Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Denver Restaurant Week Update: Panzano

Last but not least, and a little late since Denver Restaurant Week. Panzano was really doing a nice deal because they offered four, rather than the usual three, dishes for $52.80 (for two people). As you can see on their published menu, they had 3-5 options for each course. They also had $5 glasses of a red wine and $4 glasses of a white, contributing to the good deal.

I started with the "Anatra Mousse con Zeppole," which consisted of duck liver mousse with thyme, parmesan doughnuts and a cranberry maple compote. I've been dying to try this dish ever since I read about it here on Denveater. Check out that link for some good pics too. Who knew that duck could taste so dessert-y? Because this tasted more like a dessert than an app. The donuts were light and a little sweet and a little savory. I believe the duck liver mousse had honey on it (or maybe maple syrup?) and was so creamy. When you put it with the the cranberry maple compote on the donuts, it was totally something I'd enjoy as dessert or as an appetizer.

For the second dish, I had the Truffled Potato Leek Soup. It was my least favorite dish of the night. Not bad, but didn't excite me.

For my entree, I had the Gamberi Griglia: "grilled jumbo shrimp stuffed with Medjool dates wrapped with house pancetta, served over polenta, and topped with gorgonzola cheese." This was a great dish: sweet from the dates, salty from the pancetta, pungent from the gorgonzola (but not overpoweringly). I loved it.

For dessert, I had the lavender Chocolate Pâté with sea salt, micro-basil, extra virgin olive oil, candied orange zest and toasted hazelnuts--quite the plethora of flavors! Yet, somehow it all worked. I've had a lot of things with chocolate, but not basil. I guess I shouldn't be surprised it worked, since dark chocolate and basil are two fo my favorite things. It was a small slab of chocolate, but was so rich and flavorful, you wouldn't want more. I could barely finish it!

Our server was great. Very friendly and helpful.

It's hard to choose which was better for DRW--Rioja or Panzano--if it hadn't been for the entree meats at Rioja they'd "win." I guess I'll leave it at they both were fantastic and a great deal for $52.80.

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