of our favorites (in no particular order) to stop your belly from rumbling after your ears are buzzing.
Those seeking reprieve from the heat and hustle of the Music Showcase can duck into the cool cavern of Dazzle's bar for a classic cocktail like a New Orleans-inspired Sazerac or a perfect martini (ask for it that way if you value your gin and aren't afraid of vermouth). Known more for its internationally acknowledged live jazz program than for its menu, you still won't go wrong with a plate of immaculately breaded and crisped calamari or almost magically creamy risotto balls. Bonus points for a very late-night happy hour.
What Rooster & Moon lacks in ambiance (unless you like an elementary-school cafeteria vibe), it more than makes up for with deeply roasty coffee brewed from venerable Boulder roaster Allegro, fresh-fruit smoothies and a vast board of breakfast favorites -- we lean toward the PB & J oatmeal on a brisk morning. Showcase wanderers will welcome the special menu featuring two summery cocktails and Korean tacos with kimchi and either kogi-doused pork belly or equally luscious jackfruit -- the perfect vegetarian answer to pulled pork.
Don't expect to see Parsley advertising two-for-one deals on a billboard. Don't even expect anyone to answer the phone there. But that doesn't mean Parsley doesn't care: It just means that this sweet little lunch spot is so busy catering to the needs of its Golden Triangle neighborhood that it's too busy to do anything else. Under the thoughtful guidance of owner Jason Bailey, Parsley has been preparing sandwiches (on City Bakery-supplied ciabatta bread), salads and soups, as well as a variety of veggie juices and smoothies, since 2008. More than a few menu items are veggie-friendly, and more than 50 percent of its ingredients are organic. Enjoy them in a sherbet-bright setting with a spartan, Ikea-like feel.
The downtown empire of veteran restaurateur Kevin Taylor may have dwindled, but this only gives him more time to focus on his mostly-lunch café (although it's open until 8 p.m. on Fridays) located inside the Denver Art Museum. Inspired by the art surrounding the cool, modernist dining room, the menu dances with colors and squiggles and features a light and elegant touch with salads and sandwiches alike; a watercress and endive salad balances sweet candied pecans with tart verjus while a pork schnitzel sandwich belies its heavy-sounding ingredients with a fine panko crust and an airy pretzel bun. A carpaccio appetizer may best capture the collision of composed artistry and sophisticated flavors.
Brothers Devin and Jason Stallings won a lot of fans with their DJ's Berkeley Cafe in northwest Denver, so in early 2013 they brought the same winning concept to the Golden Triangle, where they opened DJ's 9th Avenue Cafe. Like the original, it opens at 7 a.m. every morning and stays open until early afternoon, serving breakfast (pancakes and breakfast burritos), lunch (sandwiches and a daily soup special), lots of good, strong coffee...and six versions of eggs Benedict, including salmon with asparagus, chorizo with poblanos over polenta, and the classic, with Canadian bacon, a sturdy poached egg and a thick, toasted English muffin blanketed with an excellent Hollandaise made with chicken stock. While the menu at this younger sibling is the same as at the original, the space is larger and airier, with more seating and windows along Lincoln that let in the morning light.
Keep reading for five more favorites in the Golden Triangle.
955 Bannock St., Denver, CO
303 W. 11th Ave., Denver, CO
100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO
865 Lincoln St., Denver, CO
955 Lincoln St., Denver, CO
740 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO
1135 Bannock Street, Denver, CO
43 W. 9th Ave., Denver, CO
1173 Delaware St., Denver, CO