I’ve written about Bones before, waxing poetic as I did about their Lobster Ramen, which is a love affair I don’t ever want to end.
I was invited to join them for their Fifth Anniversary Dinner last week.
Five years in the restaurant industry in any city, in any state, in any country, is a true accomplishment.
I’d seen the menu in advance, and it looked to be a great culinary journey, but I could never have emotionally prepared myself for my experience that night.
I believe when you’re a guest at an event like this, you come open-hearted and open-minded.
Instead of being in charge as you are in your own kitchen, or when you dine out ordering off a menu, you receive the gifts the kitchen has thoughtfully prepared for you.
You let the chefs shine.
You celebrate with them and revel in the spirit of the evening.
So, that’s exactly what I did.
The 7-course food extravaganza is below, with my comments on each dish.
This came sitting on a pool of plantain puree. As excited as I was about the crab, it was the puree that made this dish a stunner. I’m a huge fan of plantain in both its sweet and savory iterations, and I wish I saw it more often on Denver and Boulder menus. I also liked seeing this nod to the Puerto Rican part of Chef DePierro’s heritage. I wanted to lick the plate, but am proud of the professionalism and self-restraint I showed in not doing that.
Wagyu’s literal translation is Japanese cow. Though you may see kobe listed on menus around town, it is actually not sold in our country. Knowing this, I was glad to see these chefs name it accurately on the menu. The sweet and tangy soy citrus sauce this was in, and the extreme tenderness of the meat, made this one of the standout dishes of the evening for me. Though I don’t typically eat meat, I’m flexible at dinners like this, and was particularly glad I was in this instance. I would not have wanted to miss out on this dish.
Ankimo & Foie Gras Torchon
If you looked up decadence in the dictionary, you would see Chefs DePierro, Nevarez and Bonanno holding this up, smiling with glee. You cannot gild a lily more than adding shaved white truffle and caviar to foie gras. Ankimo is a Japanese dish made with monkfish liver, rinsed with sake, and made sense to include in this already sinful plate. [We see the word sinful used when describing desserts, but it is equally appropriate here] Presented in a small Asian tin [think sardines], sided with perfectly crispy toasts to spread it on, this won Presentation of the Evening.
They added smoked parsnip to this dish, which is what took it over the edge. The fact that they hand-rolled the cavatelli, won my heart. And, well, lobster.
Soy-Braised Pork Belly Ssam
This arrived in a wood steamer basket, with a mounding pile of pork belly and another pile of hoisin duck. It was especially great, because it was interactive. We filled large, Bibb lettuce leaves with meat and pickled vegetables. It was light and the perfect break from the heavier dishes that had come before it. It was so good, in fact, I was sitting next to Lori Midson [Westword] and Amanda Faison [5280 Magazine] and we all agreed it should be added to the menu. Especially great for a date night.
Oxtail Lengua Ramen
I must say, this was the dish I was least excited about. I asked mine to be served without the lengua [beef tongue], because as open-minded as I try to be, that was just beyond my ability to cope. But, this dish stunned too. Everyone knows the broth is where all the excitement, skill and love is in ramen, and this broth was darkly hued, rich, gorgeous. I enjoyed it as a departure from my usual, and beloved, lobster ramen here.
Toffee Date Cake
Chantilly cream? Yes, please. This is a whipped cream typically flavored with vanilla or brandy. Fresh whipped cream is a true treat anytime, but if you want to add booze to it, sign me right up. Toffee? Yes, please. Dates? Yes, please. This dinner could not have ended on a more perfect note.