16 May 2017
After the rather nice meal at Mercantile on Sunday evening, I headed north to Wyoming on Monday. I’ve not been back to Cheyenne since the early-mid 1990s when I used to stop there during my cross-country driving trips. I still remember one very knackering trip in 1994 that took me across the country in 3 days — Ithaca to Chicago, Chicago to Cheyenne, Cheyenne to SF… A pretty good dinner at The Albany just as a ugly thunderstorm hit.
Having spent most of the day around the south-east corner of Wyoming, the next day I slowly headed back towards Denver, going through Fort Collins and Boulder, as well as Golden. Despite a recurrance of very painful tendonitis in my right (driving) foot, I went hiking all afternoon, which was pretty dumb…
So I ended up driving to dinner, which was at a place called Acorn. It’s one of the businesses located in a rather hipster-style complex called The Source, which wasn’t easy to find with all the construction outside. But I chose the counter seat and I chilled out.
The menu is mostly small plates, but when they suggested 2-3 for one person I was quickly reminded of how different plate sizes are west of the Mississippi. So I ordered 3 and chilled out with a cocktail. I left it up to the kitchen on the order of the items, so the first item that came out were the arancini.
A trio of very nicely-made arancini, graced by blue crab meat and peas. A good dish, but the bearnaise was unnecessary and intrusive. Again, why slop sauce over things that don’t need sauce? Curse of the modern chef, who think they can one-up Mother Nature. Please, work with Mother Nature, not try to beat her every dish.
In any case, scrubbing off the gunk, the arancini were good. It took a bit before the next dish, the broccolini.
Very nice, though dish was rather more broccoli than broccolini (we’re not stupid). The best part was the anchovies, which I love. Not sure I like the false advertisement but it was a good dish. Note: I noticed since then they’ve removed this item from the menu — I assume this may have been on the cusp of a supply issue, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
I enjoyed a little more wine before the last item arrived, the pork belly.
I saw it sitting there a bit, so it was not a surprise it was drying out by the time it was served. This is more of a communications/firing issue, since the guy firing it — who was right in front of me — was not aware it was for me (and could see I was still eating my veggies). A bit of a kitchen management issue here, sadly. Not bad, but it could have been so much better. Oh well…
I was pretty full and tired, so I asked for a coffee and something to go. I ate it as a snack later after drinking too much at the hotel bar — the boudin blanc.
You can’t ask for much more than that for a late-night snack. Worked perfectly — after getting the gunk off… Overall I like Acorn and the stuff has a lot of promise. A little polishing and this place can be really good.