Colt & Gray lies immediately between the Platte River and I-25, just between the Highlands and downtown Denver, and among various other restaurants and shops on Platte street. Their corner location allows for quite a bit of outdoor seating and a small vegetable garden.
I was expecting Colt & Gray to be a bit like Euclid Hall, but the similarities end at pub-style food and unusual animal parts on the menu. Colt & Gray is a bit more swanky, offers overall lighter food, and makes a big deal of their cocktail offerings rather than the beer list.
Mr. Oyster recently signed up for savored.com, which includes Colt & Gray as a participating restaurant, so we enjoyed a 30% discount on our meal.
We were fortunate enough again to be joined by the same friends who joined us at Euclid Hall and dealt patiently with our obnoxious food photography.
Anyway, we ordered a ton of food, so I need to get started on that.
Westword awarded Colt & Gray the "Best Bone Marrow" award for 2011 (since so many places in Denver serve bone marrow?!?!). Anyway we were all over that and of course ordered the Roasted Marrow Bones ($16).
|Roasted Marrow Bones|
The three marrow bones were served with caramelized onions and grilled country bread. Per our waitress's recommendation, we ate each bite of marrow atop the bread with the onions and a pinch of salt. The marrow had a meaty flavor and a gelatinous texture and was basically very tasty. Each bite had a perfect balance of sweet onions, savory marrow, crunchy bread and salt.
Next were the Steamed Mussels ($14):
While this had a wonderfully seasoned sauce, the mussels themselves were disappointing. All of the mussels were very small, and many unfortunately had a very gritty texture. For $14 for a small bowl of mussels I would really expect better quality.
I also had the House Made Spaghetti ($12):
|House Made Spaghetti|
This was served with a runny egg yolk much like the Open Faced Ravioli at Strings. The dish had way too many capers; their flavor was overwhelming and too salty. Even without the capers I felt this would have been too simple of a dish to be paying $12.
Next was the Braised Pork Shoulder ($21)
|Braised Pork Shoulder|
Yum. The highlight of the meal was definitely this plate. The pork shoulder complimented by a "summer pistou" (green smear in photo) and herb salad. The dish also contained "corn pudding", which was a lovely cube of what I would call cornbread. The sizable pork shoulder was perfectly cooked and seasoned.
We went a little crazy with dessert and decided to order three selections recommended by our waitress.
First was the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($8):
|Sticky Toffee Pudding|
How could we not order this stuff after some celebrity-ish woman raved about it as the "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network? I don't know who Claire Robinson is, but she was dead on about how good this dessert is. Comprised of sticky sponge cake made with dates, three layers of toffee sauce, and Bourbon ice cream, it was absolute sweet perfection.
Next up was the Potted Cheesecake ($8):
No no, that's not a Yankee Candle. That's what Colt & Gray considers "cheesecake", but my dining companions and I beg to differ. It was extremely light and airy, almost more like cheesecake-flavored marshmallow fluff. Not that it wasn't delicious, but to call it "cheesecake" was a bit misleading. It was topped with a rich salted caramel sauce that was just too intense; it was both very salty and extremely sweet.
Our final dessert was Olive Oil and Thyme Cake ($8), served with blueberry compote and lemon-buttermilk ice cream.
|Olive Oil and Thyme Cake|
The cake had a perfect texture and a mild but pleasant flavor; I really didn't get a strong olive oil or thyme flavor. The compote was lightly sweetened and contained fresh, large blueberries that were balanced by the tart citrus flavor of the ice cream. Overall a very good dessert, but not as stellar as the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I must also mention that we certainly acquainted ourselves with the cocktail menu and bartender's skills during our dinner. Everyone enjoyed their drinks, although I'm not sure any of the cocktails were exceptional. And it's a good thing we had 30% off our meal, as the mixed drinks cost $10 each. Even beers - and this was for only about 10 oz - were $8 each.
Service was excellent through the night; our waitress was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive.
We had a great time and enjoyed our cocktails and some good food at Colt & Gray, but the restaurant needs some of its dishes to be more polished for the price.
Pros: Some great food, very good service
Cons: Expensive, some dishes not worth the price