2008 Fine Dining in Denver at Fruition

We wanted to have a “fine dining” experience in Denver to celebrate our birthdays and were having a difficult time deciding between Fruition (Fruition, 1313 East 6th Ave., Denver, CO 80218, Telephone. 303-831-1962, web: www.fruitionrestaurant.com) and Barolo Grill (3030 E. Sixth Ave., Denver, CO, Telephone: 303-393-1040).

We posted a request for advice on Chow and got wonderful, insightful input (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/570484). Even so, on Friday before our Saturday night dinner, we still hadn’t made our final choice. Then Paul Attardi, General Manager and Co-owner of Fruition telephoned us to confirm our reservation. (His e-mail address, by the way, is paul@fruitionrestaurant.com).

He was so charming and accommodating that our decision was made easy. Audre told him about reading bad reviews of the male waiter with the gray ponytail on the CitySearch site (http://denver.citysearch.com/review/44706133) and asked him if we could have another waiter. He said "of course we could," even though he said that particular waiter was a very good one.

We were greeted by Paul Attardi when we arrived and given a choice of tables. We chose the table for 4 under the mirror in the front room.
The four of us at our table at Fruition (Dimitri and Audre are facing the camera)

We were being hosted by Audre’s sister and her main squeeze. So there were four of us. The table we chose had two small tables for two on either side of it but there was enough space to feel comfortable. Otherwise, the dining tables really are too small and too close for comfort. The room is lovely; there aren’t tablecloths but it is elegant anyway.

Our waiter was Aaron and he was very good. It was crowded but we never felt rushed or ignored. We had a delightful meal and were very happy that we chose Fruition.

Audre’s sister selected a 2002 Rotllan Torra, Reserva, Priorat, Spain ($52) for us. We all liked it.

As is our habit Dimitri and I shared everything. We started with the Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Caramelized Cipollini Onion Flan, Crème Fraîche and Onion Sprouts ($9) that was delicious. Our hosts' starters were one Crispy Duck Leg Confit Maple-Candied Sweet Potato, Toasted Hazelnut Salad, Golden Raisin Vinaigrette ($13) and a Pasta Carbonara House-Cured Pork Belly, Hand-Made Cavatelli, Six Minute Egg, Parmesan Broth ($11). We tasted everything and everything was well-prepared and very good. The pork belly was exotic and excellent.

For our main course Dimitri and I shared the Salmon Creek Farms Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Braised Brussel Sprouts, Fingerling Potato Confit, and Pommery Mustard Emulsion ($23). It was tender, tasty and enjoyable.

Dimitri and Audre shared Fruition's Roasted Pork Tenderloin with bacon braised brussel sprouts. It was as good as it looks

Our hosts had one Seared Maine Diver Scallops Roasted Cauliflower Agnolotti, Crimson Grape & Toasted Almond Salad, Sweet Oregano Brown Butter ($24) which was a big hit. The Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Carnaroli Risotto, Grilled Arugula & Smoked Duck Prosciutto, Red Onion Marmalade ($24) that my sister ordered disappointed her. It was too tough.

For dessert we ordered the Bûche du Crémier Candied Baby Beets, Toasted Brioche, Pistachio Vinaigrette ($8) that was good but not great.
Fruition's Bûche du Crémier that Dimitri and Audre shared

The restaurant brought us a complimentary Lemon Meringue Pie Graham Cracker Crust & Fresh Blueberry Compote ($8) for our birthdays which we liked better.

The meal for the four of us cost around $225 and was thoroughly enjoyable. The chefs are Alex Seidel (co- owner) and Drew Inman. They do a great job. It was crowded and the restaurant had a nice buzz. We would recommend it highly.

From 5280 Magazine, March 2008: “Chef Alex Seidel redefines American comfort food in his wildly successful Alamo Placita neighborhood restaurant. Seidel perfects each dish by breaking down familiar recipes (such as homey chicken soup) and reinventing them. The result is finely tuned cuisine that pairs perfectly with maître d’ Paul Attardi’s polished service.
"Best Bites: Pasta carbonara with house-cured pork belly, handmade cavatelli, six-minute egg, and Parmesan broth
"When to Go: Visit on weekdays, later in the evening, so you can chat with Seidel and Attardi.
"Hot Tip: To jump-start the conversation [sic] with Attardi, ask him about serving Jackie Kennedy.”

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