I've been hearing good things about Mizuna for years, so it's a little surprising I hadn't eaten there before last night. On the other hand, it's a very pricey, special-occasion kind of place (at least on my budget). There's only so many of those I can afford in a year.
We started by sharing a dish of Nantucket Bay scallops in parsley and caper brown butter, accompanied by fried artichokes on lemon aioli.
The scallops were simply heavenly. Smooth and creamy and scallop-y, just lightly crisped around the edges and tender inside. We mopped up the butter sauce with our bread. The fried baby artichokes were cleverly presented quartered and skewered , and super-light, but I can't say they really tasted like anything but tempura batter. Maybe if I'd tasted them first; since the scallops were so distinctive they probably overwhelmed the much more subtle artichoke flavor.
For the main course, steak knives were added to the table. Styled to look like pocket knives, they were attractive and distinctive. A closer look revealed them to be Laguioles, which are the ne plus ultra of knives. Reading food blogs introduced me to them, but I'd never seen them in person. That's me, geeking out over tableware.
The Sergeant ordered the roasted Cervena venison loin, with crispy sweet potato cannelloni, roasted chestnuts and red wine choucroute.
It was quite tasty! And I found it interesting to compare the taste and texture of the venison with my Colorado rack of lamb.
That was accompanied by a daube of lamb and an artichoke and potato gratin. I liked the lamb both ways. It was super-tender, and I picked up the bones to gnaw off every last little bit. Gauche? Pas du tout!
The portions were generous, I thought, but not so large that you couldn't manage a bite or two of dessert. The Sergeant had Jivara chocolate pecan pie with Madeira ice cream.
I didn't even taste it! I had my hands full with my own cappuccino crème caramel and macarons. The crème caramel was brought to the table under an inverted coffee cup, which was then lifted to reveal it. Very sweet and yummy. I think it kept me awake for a while, too.
And since it was my birthday, I got a candle to make a wish on. No, I won't tell you what I wished for, or it won't come true!
But what I'm hoping is to go back one of these days and try the tasting menu.
225 E. Seventh Ave.
Denver, CO 80203