Restaurant Review: 1515 Restaurant

1515-Restaurant-denver 1515 Tasting Menu

Date Reviewed: 10/2/15

My annual pilgrimage to a nice restaurant this year took me to 1515 Restaurant, named for its location at 1515 Market Street.  I ordered the eight-course tasting menu.

Amuse-BoucheShredded Beef with a Cantaloupe Gazpacho – The shredded beef was tepid at best, as if they made it at opening, set it out, and waited until a server came by to offer it to a diner.  In addition, the beef lacked a little seasoning.  Although topped with potato sticks – very similar in flavor profile to French fries – which helped with the seasoning, but on its own the beef didn’t stand out on its own.  The cantaloupe gazpacho was very good, a sweet delicious opening.

Bread – I have long believed that you can judge a restaurant solely by the quality of their bread.  It doesn’t work all the time, but there is a high degree of correlation between the quality of the bread and the quality of the food.  The bread here was served with a roasted garlic butter that completely overpowered any flavor the bread may or may not have had.  Not off to a great start, 1515.

1st CourseSpring Salad – Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, potato sticks, dilled champagne vinaigrette.  I’m not a salad guy, but this salad was good.  The champagne vinaigrette was the highlight – it gave the whole salad a sweet and tangy kick.  The potato sticks were the same as on the Amuse-bouche, and gave the salad a crunch – a nice textural contrast.  The cherry tomatoes were off. I am used to them having a sweet taste; these were a bit sour and more acidic like a normal tomato.  Wine pairingProsecco.  Paired well with the champagne vinaigrette.  On its own a bit flat (flavor-wise, because it was still a sparkling wine).

2nd CourseSweet Corn Bisque, Shrimp, Gnocchi – almost a creamed corn served in soup form.  I love creamed corn, and it was very good here, but the texture was a bit off-putting.  It didn’t have a smooth consistency, rather there were small chunks of corn (as you might expect with bisque.)  The gnocchi was fried, giving it a nice crunch on the outside that had me looking forward to the gnocchi dish.  Wine PairingWhite wine blend.  This blend was very dry, only a mediocre pairing for the sweet corn dish.

3rd CourseMolecular Shrimp Cocktail, Bloody Mary Ice – a fun dish, the “cocktail sauce” was a Bloody Mary mix that was flash frozen.  It still had wonderful spicy kick like that of a traditional horseradish tomato cocktail sauce.  (Obviously not the same kick as St. Elmo’s, but that is okay, it was a fantastic balance).  One of my favorite dishes of the night.  Wine PairingChardonnay – A velvety smooth, slightly sweet chardonnay.  It paired very well with the shrimp dish and was definitely my favorite wine of the night.

4th CourseRoasted Shallot Gnocchi, Pepperonata Agrodolce, Parmesan – After the bisque course I was looking forward to having a whole plate of the crispy gnocchi.  Somehow, however, these were less crispy than the one immersed in the corn bisque.  It was slightly disappointing from that standpoint.  It was still a very good dish.  The shallots and agrodolce it gave it a nice sweet touch.  It could use more Parmesan – I only say that because everything could always use more parmesan.  Wine PairingRosé blend

5th Course7x Colorado Cattle Company Wagyu Beef (Ishiyaki style cooking at the table on a hot stone), XO Paint, Yuzu Ponzu – The 7x refers to the amount of marbling in the meat, normal meat has a rating of 4.5x, so this has more marbling than a similar cut.  It is always fun to play with your food and with a hot stone over 500 degrees, the meat cooked in seconds.  By far one of the tenderest pieces of meat I’ve ever had.  It could have used a bit of seasoning though.  Wine PairingMalbec – Malbec is my favorite type of wine, and I found this one to be a typical-Malbec, though perhaps a bit on the dry side.

6th CoursePan Seared Atlantic Salmon, Risotto, Asparagus – Another of my favorite dishes of the night.  The salmon was cooked perfectly, and while it could have used a bit more seasoning, the sauce on the plate complemented it very well – the drawback was the minute amount of sauce the put on the plate.  The star of the dish was the mushroom risotto.  The mushrooms gave the risotto a great earthy flavor.  Wine PairingPinot Noir­ – this wine paired well with the earthy risotto and the tender, flaky salmon.

7th Course7x Hanging Tender, Lacinato Kale, Red Wine Demi – Another steak course.  This was better seasoned, but not nearly as tender as the Wagyu dish (as you might expect).  Wine Pairing – It was red? – definitely red.  Don’t remember it otherwise.

Desert of the DayProfiterole filled with Orange Crème, Blackberries – a good light desert to finish after a couple steak courses and a fish course.  Wine Pairing – Tawny Port.  Cloying sweetness, highly alcoholic kick.  I have never liked port wines and this was no exception.

Overall, a very good meal.  Everything could have used a bit more seasoning, in my opinion, but otherwise a good solid meal.  Though I would recommend getting a steak entrée instead of the tasting menu, as the tasting menu drove the price up above what I think it was probably worth.

WWYT Rating: 7.5

Gayot Rating: 14/20

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