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The Early Word on RiNo's Hip New Spot The Populist

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Photo: Lori Midson/Cafe Society

Hip American eatery The Populist opened its doors back in November, bringing the food offerings of cultish Crema Coffeehouse duo Jonathan Power and Noah Price into a much fancier dining room setting. Early visitors criticized the restaurant for its expensive food and hard-to-secure tables, but, on the whole, local social media seems won over by intriguing flavor combinations and stylish decor. Here's the early word on The Populist:

The Good News: Elephant Journal has a great experience: "I went last night with my Aunt and three friends (Robbie and Anna of Ritual, whose Willy Wonka chocolate factory is next door), and we ordered too much, and it wasn't enough. And the menus and lockers (you'll see) and tables and waitress and waiters and patio (which I look forward to visiting when it's warm) were all spot-on—friendly, stylish, thoughtful." [Elephant Journal]

The Great News: Blogger The Petrichor thinks the restaurant is pretty special: "Last weekend Bryan and I were invited for a tasting and we were blown away. We shared a 7 course meal and sampled their unique cocktails and wine menu. Everything about this restaurant is unique from the menu to the decor. The thought and careful planning was well worth the wait. You are surprised with every dish." [The Petrichor]

The Atmosphere News: One Yelper evaluates the vibe in the space: "I'm thrilled to say that The Populist met and even exceeded out expectations. We went early, right around opening, on a Thursday night. The bar was already hopping and by the time we left the restaurant was packed. A bit loud, but buzzing with energy and happy eaters." [Yelp]

The Bad News: A Yelp reviewer tries to find a table: "The only downer? The lack of reservations. If you wanna slip in with a minimal wait, I highly recommend being there by 6pm. But hey, Infinite Monkey Theorem is across the street if ya wanna sip on something tasty while you pass the time until your table is ready." [Yelp]

The Gut Busting News: Blogger A Bolder Table stuffs herself: "No matter how full we were, there's no way we could resist devouring a poached egg on top of a bacon apple jam with lardo toast (or something like that? I think I went into a food coma and blacked out, so my details might be slightly off?)" [A Bolder Table]

The Mushroom News: Blog Denver Off The Wagon rates the earthy ingredient: "Plant fungus not your thing? Too bad. Fortunately bigger flavors lie within the non-traditional meat dishes. The unfussy, easy-to-share, beef cheeks from last Sunday's tasting menu were prepared with porcini potato smashers and a tamari reduction. This dish was the mid-century meat and potato dish with an added element of surprise." [DOTW]

The Still Hungry News: A Yelper wishes the portions were bigger: "I live couple of blocks away, and I was very excited to see a new restaurant opening. While the food, service, and drinks were very good, how about the portion size? Maybe I'm just not hip enough, but I expect to be full after a dinner. I'm probably going to go there again at least for drinks. Or even for dinner, but I'm sure to eat home before heading over :)" [Yelp]

The Copycat News: 5280 notes similarities between a Napa Valley favorite: "When the appetizer (pictured) arrives composed with two pizzelles—one beet, one parsnip—a round of creamy trout cured in olive oil, and a canvas of crème fraîche, cornichons, onions, and capers, you get the full impact of chef and co-owner Jonathan Power's talent. (Food nerds will also appreciate the riff on Thomas Keller's classic salmon tartare cornets.) Break off a piece of the waffle-y crackers—these are chewier than expected, so as not to shatter—spread it with trout, and decorate at will." [5280]

The Tasty News: A preview on Westword sets high expectations: "I spent some time with Power and Price at the Populist last week, touring the space, which also includes a terrific patio, and sampling Power's dishes (every dish I tried left a lasting impression), and I imagine that when it opens on Wednesday, the overriding echo heard in the dining room is going to sound something like, 'Oh, my God, you've got to taste this.'" [Westword]
— Ashley Mason

· All The Populist Coverage [-EDen-]
· The Populist [Official Website]

The Populist

3163 Larimer Street, , CO 80205 (720) 432-3163 Visit Website