Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Squeaky Bean Denver

Chicken Perfect
Back to my trusty 2013 James Beards Award List to find nominees for a dinner in Denver.  It was Rioja, Fruition and The Squeaky Bean, it was a simple choice, I could not get a table at the Rioja (Jennifer Jasinki currently on Top Chef Masters) and Fruition.  With a name like The Squeaky Bean you expect a vegetarian or a Vegan restaurant and although they cater to those styles it is far from that.  I think I got the best of both works because the Exec Chef Max Mackissock of The Squeaky Bean is married to Jennifer Jasinki although I heard from our server Jana their styles are quite different.
Enough with the intro lets get to the dining experience.  We walk in and once sat we are poured a little palette cleanser which is a shot of lemon/lime seltzer, the restaurant is deceivingly big and has this understated rustic feel.  Our server Jana was attentive and was very knowledgeable about the menu and the team she worked with.  Restaurants like The Squeaky Bean have staff that are very proud and it is provides excitement around the dining experience.

Perfect Adult Snack Food
This menu is set up around a tasting menu so is very simple to choose from because there are less than 20 items including dessert.  We chose to go Ala Carte and started with the Snack Attack which is a combo of Chili Peanuts, Cashews, Dehydrated Dates, Cilantro, Chicken Cracklings and Shrimp Chips.  This is kind of a sophisticated football game snack full of diverse flavor and enhanced with the Cilantro.  On with the Starters I had the Gazpacho Blanco and Jim had the Corn Soup.  The Gazpacho was a non cream based cold soup not the typical Tomato base but more of a light green perhaps celery, garlic and onion base the unique and perfect taste were the pickled Grapes with an accent of Mint.  Jim's Corn Soup was more Orange than Yellow and had a Melange of Pickled and Smoked Mushrooms with a Ricotta Gnudi.
Corn Soup 
Gazpacho Blanco Pickled Grapes with Mint

Jim and I both selected the Chicken it was definitely not what I expected, when it first came over I looked at it and then remembered the menu stated a Poached Chicken and a Chicken Sausage on a bed of Bulgur with sauteed turnips and micro herbs.  The Chicken was prepared in the Sous-Vide method and was very juicy and tender it was kind of fluffy and seasoned perfectly.  The Sausage had a very light texture the taste was subtle with a very slight bite.  Overall it was a great taste experience. The last several restaurants I have been to all have the same unique quality and that is how did they come up with that.  These foods and tastes are invented!!  The overall experience was very good from the service, creative and very tasty food to the parting touch of a quarter size pink butter creme Macaron.