At this point in time, you all know my affinity for Jensen Cummings. The Executive Chef at Row 14 and I have spent time together on multiple occasions. Aside from this media dinner, we also had a night where I staged for him. When I say staged, I use that term very loosely. I made a few salads, but really I just sat there and gabbed Jensen's ear off. Thank god it was a slower dinner service for them that evening.

This time around I was lucky enough to be on the dining room side of the expo window. I brought my mom with me, as she has never had the pleasure of coming to a media dinner. What ensued was 13 dishes of pure deliciousness. At one point my mom looked up at me and said, "I feel like I'm on Iron Chef". I was more than happy to see the sheer glee on my mom's face as the staff of Row 14 brought out dish after dish, and poured glass after glass.

I was invited to shed some light on the new menu that Row 14 is rolling out with the celebration of their one year anniversary. So I know what you're thinking…Indie…what did you like? Well I'll tell you this. I like simple/classic dishes a lot of the time. Don't get me wrong, I loved my meal at Per Se in New York, but I find myself drawn to the taco stands and food trucks more often than not. With that being said, I think you'll be able to see my tastes, in my two favorite dishes.

1. Cherry Wood Smoked Pastrami/Fried Egg/Swiss/Carmelized Onion/Harissa Aioli – I'm not normally a fan of Pastrami, I'm more of a Corned Beef fan. With that being said, this Pastrami was perfect. The right cut to gave it tenderness and chewiness that accompanied the runny egg and the creamy, spicy Harissa Aioli in perfect harmony. I proclaimed at the table that this is the perfect hangover food, and it is. Chef Cummings can expect me in my jammies with bloodshot eyes and a grumpy disposition soon.

 

 

2. Pork Cheek Tacos/Napa Cabbage/Asian Pear Pico/Spicy Hoisin/House Sriracha – Boom. House Sriracha? No you didn't! Yes they did, and it's good. Also Cheek is one of my favorite cuts. Delicate, tender, and downright flavorful. These tacos were the shit! I'm a big taco connoisseur, and I must admit, these are one of my new favs. Bravo Row 14.

 

Aside from a tasty new menu roll out, Chef Cummings also presented a few other ideas of his to the group. The one that I was most excited about was the "Road. Vine. Table" trip. Row 14 has partnered with the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE) to launch Colorado’s first series of wine-and-farm tours. What the hell does that actually mean? Essentially this – you'll be getting on a bus, having intimate discussions and tastings of Colorado Wines as your drive south. Upon arriving in Palisade you'll have a two-day excursion filled with more wine, multiple winery tours, and meals prepared by Jensen and Mark DeNittis (Owner – Il Mondo Vecchio). This two-day, all inclusive event costs $350 per person, and will most assuredly be worth every penny. Please call Row 14 for more details.

Ok, I know you have internet attention spans, which means most of you stopped reading after the pictures ended, so I will end this here. Chef Jensen embodies what I want in Denver. Playful, locally inspired cuisine at good prices, paired with great wine and beer and served with a big smile. Boom. No need to complicate things. Get down to Row 14, Denver. Jensen is killing it on the regular.

 

  • Jensen

    Clayton, thank you so much for the kind words! Always a pleasure to cook and work so damn hard for people like you. You and the like are the type that make what I do so rewarding! I was so proud of how well my crew executed that media dinner!

  • Indie Eats

    Always a pleasure to come in and see what you’re up to!