Tuesday, January 6, 2015

the plimoth

Plimoth Rocks!

The plimoth is one of the top restaurants in Denver.  If you don't believe us, just take a look at 5280, Opentable.com or any other restaurant review website and you'll see the plimoth  listed at the top of anyof their lists for good reason. They have a true passion for food and it shows. 

Getting There

The plimoth is not hard to find, but it is also not in a part of town we were familiar with. Located on the corner of Josephine and 28th, the closest major attraction to the restaurant would be the Denver Zoo.  Parking was limited to street only at no charge. We deliberately choose an early dining time so we could experience the place before it got too busy. Upon our arrival, there were only two other parties seated.  Within 30 minutes, the place was packed! When you visit the plimoth, be sure to make reservations, you'll need them.

The Atmosphere

Great things come in small packages and the same can be said for great restaurants. The plimoth has definitely made the most of their dining space. With seating at both the window and full service bar, this amazing eatery has room for approximately 40 diners. It makes for some close quarters when sitting next to strangers due to the fact they have no booths and only tables; however, it didn't seem to be a big problem.  The exposed brick, rich colors, and beautiful textured wallpaper added to the refined and elegant decor.  It is an open style restaraunt with a full view of  the kitchen.  Their website describes the atmosphere perfectly as "eclectic yet approachable".  

The Eats

While we were able to control ourselves with ordering entrees, we went a little crazy with the starters and desserts.

Instead of the usual bread and butter pre-dinner offering, the plimoth serves their patrons a  cheese herb popcorn.  The mix of asiago, romano, and blue cheese is a great combo and offers a light, flavorful beginning to a fantastic meal.

We began with a local seasonal squash soup made with crème fraiche, pumpkin seed oil, and parsley.  People, this is the soup of legend!  The type of soup that makes you want to fill up your bathtub and eat your way out.  It is flavorful, savory, and creamy.  To be honest, the two of us are not fans of squash but we decided to give it a shot.  We ended up fighting over it, wielding our spoons like swords and fighting each other like knights at some sort of medieval tournament for the last bite of the rich, inviting delicacy. Absolutely amazing.

We also tried the country style pork rillettes with pickled jardinière and a funky mustard dollup served with crostini.  This was a little surprising to us because it was served cold.  It was very tasty.  The pickling and mustard combined for a very complex, interesting taste.

The last appetizer we tried was a cauliflower turnip gratinee.  Cheesy, bubbly, and topped with oyster mushrooms.  Truth be told we couldn't taste the turnip in the mixture which is fine.  Again, we're not big fans of turnips either. The cauliflower added body and a light pepperiness (its a word... probably).  A wonderfully balanced dish presented in a snack-sized cast iron skillet.

Our waiter offered suggestions for dinner and we took his advice. We ordered the two most popular dishes for the main course, the Boeuf a la Bordelaise and the Cracklin' Chicken.

Boeuf a la Bordelaise is braised beef served with shaved cured foie gras pommes, puree' aux celeriac, crispy onions and wilties (wilted spinach).  This was excellent.  The beef had rich flavors and was so tender that there was no need for a knife. The braising liquid became a beautiful wine reduction sauce and the potatoes where whipped to perfection with a light and creamy texture.  This dish is like sampling a fine wine.  It is aromatic, elegant, and captivating to the senses.

The Cracklin' Chicken is served with apple gruyere spatzle and culatello braised cabbage with whole grain mustard and cider.  For this dish, they use chicken thighs instead of the usual chicken breasts and start the cooking process skin side down to create a flavorful and crispy chicken (hence the "cracklin").   We are fans of beef; however, this chicken dish was unbelievable.  As you cut into the chicken, the skin crackles under the pressure of the knife and the meat was so juicy it practically melts. The seasoning is not overly complex, but the beauty of this dish is the perfect execution. It is moist and juicy without being greasy.  Also, the cabbage is magnificent with its warm spicy tones and the sauce served with the spatzle is exceptional. By far, the chicken was the favorite main dish of the evening.

Now our favorite part of the meal...desserts!

To start off, we tried the Gianduia pot de crème consisting of fratello crème, chantilly, and hazelnut brittle.  This was a smooth, creamy, spoonable cross between a pudding and a custard. It combines hazelnut, chocolate, and coffee flavors into a tiny "wish I wasn't sharing" sized ramekin.   Easily the best dessert on the menu.

For those looking for a pastry to finish their meal, look no further.  Try the Apple, Almond Jalousie.  A layered crisp pastry with apples, almonds and cream cheese filling. The whisky caramel sauce, and the cinnamon ice cream brought the dish together nicely.

We do this for you, our followers.  Who are we kidding? We couldn't decide on what to get so we got it all! Our final dessert choice was a chocolate pumpkin bundt cake served with cardamom vanilla milk jam, white chocolate mousse, and pralines.  The half chocolate half pumpkin cake is just a beautiful dessert. The cake was moist and the "jam" drizzled over the cake brought out the spicy flavors. The surprise of this dish was the praline rounds.  We expected a crunchy, sugary treat but it was actually a chewy and deeply caramelized flavor that was just a delight.

The People 

For such a small restaurant, the plimoth had ample staff who catered to our every need.  They kept our water glasses filled and never once did we have to ask for a refill.  As soon as we finished our food, the waiter or waitress would swoop in and remove the empty plate each and every time.  Our server, Scott was ready with suggestions and reviewed the menu with us.  This is always a nice touch, especially in these types of establishments where people may not be as familiar with ingredients and the types of dishes listed on the menu.  On our way out, Scott was kind enough to give us the executive chef's card and email address in case we had any questions regarding the menu or the restaurant.  Request Scott when visiting the plimoth.  He'll take care of you!

Summing Up

We LOVE this restaurant and we had a wonderful experience.  They offer several charming touches.  For example, they offer a wine pairing with each item on the menu.  Also, instead of magazines they offer a variety of cookbooks as reading material in their restrooms, they use cloth napkins and cloth towels in the bathroom, and they use low flush toilets to conserve water and to help the environment.  Presenting this place with our classy, 24k, solid gold (plastic) spoon didn't seem like enough to express how impressed we are with the plimoth.  Check out this place soon and be sure to let them know Menu Maniacs sent you.

Trivia Fact!

The question we heard repeatedly throughout the night was why the restaurant name is spelled the way it is.  Well, here's the skinny.  The owner comes from Massachusetts.  Apparently, the original spelling of Plymouth, Mass. was actually Plimoth with an I instead of a Y.  Over time, the spelling of the city's name changed from Plimoth to Plymouth.

Huh. Who knew?

The Plimoth on Urbanspoon

Where will our January dinner pick be? We don't know either, keep an eye out for us on Twitter and Facebook to find out. 

The Officially Unofficial Voting Legend
Take it with a grain of salt, we're not professionals.
Awesome place, we’ll shovel more food in our face!
It was okay. Not our favorite, but we’ll take another stab at it.
Didn’t make the cut.