By Simone FM Spinner
Fruition Restaurant is a Denver icon. Asked for a short phrase, people cite the white table clothed spaces and exceptionally crafted cuisine. It is one of the best formal dining rooms in the city but it is never pretentious or overly pricey .
Proprietor, James Beard and award winning chef, Alex Seidel, state the house specialty is “elevated comfort food,”.
And I couldn’t agree more. In its first year, Fruition landed on many “Best Of” lists including Bon Appetit, Eater, Zagat, 5280, Travel & Leisure, and The New York Times.
The space is small with low ceilings and might be thought dark and cold but it is warmed with wood furnishings and floors highlighted by natural light flooding in through enormous picture windows giving a fairy-lit, tree-lined street view.
The service is always professional and attentive as well-trained servers anticipate your every need and want.
Now for the food and drink.
Fruition Restaurant is known for its fresh, farm-to-table offerings, many sourced from their own Fruition Farm and Sheep’s Cheese Creamery.
The restaurant offers an exceptionally well curated, 28-page beverage list with inspired, global, craft selections and creative cocktails including several non-alcoholic choices like Caprese in a Glass: tomato, basil, soda $4, and a lovely Violet Beauregard: blueberry, mint, lemon $5. These are all selected to pair with seasonally themed dishes.
On a recent visit I sipped on a glass of 2017 Mas de Daumas Gassac Charmat Method Rosé, from Languedoc, $17 while I perused the brief menu. It varies with seasons and availability but the following gives a good idea – and it’s what was on the list when I went there.
I selected the fresh Heirloom Tomatoes with melon, red onion, cucumber, chili oil, $14 and Oysters Rockefeller with potato-wrapped, bacon, spinach, parmesan & leek, $18. I was gladly tempted by Lemon Meringue Pie with a traditional graham cracker crust and fresh blueberry, $10 and, to finish, an exquisite 2016 sherry called El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximinez Jerez, , $10.
Other offerings include starters such as Cuttlefish with peperonata, pine nut, mint, $7, a Mushroom Soup of cremini, egg, parsley, broth, $5, a Crab dish with mango and nori furikake, $8. Creative main dishes such as Mackerel Escabeche with salsa verde, sunchoke, radish, $14, Radicchio beets, horseradish, trout roe, $15, Carbonara pork belly, six-minute egg, cavatelli, cacio pecora, $13, Diver Scallops grape, cauliflower, brown butter, hazelnut, $29, Chicken Winter Squash braised fennel, freekeh, maple, pecan, $21, Bavette Steak grilled little gem caesar, fingerlings, cauliflower & black garlic purée, $28, Pork Chop black eyed peas, collard greens, peanut, hot sauce, radish, $29, Lamb Tartare* chermoula, egg yolk, turnip, flat bread, $13.
Fruition also offers two Cru sampling menus consisting of 5 or 7 courses with expertly paired beverages. ($75 or $95)
Gorgeous desserts included cheesecake made with Fruition Farms sheep’s milk ricotta and roasted pineapple, $10, Peaches and corn sweet corn gelato with roasted peaches and olive oil cake, $10, Chocolate panna cotta with brown butter caramel, puffed grains, and whipped cream, $10, and the Fruition Farms cheese plate of shepherd’s halo, a poppy seed scone, and red pepper jelly, $10 accompanied by Allegro French press coffee, $5 and $10, an assortment of Rishi teas, $4, or dessert wines such as Sichel Sauternes, from Bordeaux,, $14, Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine, from Ontario,, $16, Warre’s 20 year Tawny Port, from Douro, , $16, Capellano Barolo Chinato, from Piedmont, $18. There’s also a good selection of whiskies including The Balvenie 14-yr. ‘Caribbean Cask’ 21 Single Malt, from Scotland, both $21.
Add on around 25 per cent to prices quoted to cover service and local taxes.
Fruition Restaurant is located on Sixth Avenue between Marion and Lafayette Streets, just north of the Cherry Creek shopping and arts district.
Denver has a growing public transit system but most destinations are best accessed by car or cab.
Opening times Monday - Saturday 5pm - 10pm
Sunday 5pm - 9pm