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Shunk's Le Grand Mussel Slam; Moskow's Weak Marg

Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar
Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar
Photo: Happy Hour Mary

Laura Shunk had a grand o’l time at Robert Thompson's Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar, atleast on her first visit. Dining at the bar with a pal from college, drinking through courses of oysters and charcuterie, Shunk found the ambience and service pretty swell. The second visit, however, didn’t raise the bar. She declared the dining room not nearly as cozy as the bar and that the mussels were "downright uncomfortable." Ordering them on a server’s recommendation, Shunk wrote, “They'd been cleaned poorly, and at least a quarter of them were past their prime. Even worse, some were undercooked, and so "disgustingly gooey.” Le Grand redeemed itself, though, with a mighty fine burger, some delicious duck confit and binge-worthy walnut-praline ice cream. [Westword]

Between “lusteress cuisine” and a bad art project of a dining room, Liz Moskow was not impressed with The Cactus Wheel Taqueri in Louisville, awarding it less than two stars. “You'd swear you were enrolled in a do-it-yourself class on re-purposing recycled materials held inside a back room at Home Depot,” she wrote of the space. A shaggy server, crappy plantains and stringy tacos were all noted. The worst offense? A watered-down and flavor-deprived marg. Ouch. [The Daily Camera]

According to this blogger, Maria Empanada in Lakewood is one awesome little hole-in-the-wall. Offering a variety of empanadas, tartas and torillas, the joint is a real find. Apparently owner Lorena Cantarovici even offered to come up with extra food when the selection was picked over from earlier business. The only downside is the place is that it's on the small side and you gotta fork over some extra coins for condiments. [Denver On A Spit]