Down and Out in Denver

A Deluxe Night on the Town

Posted in bars, denver, fashion, food, gays, wine by Blake on September 18, 2010

Sketch Wine Bar

Last night Alastair and I met up with our gal pals Christine and Justine for drinks and dinner and then far too many drinks, as it turned out.  We rendezvoused (can I use the word that way?) at our fave, Sketch Wine Bar, at Broadway and 1st. There we enjoyed a few glasses of albariño and pinot grigio (we do like our dry whites) as we contemplated our dinner options. We had not made a reservation but we also weren’t ready to eat till around 9:00 and in Denver that is the equivalent of midnight in other cities, so our odds were good.  We decided to try the nearby Deluxe; I was slightly worried that it might be too crowded (it’s not a big space, after all) but all worry was for naught.  At that hour the place was nearly empty, mostly filled with fellow homosexuals, though of the female persuasion.  Seriously, it was lesbian date night at Deluxe.

We ordered a couple appetizers to begin: the monsoon dumplings (filled with chicken and ginger) and the halibut ceviche.  Both were quite tasty.  We also had a nice bottle of California cabernet (OK, we had two; there were four of us).  Justine and Alastair both opted for beef for their main course: the NY strip for Alastair and the T-bone special for Justine.  Though both found their meat tasty, neither felt it was properly cooked to order.  Alastair had ordered medium because he wanted rare but feared that it would be too rare.  It arrived rare, so he got what he wanted but he had to be devious in order to do so.  Justine requested his steak “bloody” and it, too, arrived rare.  Maybe Alastair needn’t have worried after all; perhaps all meat is cooked rare at Deluxe?  Christine and I, so tempted were we by all options on the menu, decided to split two of them.  We ordered the Deluxe paella, one of their specialties, which I had had before.  And the chicken Bolognese, made with wide flat noodles.  Both were great.  I am very picky about paella, in large part because there are just so many ways to do it wrong.  It can easily be too granular (the rice should be quite sticky and almost glumpy) or it can be too saucy (paella is not gumbo).  The seasoning can be off or the seafood portions can be stingy.  But Deluxe’s paella suffers from none of these afflictions.  It is true that they are a wee bit generous with the peas (and really who cares about peas in a paella?).  Christine also found it a bit salty for his taste, but it seemed great to me.  Granted, I could also bathe in a salt lick and be happy; in fact, I ended up salting my portion (as Christine looked on, horrified).  The pasta was also very nice: well cooked with tangy tomato sauce and fresh ricotta and parsley.

The Bar at Deluxe

Two complaints about Deluxe: the décor needs some help.  The leopard carpet is looking tired and the big mirrors and letters commanding one to EAT over the bar are starting to seem a little dated.  Particularly when the place isn’t full it all just seems a little bit sad.  This is nothing that can’t be fixed pretty easily, but fixed it should be.  The waitstaff also seemed, it must be said, intoxicated.  There was more confusion than was warranted by the small number of people present.  And our waiter also committed what I consider to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Serving: he cleared plates before everyone was finished eating.  Justine was still working away at his not-bloody-enough T-bone and he was doing it at a table devoid of all other plates.  This is the sort of thing that can make a diner self-conscious.  All plates should remain until all diners have finished. It’s as simple as that.

After dinner we headed to the nearby and tacky-as-ever Boyztown.  And who should we see, but Mondo!  Of course he must just have come from Fashion Week in New York and must also know who won this season of Project Runway.  It might even be him! We left Mr. Guerra alone to enjoy the evening with his friends and proceeded to order far too many cocktails (your DOD boys were in pain this morning).  Alastair also got rather friendly with one of the dancing boyz.  Maybe Alastair will start demanding that we go to Boyztown more often to see his newfound friend.  Maybe this will be like a gay version of Pretty Woman!  (I get to be the sassy Kit DeLuca.)

After Boyztown, somehow we convinced ourselves that we still weren’t done and headed back to the ‘hood for a nightcap AND a second meal at the absurdly spelled Barricuda’s.  Yes, with an i.  Apparently Barricuda’s is open till 4 AM but their 2 AM last call — get this — is not a last call to order alcohol, but instead to consume it.  Anything not imbibed by 2 is actually confiscated.  I have never experienced such a thing.  What is the reasoning behind this?  Can anyone explain?

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8 Responses

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  1. squadratomagico said, on September 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    OOoh! What was La Guerra wearing?

    • Blake said, on September 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      A hat (maybe for anonymity?). And a stripy tank top in the oversized style of the hipster that he is. I couldn’t see his pants.

  2. ej said, on September 19, 2010 at 7:50 am

    When you go out, you really go out!

    • Alastair said, on September 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

      Cheers to that!

  3. Spunky T said, on September 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I am in awe of your Mondo sighting, he was so fab on the last episode, and I feel proud of him as if he were my own. It would be impossible not to want Mondo to have it all. Still, so many unanswered questions! Why go to Deluxe in the first place? Why the i in barrIcuda? Couldn’t you tell whether Mondo won just by looking at him? Why does a BAR confiscate drinks? This strange place we call home.

    • Blake said, on September 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      You may laugh, Spunky T, but I actually did think to myself: “Does Mondo look happy? Satisfied? Did he just win?” Alas, I came to no definitive conclusions. As for your other questions: equally unknowable!

  4. Kimmy said, on October 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Kimmy wants to go to Boyztown. She’s never been, but she thinks she’d have a good time.

  5. Blake said, on October 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Kimmy WOULD have a good time!


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