Thursday, April 8, 2010
"Say what you mean, mean what you say." So many arguments and statements are now lead by agenda based, epithets of partisan lingo that no one truly understands that the meaning is simply lost...and all that exists is the knee-jerk reactions that so often amount to less than a bumper sticker of true individual thought. When I find myself in a helpful place to "sort myself out", politically, humanistically, or just within my own misshapen view of what I want to be for my world, I am certainly with someone who is diametrically opposed (or at least at odds) with my soap box, and injects their views in a manner that makes me wince. A deep breath...but I know that the only constructive response has to be rational, and truthful; we begin to build. Eventually, always, I play for a humanistic, love and community based rationale for all problems. I am unapologetic in the fact that I think our solidification and ultimate reunification of everyone, relies on the fact that there is something beautiful and foundational to be brought out of the struggle. No one gets to be right. No one gets to win. Though for that, we all are better for the fight. Open your ears, rise above the static and tease out the real issues of our world.
Friday, April 2, 2010
The dinners (for now) take place at Studio Como, (think Ikea, though the customers aren’t all recently divorced men or college students, but Range Rover driving, square toed shoe wearing, upper crusters with a little funk) and the modern chairs and exposed brick walls are oddly at ease with one another, and appropriately industrial. The energy is generally something between a co-ed mixer, a murder mystery dinner and an awesome 80’s party. Our coats are taken, and we are directed by Phil towards the “bar”, (actually a semi-functional display kitchen) and given a Deshler (made by Kevin Burke, Head Barman of Colt and Gray) to sip on. Approximate something between a
Eating at a dinner with food lovers is much akin to watching previews at a movie. After each bite (or preview) everyone leans in to give their two cents about the thumbs ups and thumbs downs of the offering. Our first course was a Kabocha Squash Soup, with a Cilantro-Squash Seed Pesto, Smoked Brown Sugar and a Lime Crème Fraiche, paired with a Spanish Sitios Bodega, Verdejo/Sauv Blanc blend. The thumbs are up, the crowd is hushed…save a couple “ooh’s” and copious slurping. The soup is executed perfectly: velvety, rich and the Lime Crème Fraiche adding a light crispness that brings all of the flavors together. The wine is humbled by the soup, and falls a touch flat. The table’s bowls are all cleaned thoroughly.
Onto the three main protein courses, with an unfortunate common theme: cold plates. Seared Scallop with Braised Root Vegetables, Pork Belly, Mushroom Jus and Yucca paired with a Opawa New Zealand Pinot Noir. The dish is conceptually quite nice, but the salt is instantly overpowering. The scallop was seasoned well, seared well, but the tepid, brodo-ish vegetables and broth must have been salted before braising and reducing, and the compounded seasoning is just too much. In addition, the “pork belly” was a thin, tangled piece of bacon, which, yes, is in fact pork belly, but stretching the description a bit. The Opawa pinot is bold, inky and delicious, ending up as my favorite amongst a group of interesting pairings. For our third course, Braised Lamb with Israeli Couscous, Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Jam paired with an interesting and delightful La Garrigue,
Second star to the right, and straight on till morning…we enter Dessertland. A jiggly and sensual Rose Panna Cotta, with Lemon Saffron Sorbet, Clover honey and a Lemon Tuille is placed before me. With a Moscato in my hand…I smile. Now, read this knowing that the Pastry Chef from Root Down, Samm Sherman, is a friend of mine from culinary school, but I am not biased: the dessert was great. Save for the rose petal on the plate, (NO inedible/non-functional garnishes!) the dish was delicious. The panna cotta had just enough of a hint of rose, and was a consistency just perfect for squishing through my teeth (my preferred eating method), and the lemon saffron sorbet was uber-sweet and saffrony, a combo that I was concerned about. Eaten in one forkful, the plate was delightful, all elements singing in harmony.
As was discussed at my table, eating at Hush Denver is about the mission: Give the underlings some light to shine in, support local eateries and do so with the fellowship of foodies and fun-loving gastronomes alike. I am always happy, full and a bit buzzed after a Hush meal, and leave with great new friends and a head full of conversation. There were some stumblings in the meal, but ask anyone that was there: it was fun as hell. The Chefs are putting themselves out there, with no walls segregating us, and making a symphony come together out of thin air. It’s at the very least an exciting, mysterious adventure in foodery and a chance to be in a think-tank of discerning and intentional eaters. I will be at every Hush Denver event; in anxious anticipation of my “blind-date”, red rose in hand…waiting to be wowed.