While I was in Denver for Fitbloggin’, I had the opportunity to attend a lunch off-site hosted by the California Avocado Commission and Chef Jen Jasinski of Top Chef Masters fame. I signed up AS SOON AS I got the email because spots were limited and I love me some avocado!!
We only had a couple of blocks to go from the hotel to get to the restaurant. We dined at one of Chef Jen’s Denver restaurants – Euclid Hall. The restaurant itself was absolutely beautiful – industrial and modern. We took up the entire second floor of the place! We were greeted with lovely centerpieces of fresh flowers and avocados, of course.
There were menus at each place setting tucked into brilliantly folded white linen napkins.
The only menu item that was able to be seen was the salad so taking the menu out of the napkin was a moment full of anticipation.
I seriously thought I was going to burst with excitement!!!
Chef Jen came out a few times and talked to us about her restaurants and how she incorporates avocado into her dishes at all of the restaurants.
There were also representatives from the California Avocado Commission who talked to us about avocados, their health benefits, etc while we were waiting between courses. Everything at her restaurants is prepared fresh to order. You’ll not find stuff sitting around waiting to be glopped onto a plate at one of Chef Jen’s joints!
The Grilled California Avocado citrus salad was absolutely amazing! And, I even ate the mushroom! And I don’t do mushrooms! Like, EVER. But, mixed in with the citrus and the avocado and the goat cheese, it was pretty decent. Combining all those things allowed me to get over the textural oddity that is the mushroom. I’d happily eat that entire salad again.
I opted for the Roasted Petaluma chicken breast as my entree and it certainly did not disappoint. The bacon-frisee salad was amaze balls -um, hello, BACON!, the corn fritters were out of this world, and the chicken was perfectly seasoned and cooked. The avocado mousse complimented all three of those things. I thought I died and went to heaven!
And then dessert came out.
First off, let me say that I am not a huge coconut fan. I can tolerate it but I would rather choose not to, if you know what I mean. But that coconut-California Avocado sorbet is welcome in my mouth ANY day of the week! HOLY YUM! That sorbet seriously had zero dairy in it. It got its creaminess from the avocado! Who knew!?!
I thought the chocolate mille feuille, which the French translation obviously means melt in your mouth, heavenly, and decadent chocolate dessert, looked a little like the Arizona Memorial but that didn’t stop me from eating the whole thing. #dontjudgeme I would have licked my plate but I was on my best behavior and I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of my new friends. Okay, who am I kidding? I just didn’t want to be the leader of the plate licking club but I totally would have been a follower if anybody had started!!
I seriously had THE. BEST. DAY. on Saturday and that lunch was a major highlight of the day. As I said, Chef Jen has 4 restaurants in Denver and we visited one of the others for dinner Saturday night. You’d think I wouldn’t have been hungry at all after that amazing lunch but, nope, true to form, I was hungry for dinner. Go figure. We wandered up and down the 16th Street Mall (where Jesse almost got run over by the bus while we were watching a jazz band) and finally made our way to Rialto Cafe. Where I had a supreme bacon and blue cheese bison burger, sweet potato fries, and some fabulous wine.
Hey, I said I was hungry, remember?
Talk to me: What is the most fabulous and interesting way you’ve had avocado prepared? Mushrooms – yay or nay? Sweet potato fries or regular?