Our third dinner from the Denver FIVE™ team focused on pleasing a man’s appetite, with an appropriate “dude food” theme for Father’s day.
The ladies in the Table 6 kitchen pulled out all the stops, giving dad everything he wanted from bacon-flavored donuts to steak topped with crab. But even my female taste buds were dazzled by some of the inventive cuisine that came out of the kitchen.
Our passed appetizers were excellent, but my favorites were chef Nadine Donovan’s take on “pigs in a blanket” and chef Aniedra Nichols’ Swedish meatballs.
The pigs in a blanket were more like “pigs in a flaky, buttery croissant” and got another major upgrade with the use of Polidori sausage instead of a typical cocktail weenie. Served alongside some mustard seed butter, the bite hit on all the classic components of the retro dish in a new, modern way.
Chef Aniedra’s meatballs were her grandmother’s recipe — and I must say, I would like to immediately join the Nichols clan because they were outstanding. Juicy, meaty, with the perfect amount of acidity from the sour strawberry jam garnish on top – I may never be able to eat the mediocre Ikea version again.
The entrées poured out with ribs and steak and scallops, oh my! But my favorite dish was actually chef Aniedra’s vegetarian take on meatloaf, which she cleverly titled “beetloaf” for her substitution.
The dish was so successful because it didn’t try to replicate a meat taste, but rather went for the same savory feel and texture of a meatloaf while highlighting the unique beet flavor. Peppery and topped with a velvety French onion “gravy,” this needs to be on Elways actual menu ASAP.
Chef Elise Wiggins, who hosted our last FIVE dinner, also came out with a stunning entrée featuring some of the best cooked scallops I’ve had this year and an almost drinkable anchovy butter melted over a truffled cauliflower purée. I’ll rally for this dish to make a menu appearance at Panzano, too.
Another crowd favorite was our host chef Carrie Shores’ steak topped with pickled crab. Yes, that’s right pickled crab. It was actually a great acidic addition for the otherwise buttery-rich steak, served medium rare.