You know you shouldn’t, you know it’s wrong. But you do it anyway because the temptation is just too intense – a heart-stopping thrill of the moment, a tingling sensation pulsing through your limbs, a devilish smile from across the room. The small talk laced with lustful hints draws you further down the primrose path. You justify it as a one-time deal – indulge in the seductive invitation, the sinful lapse in judgement – just this once, and then you can move on to reality upon the first glimmer of morning.
While eating dinner at Euclid Hall, I felt like I was having a one night stand with the food.
Euclid Hall opened in Denver’s historic Larimer Square in August of 2010. Spawned by Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch, owners of the also amazing Rioja and BistroVendôme, and with Chef de Cuisine Jorel Pierce, Euclid Hall is their third gastronomical brothel, appropriately housed in an 1883 building that is rich with roots deep in illustrious story. Taking on a tavern feel, it’s a pleasurable low-key spot to slide in for pub food that has taken on a delicious transformation, blanketed by an extensive and impressive beer selection.
On one of our Denver date nights, we accidentally brushed up against Euclid Hall after a night of music and drinks at the Westword Music Showcase. I’ve had my eye on them for a very long time, fantasizing from afar. This unintentional encounter seemed almost too good to be true.
I gazed upon the menu and my lips quivered in anticipation. We ordered with abandon. Crispy Buffalo-Style Pig Ears, Brûléed Bone Marrow, a sausage tasting of Beef Short Rib Kielbasa, Unsensored Hoppwurst, Boudin Noir and Bavarian Veal Weisswurst, and Roasted Duck Poutine – the most sinful food I’ve eaten yet.
The Crispy Buffalo-Style Pig Ears with sides of ranch dressing and celery sticks were rich with luscious gelatinous filling that slowly and gently slid down my throat, and a crispy perfection that played with my tongue. It was a richness that might be too much for most, but for those willing to take the risk, it’s food lewdness at its finest.
The Brûléed Bone Marrow with demi glace, sherry reduction, and grilled sourdough were equally as carnal. Long, thick bones filled with decadent caramelized marrow that seems terribly wrong to eat, but it feels oh, so good to do so. The earthy silk spread like butter on crispy slices of sourdough made my eyes flutter between each bite.
The Sausage Tasting of fresh, hand cranked Beef Short Rib Kielbasa, Uncensored Hoppwurst, Boudin Noir and Bavarian Veal Weisswurst, accompanied by an array of house-ground and cured mustard – yellow, whole grain Bordeaux, horseradish mustard, and spicy brown mustard – made my heart skip a beat. With bated breath, I slowly carved slices from each meat and slathered it in the saucy mustard. Oh my god. Meat like it should taste – amazing. The Boudin Noir (blood sausage) with eggplant, curry, and golden raisins was almost too much for me to handle, with its soft iron-filled flirtatious tap on my taste buds. But, I’m a sucker for that type of lover’s crush and didn’t shy away. It was as rewarding as it could ever be, but my heart was stolen by the Uncensored Hoppwurst, my beer soul lit alive from the bits of flowery hopps occasionally exposed as we sliced through the link.
The star of the night was the Roasted Duck Poutine – hand-cut fries and melted Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds covered in duck gravy and black pepper – this was over the top euphoria. A frenzy of forks clamoring for the next bite created a flurry of swirling cheese and gravy. Salty, savory, dripping with wickedness that I turned a blind eye to. Ooos and ahhhs, eye rolling and deep exhalation- foodgasms that we wished would have lasted for hours.
As if we hadn’t splurged enough, we went for broke and ordered dessert – Funnel Cake Fried Bananas with peanut butter caramel, and Sourdough Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich with salted butterscotch ice cream and pralines.
Both were an incredible overindulgence – our heads swirling in a whirlwind of flavor and sugar, moaning with each immoral bite. The Funnel Cake was like a curious teen copping a feel under the bleachers at the county fair – innocence lost – caked battered bananas threaded on a kabob with ribbons of chocolaty peanut butter ecstasy.
The Sourdough Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich towered in dominance with the tall buttery waffle, yet sweetly bent me into submission with the soft creamy ice cream. It was a tug of war between too much and not wanting to stop, because then it would end the sweet and salty dessert nirvana.
It was a night of undeniable pleasure, a gastronaughtiness that I wouldn’t typically satiate. But under the dim lights, loud music surging with each beat, mesmerized by forbidden food, thinking “just this once” – the temptation was overwhelming. However, it was so mind-blowing, I doubt it will ever be a one night delight. It felt so wrong, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen
1317 14th Street
Parking: Difficult street parking with lots nearby. We walked.
Healthy Options? Forget it. Nothing low-cal, vegetarian, or vegan here.
Budget-Friendly? Shockingly – yes. This entire dinner cost us less than $50. All entrees are under $20.
Recent Health Inspection: No critical violations