Thursday, July 18, 2013

Restaurant Review: Bocadillo: A Welcome Eatery in NW Denver

By Londell Jackson 
My husband and I have lived in the Sunnyside neighborhood since 2007. While only a mere six years, we have witnessed the surrounding areas change quite a bit, much of which has been south of W. 38th Ave, in the Highland and Lower Highland neighborhoods. That being said, we are quite happy to see the additions which have crept into Sunnyside, and today, I'd like to share with you our experiences at one of the newer, or reborn, eateries: Bocadillo. Living just a stone's throw away from this place, John and I decided to walk over to Bocadillo for dinner. We missed trying this place out when it was a sandwich shop (or something like that) and now that it's reopened, we were set on giving it a try.

For drinks, John ordered the Bing Bong Berry and I had the Agua de Sunnyside. His was berry fruity and "smooth." Mine was quite yummy, sort of like a mango screwdriver. No, I didn't do my due diligence to photo or write down the liquors, but you can see for yourself when you go.

The chef pleasured us with an amuse bouche which consisted of a bundle of goat cheese wrapped in a thinly sliced zucchini which sat in a schmear of tomato ragout (I think that's what the sauce was). Yes, very simple, but quite tasty. "YUMMMM!" was the consensus and now the bar had been set.
Our appetizers arrived and were presented on a lovely wood block plate: the Seafood Croquetas with Saffron aioli. If you don't know what a croqueta is (like myself), these little puppies were like fried spring rolls filled with rice, shrimp, clam, and chorizo (yes, I know we live in a landlocked state; I like to live dangerously). You dip them in a tasty aioli. They were pretty good. The flavor was delicate and you could taste each ingredient. But I really mostly enjoyed the aioli, mmmmm.

After we polished those off, the chef treated us to another appetizer: the Lamb Rissoles. Oh my goodness, were these things tasty! Seasoned ground lamb wrapped in a crispy puff pastry? Oh, yeah. Take that little nugget and dip it into the yogurt mint dip and ... boom goes the dynamite! Suffice it to say, they didn't last too long at the table.

By this time we were gettin' kinda full, but pressed on as our entrees arrived to the table. John ordered the House-made Espaguetis and I had the Salmon and Paella. The Espaguetis was a spaghetti with a red cream sauce. John really, really enjoyed it. It was filled with light, homemade spaghetti and beets. Yea, I know, but these were good beets!

The Salmon and Paella had its pluses and minuses. After getting past the presentation, I was surprised by the taste combinations of salmon, rice, and hollandaise sauce. Now, I have to be critical of a few things about this dish: 1) the presentation, well, look at it; 2) the rice was a bit mushy, and given the flakiness of the fish I would have loved a more firm rice which would have added a textural element; and 3) the presentation.

By this time, we were bursting at the seams, but the server forced our hand (smiley face) and we opted to have some banana ice cream. I am not sure if they make their own, but it was really good, just like eating a frozen banana.

This was a pretty good dining experience, and we'd love to thank the chef for his hospitality and skill; John and I will be back. Our server was friendly and welcoming, as well as knowledgeable about the restaurant and the menu., which, by the way changes weekly, if not daily. If you don't want to dine-in, you can order take out (we witnessed two of such happen), but it's not a bad place to sit and stay awhile. They have a happy hour from 4-6pm and have a pretty nice beer list. Eating like we did, it was a bit pricey, but I suspect you could totally get your grub on with just the tapas and some beer.

So, since you didn't ask me, I say you give Bocadillo a try. Should you see me there, say "hi" and I'll buy you a beer!