Restaurants & Bars 11

Denver: Let's talk Beatrice & Woodsley

Megiac | Jun 9, 2008 09:32 AM

I know some of you have been because I first read about it in the small plates post. For those that have made it, what are your initial thoughts?

We made our first trip on Friday, and were impressed. There were some misfires, but overall the place has a ton of potential. And what a stunning space! I'm one of those people that keeps a mental Rolodex of places to take our visiting East Coast friends who think Denver is a culinary backwater. B&W will definitely be on that list.

The food was generally good, with a few amazing dishes and one complete misfire. The highlight of the meal was the sweetbreads. They were on a small piece of cake soaked in honey. It was absolutely decadent, but also didn't have that heaviness that sweetbreads can sometimes get. Our second favorite dish was the herb raviolis. The pasta was perfect and it had a nice, delicate flavor and texture. This was a fallback order when we were still full after our initial order of 5 dishes (the waiter told us to order 2 per person--don't listen to them! We ate 7 between the two of us) and we were so glad we had extra room for this one. Other dishes were good to very good (lamb, duck--I took the husband's word for this one; try as I might, I just don't like duck, cauliflower au gratin, cheese plate). The only dish that was a problem were the sweet pea cakes. It is a sweet pea blini with mushrooms, "yogurt cheese," and pea shoots. The yogurt cheese was the problem. I like salty food, but the salt flavor was overwhelming--like a mouthful of Morton's. It unfortunately completely buried the rest of the flavors. I am assuming that it was just this batch of cheese because I cannot imagine intentionally doing that to a dish. I'm willing to try the cakes again because I like the idea of them.

Three quibbles I am willing to overlook now since it's a new restaurant, but that they should address:

1. Start carrying sparkling water
2. The plates need to be bigger. I understand that it is a small plates concept, but they give you glorified bread plates to eat off of. If you are served more than one dish at once, this just isn't practical. And if something is saucy like the cauliflower au gratin, you have no clear spot on the plate for the next dish. I understand that a full dinner sized plate is too large, but they need something bigger. Salad plate sized would be perfect.
3. The bathroom sinks are cool and all (although they must waste a ton of water since half the people cannot figure out how to turn them off), but if they are going to put white tile on the floor and wall in the bathrooms, they need to do a MUCH better job of cleaning them. At 9 pm on Friday, the women's room was college bar bathroom levels of dirty. It was affirmatively gross, and if I had seen the manager on my way out, I would have said something.

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