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Table Top, The Nickel, Gozo Get Reviewed

Table Top is becoming a great neighborhood spot; The Nickel is packed with theater-goers; Finding Gozo is like going on a scavenger hunt.

Gozo
Gozo
Adam Larkey

Table Top is on its way to "becoming a place with a loyal crop of regulars," wrote William Porter of the Denver Post. Despite having some "kinks to work out," Porter had a positive experience at the Park Hill eatery. The restaurant has a casual, neighborhood feel, accommodating servers, and is wallet-friendly too. The seasonal menu is focused on New American cooking, and the bar offers a large beer and wine selection. The critic highlighted the restaurant's cauliflower popcorn, which are mini-florets tossed with curried almonds and smoked garlic oil. Also noted was the pork tenderloin, served with "hearty sides" and a pairing of hush-puppies. Less successful was the grilled Japanese eggplant with chorizo, heirloom tomato, feta cheese, and romesco sauce. The chopped tomato was "pink and tasteless" and "should not have made it out of the kitchen."

Though a hostess mishap set low expectations for Westword critic Gretchen Kurtz, the Nickel ended up faring well in her review. She dined on a busy evening when the restaurant was filled with theater-goers and she compared contending for a spot in the dining room to haggling with a car salesman. After getting seated, plates came out quickly and well. Despite the busy dinner room, "nowhere did we see miscooked proteins, erratic timing or sloppy plating," said Kurtz, indicating a seasoned kitchen crew. She recommends starting the meal off with charcuterie, which echoes what The Denver Post said in October. The kitchen uses smoke to add depth to "mushrooms, shishito peppers and the fine piece of wagyu resting over them, pricey and worth every penny for its tenderness." The octopus is prepared similarly. Kurtz recommends finishing the meal with the pumpkin panna cotta, which has a texture "more refined than that of Thanksgiving's pie."

Gozo, reviewed by 5280 Magazine, perhaps wins the bronze medal in this edition of Week in Reviews. Critic Stacey Brugeman was turned off by the restaurant's one-page website, the hostesses' not answering the phone, and the difficulty in finding the unmarked restaurant on Broadway. She described the experience "like a scavenger hunt." On a hot summer evening, wine was served at incorrect temperatures and servers were unable to describe them thoroughly. All in all, Brugeman said, there were inconsistencies. The manila clams with chorizo and garbanzo beans also featured bites with sand or broken shell, the pork meatballs were undercooked, and the suppli alla Romana appetizer was under-salted and soggy. On the other hand, the boquerónes, roasted cauliflower and lentil salad, and orchetta entrée were all noteworthy selections. She best described Gozo as sending "mixed signals."

Gozo

30 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (720) 638-1462 Visit Website

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