Hello Blogosphere Friends!
I have been severely slacking on my blogging lately. You would think with spring break coming up, that I would have had a chance to sit down and rest, but it seems like life only keeps getting busier!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take some time out of my work and school schedule and grab some lunch with one of my friends – a fellow dessert connoisseur.
During my time in Denver, I have lived in a few different neighborhoods, including downtown and Capital Hill. About a year ago, I moved away from all of the action and settled down in Glendale; I love the area, but the food selection is terrible. With a yearning for the downtown atmosphere and a craving for good food, we ventured down to 24th and Larimer.
Sugar Mill, which opened about four months ago, is one of the most phenomenal food experiences I have ever indulged in. Walking in, I instantly fell in love. The restaurant, which probably seats about forty people, has a modern but comfortable vibe. The seating includes a community table, a few smaller “couple” tables, and bar seating. The bar, which is where my friend and I sat, looks right over the “chefs line” and the preparation counter; It was incredible to not only watch the chefs prepare our food, but to engage in conversation with them as well.
Seating only a limited number of people, the restaurant is a one-waitress location. Sitting across from the chef and pastry chef, they took over the role of waiter. In most restaurants the kitchen staff is insistent on staying in the kitchen and avoiding customers – I loved that the people making our food were also describing it… And making it RIGHT in front of us! It was such a different, exciting experience.
Sugar Mill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Pastries, cocktails, and cakes are also some of their over the counter specialties. The menu is small, but extravagant. The restaurant offers daily sandwich and drink specials. To start off, my friend and I treated ourselves to their specialty cocktail, the “Ladde & Go.” The drink, made with white wine and a peach balsamic, created a taste similar to that of white sangria. What a perfect drink for the first day of spring!
While looking over the menu, the pastry chef pulled a batch of fresh coconut macaroons out. Seeing us ogling over the sight, he let us try a few. If you are looking for the world’s best macaroon, Sugar Mill is the place to visit. In most of my macaroon experiences, I have found that there is a lack of balance between the coconut and the flour. Most of the time they far too dry. The balance between the moisture and the flavor was mouth watering.
The next adventure was lunch. The Báhn Mì, which was the daily sandwich special, is a Vietnamese sandwich, consisting of: traditional duck pâté, chicken liver, pork, and a slaw on French bread. Although the combination of these meats seems a little alarming, the flavors and texture lead your taste buds to paradise! Báhn Mì is typically a market or food truck food; seeing it on the menu meant that the ingredients would be fresh and the time put into the dish would only add to the overall taste. My friend got a steak salad, a light dish with bold flavors.
After an incredible lunch it was finally time for the most important course: DESSERT! With so many options, we decided that we would order two different desserts: the Chai Bar and the Apple Tart. During our meal, one of the pastry chefs spent her time making fresh apple tarts; to pass up on the dish would have been foolish. The Apple Tart was basically a miniature apple pie with crème fraîche (homemade) ice cream. The tart crust was the perfect amount of flakey and the apples had the perfect crunch. If you love apple pie, you will be pleasantly surprised!
The other dish, the Chai Bar was my absolute favorite. Every time I go to Starbucks, no matter how many times I say I am going to change my order, I end up leaving with a Chai Latté in hand. The spice and sweetness of chai leaves me always wanting more. The Chai Bar was basically a chai gelatin, layered over a chocolate bar, and served with marshmallow ice cream. The gelatin captured the perfect essence of the spice and sweet that I can’t get enough of. With an added layer of chocolate, the dish had some added texture and a complimentary taste. Over the top were caramelized bananas, which were caramelized in front of our eyes.
If you cant tell from the length of my blog, I would recommend Sugar Mill 100%. The atmosphere left me wanting more and the food was phenomenal. Everything is made in house by the talented staff. If you are looking for a quick gourmet lunch or an evening cocktail, this is the place for your taste buds. The staff is extremely welcoming and the environment is inviting – You will NOT be disappointed!