Dining Out Denver Post
Dining Out: Highland Tap & Burger
Good vibe magnified by lively room, creative eats
Denver's Highland district doesn't lack for restaurants that have earned their popularity — its jumping scene is the envy of dozens of Mile High neighborhoods… New to the mix is Highland Tap & Burger, which sits in a converted, one-story red brick building at 2219 W. 32nd Ave…
…it is decidedly a place for a raucous good time in a sprawling room, a wide range of brewed beverages, and an ambitious menu presided over by a top-drawer chef, Elijah Odell, and a friendly, attentive staff.
The emphasis is on locally sourced food, an idea that is fine and fashionable, although some restaurateurs publicly wonder whether this notion of sustainability is in itself sustainable. We shall see.
A tender short-rib sandwich boasted deep, dark flavors, thanks to a long braising in Cutthroat porter. Bright top notes were delivered with fresh horseradish and celery root slaw, a rewarding variation on traditional cole slaw.
Other artisanal touches appear on other sandwiches.
The Mother Earth is a black-bean veggie patty with radish sprouts, roma tomatoes and whole-grain ale mustard aioli. The Rocky Mountain arrives with Rosen Colorado ground lamb, Haystack Mountain goat cheese, tomato mint relish and wild baby arugula….
….the onion rings and fried zucchini were minor miracles. They arrived in a light, almost feathery batter — the color of goldenrod and with the proper crunch. Onion rings are a side dish that too often get treated as an afterthought. Here they shine.
About the beverages. While wine and cocktails are served, the restaurant's great pride is in its beer and ale list. Sixty varieties are available, with 18 Colorado microbrews on tap. Highland Tap has worked closely with local breweries to develop the list.
Kudos for this, however: For all the flowing suds, this is a family-friendly place. There is a kid's menu offering an entree, drink and scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce for $6. Whoever penned the menu has some experience with the booster- seat set: Offerings include burger and fries, mac-and-cheese, chicken tenders and buttered noodles. No tantrums there.
Odell is a trained chef whose resume includes some serious rooms, including Vesta Dipping Grill and Vail's Game Creek. He and his partners have put together a room with an inviting glow for the outside world, complete with a patio whose stylish, gas-fueled fireplace can warm diners even on winter evenings.
Highland Tap & Burger is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Read more:Dining Out: Highland Tap & Burger - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/food/ci_17322043#ixzz1Dawzdtgl