Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beatrice & Woodsley

Beatrice & Woodsley has been on our radar for a while, after we'd heard multiple stories about aspen trees inside and extremely quirky bathrooms. Oh, and delicious food.

Last Sunday night, with four other lucky taste testers joining us, it was time for a visit. Before we even made it to the front door, however, we were greeted with some irritations.

There's barely a sign out front, parking nearby is tricky, and there's no valet. That was my first clue that convenience and comfort aren't top priority at Beatrice & Woodsley. However, if you are able to make it in, you'll be rewarded with one of the most elaborate and unique restaurant settings in Denver.

Bar Area and Entrance

Wood everywhere, chainsaws supporting shelves, and aspen trees right next to your table. The interior was definitely spectacular and a little spooky. There's some imaginary story of a woman marrying a lumberjack behind it all. I really didn't get it.

Bar Area

Beautiful, yes. Comfortable and practical, not really.

The six of us sat at a "normal" looking table, but I noticed many neighboring tables were built of wood and sat almost at the same level as the seating benches. They looked extremely uncomfortable.

Although there were six of us eating, all I've reviewed are the dishes Mr. Oyster and I split.

(Sorry about the dark photos. Spooky lighting = bad iPhone pictures).

We decided to split three small plates. Our first dish was the Crawfish Beignets ($9). From the menu: Crawfish and fresh corn batter, filled with spicy red pepper aioli.

Crawfish Beignets

The beignets were rich had that perfectly doughy, fried texture, but they didn't contain quite enough crawfish for my liking.

Next up was Got Ewe Udder My Thumb ( clever, $13): Ugly Goat ricotta, yogurt and chevre in their own preparations with fried fresh peas, braised carrot and a crisp pasta shell. Note that the "ewe" in the title of this dish is a misnomer as Ugly Goat, I believe, produces only goat dairy - no sheep's milk cheese on this plate.

Got Ewe Udder My Thumb. Translation: Lots of goat cheese

My husband and I both loved this dish, as it was not only wonderfully savory and rich tasting but used local Ugly Goat cheeses.

Our final small plate was A Day at the Peach ($10). From the menu: Spicy peach bbq pork shoulder, succotash salad and pickled watermelon.

A Day at the Peach: BBQ Pork Shoulder
This was also a very nice small plate. While I didn't get much of a peach taste, the pork was extremely tender and pleasantly sweet. The pickled watermelon, however, was way too salty.

The highlight of our meal was definitely dessert. We ordered the Malted Milk Chocolate Custard ($10).

Malted Milk Chocolate Custard
 Disclaimer: We sort of dug in, realized we'd forgotten to take a picture, and then attempted
to reconstruct. It looked better than this at first presentation. Sorry about that. 

The custard came with fresh raspberries, almond florentine cookies, and whipped cream. Every part of this dessert was excellent. The custard had a rich, pudding-like flavor and consistency. We loved it.

The restaurant was only about half full, but service was fairly slow throughout the night.

Now, changing subjects, let's get back to the issues with convenience and comfort at Beatrice & Woodsley.  Let's talk about the bathrooms.

I hated their bathrooms. Some people may think they're fun and quirky and interesting. I didn't. I want privacy and practicality and ease of use in the ladies' room. I had none of these at Beatrice & Woodsley.

Using the bathroom at Beatrice & Woodsley involves one irritation after the next. First, you need to figure out how to get into the toilet areas (Just push the door. I know, it looks weird. There's only one toilet in there, so if you can't get in it's because the door is locked). Then, you need to face an entire restaurant of people staring at you as you try to wash your hands. Getting the water to flow involves pulling on these chain thingees, waiting forever for the water to flow down, attempting to wash your hands, realizing the soap is some powdery garbage, and then waiting forever for the water flow to stop when you're done.

This may be in a tie with Root Down for worst restroom situation, and Beatrice & Woodsley's problems are completely self-inflicted.

Overall, food was very good but not spectacular. The decor was beautiful, but only exciting enough to draw customers in for a single visit. I wish Beatrice & Woodsley were more focused on serving customers and less fixated on their fancy decorations.

Casual Dining

 (6 of 10)

Pros: Good food, impressive decor
Cons: Too many inconveniences in dining experience, slow service


Beatrice & Woodsley on Urbanspoon


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