Mizuna (Denver, CO)

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The two most important things that stuck out to me while visiting Denver, is that a black man invented the street car (Granville Woods) and I can’t breathe.  I figured it wouldn’t be right to start this review off by stating, “I can’t breathe” (Eric Garner) due to the sensitivity of those words, but those are the thoughts that stuck out with me the most.  This was my first time in Denver, and believe me when I say, the altitude is definitely different from other areas of the United States.  (Yes, I know. Mountains. Peak. Highest Point. Blah Blah)  Denver, however, is a beautiful city.  If I were a full-time photographer, I’d try to make it out here once a quarter to take pictures on different mountains.  It’s amazing how there’s snow on top of the mountains 365 days a year.


During my visit I was able to get to a French Style restaurant for the evening.  Mizuna is a top rated restaurant in the western United States so I had to see what the hype was all about.  The restaurant is located off of 7th Avenue and has a romantic setting.  When you walk inside the restaurant you’ll see an open kitchen to your left, and a wide space.  The restaurant looks as though it’ll seat around 50 people at once.  A typical french restaurant setting, white table clothes, wine spotting, nothing too spectacular.


I was able to indulge in three dishes during this visit.  Chickpea & Lentil Cake, Seared Sea Scallops, and Beef Wellington were the choices of the night.  I’ll start off with the Chickpea dish.  It consisted of Fresh Chickpea puree, tahini and green garlic puree, and seasonal roasted vegetables.  This reminds me why I can’t be a vegetarian.  I need meat.  It’ll be challenging for me to get away from poultry and seafood, because I don’t believe plant-based foods are enough.  However, this dish was pretty good.  It had the right amount of spices, but the presentation sucked.  It looked like a bunch of mixed vegetables were thrown on a plate, so the presentation definitely needs to be worked on, but the consistency of the overall dish was good.  I enjoyed the garlic puree and the chickpea had a dry texture but had the right amount of saltiness added on from the different purees.  The Lentil Cake was moist, but was a little under-seasoned.  I would’ve loved to see more salt and pepper added to this dish.


The second dish that was ordered were the Seared Sea Scallops.  It consisted of three nice sized scallops topped with sturgeon caviar, chantrelle, maque choux, potato vonnas, and foi grais demi-glaze.  Scallops were seared perfectly and finished off with the right amount of butter.  What was interesting to me about this dish was the caviar.  The caviar in a dish that featured a starch such as potatoes, usually don’t go hand in hand, but somehow it worked.  Caviar is a delicacy and goes well with other light fish or can be eaten by itself. I expected to see the potatoes puree’d, not in the form of a smaller pancake.  The chantrelle mushrooms were a great addition to the dish as the earthy flavor balanced out the salty flavor of the Caviar.  The Maque Choux corn was very creamy and provided the vegetables needed to balance the overall dish.  I couldn’t really give a description of the Foie Gras Demi-Glaze because the other flavors of the dish over-powered it.


The last dish of the evening was the Beef Wellington.  I’ve never had a Beef Wellington before, only a  (Lobster Wellington) which was amazing, so I decided that this is a dish that I needed to have.  It consisted of Truffle Duxelle, Potato Puree, Spring Peas, Porcini, and Bordelaise sauce.  This Beef Wellington was one of the best beef dishes I’ve ever had.  The Puff Pastry was soft and moist, and the crimini mushrooms that were used as a paste were cooked perfectly as well.  The Potato Puree melted in my mouth with each bite and I was shocked by how well the peas worked with the overall dish.  I asked for the dish to be prepared medium and this is what I call a perfect medium.  I didn’t get too much flavor from the beef, but the overall dish had enough flavor where I didn’t miss it too much.  The bordelaise sauce was sweet and worked well with the starchy flavor of the potatoes, too.


Overall, this restaurant is a go-to.  I’m sure there are many other restaurants in the area, but if you have the opportunity to get to this place then I suggest you do.  There’s a nice ambiance, generous staff, and good food.


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