The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
It’s difficult to write about Acorn here, without first writing about Oak at Fourteenth.
The love I feel for Oak has already been well documented.
The food is approachable and ethereal at the same time, and this is a true joy.
But what has elevated my love to the level of true, is the good, humble, kind people behind it – namely, Steve Redzikowski and Bryan Dayton; Steve is the food man, and Bryan, the beverage man.
Both, good men.
Friends were trying to coordinate my birthday dinner this year and I told them my top choice was Oak.
When one of them called to see about arranging it, Steve himself took the call, and the time to generously explain why it would be a challenge with the size of group we anticipated.
It had to do with how many of the restaurant’s dishes come out of the wood-fired oven, and taking individual orders and timing would be difficult.
But, he could not have been kinder about it.
I’ve never been so happily disappointed in my life.
I’m someone who cannot separate the person/people, from the experience.
If you’re a jerk, but your food/drinks are amazing, I just can’t overlook it.
Thankfully, I don’t have to face this dilemma with these guys.
Once, when dining at Oak with my husband, who’d had flowers delivered to our table before we arrived, Bryan personally came over to ask what the occasion was.
When my husband explained it was just because, Bryan patted him on the shoulder and said, “Good job, man”.
These guys have now opened Acorn in The Source in Denver.
I had the fun of eating there with friends the other night, and though it naturally has a lot to live up to, in the shadow as it is of the Giant Oak, I wasn’t disappointed.
We took a smart approach, I think, and ordered 9 dishes total to share at the table, so we could get a full understanding and experience.
Braised Meatballs and Polenta, Fried Pickles with green goddess aioli [a request of the Louisiana girl in our group], Kale and Apple Salad [MUST], Tuna Tataki, Seared Scallops, Grilled Short Ribs with Red Wagon Farm Carrots, Butterscotch Pudding, Almond Flour Chocolate Cake with Banana Ice Cream, and Caramelized Brioche with Palisade Peaches, Cinnamon Ice Cream and Point Reyes Blue Cheese.
Some Infinite Monkey Theorem Rose with the first plates, and a Tawny Port with dessert, and there’s not much more you can ask of life.
The savory highlights were the kale and apple salad, scallops and short ribs.
The sweet highlight was the caramelized brioche, no question.
And Palisade peaches, anytime, anywhere, are a pleasure and luxury.
The company was wonderful – so many great stories and laughs – which always enhances the beauty of a meal like this.
I have no doubt Acorn will tower.
Lucky, lucky Denverites.
If you’d like to also read the piece on Oak I wrote earlier this year, here it is:
3350 Brighton Blvd