Driving into the Highlands, passing by Gaetano’s I see what used to be an old abandoned building just past 33rd. Park on the street and walk over- then enter into an experience not seen in Denver until now.
Old Major, partnered by several different geniuses who have all made names for themselves in this grand ole city… Justin Brunson (Masterpiece Deli, Denver Bacon Co.), Juan and Katie O’Shea Padro (Highland Tap & Burger) and Ben Parsons (Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery) whom are all but a start to the seemingly endless supply of talent present at this unique restaurant.
Immediately upon walking in I am charmed by the modern Farmhouse décor. The hanging lights are repurposed from old tractor air filters, the wall sconces are (get this) made from old buckets found in the basement which were filled with roller skate wheels. Turns out, this building was once a roller skating rink decades ago, the raised wood flooring is the original skating floor and then the rest is all new to this location. Love it… Glancing on the south wall reveals some strange looking tiles made from light, closer inspection shows old photographs taken from army planes on glass slides… a huge open space kitchen allowing you to see the hustle and bustle normally hidden behind double doors… Amazing gleaming metal and white coats running around ensuring everything that is produced in the space is of the highest quality.
We start off our meal with a presentation by Ben Parsons. He has two wines, Old Major Red (a Malbec) and Old Major White. These are served along with their standard bread service- house made pretzel
bread served with a mustard butter… Heaven anyone? These are made by Pastry Chef Nadine Donovan, and will soon be coveted by everyone… even if gluten is not an option for you… Next up was the smoked fish plate. Smoked trout, sturgeon rillettes and smoked mussels in a Swedish mustard. Everything on this plate seems to just melt in your mouth. Black Truffle Pistachio Sausage served with potato crème and escargot vinaigrette- again- HEAVEN.
Moving along through the courses- I am handed a menu on which it is apparent that nose to tail butchery is used here. Pork cheeks, Pork Oso Bucco, chops, etc… We are treated to Pan Roasted Colorado Striped Bass, where the skin has the texture of a crouton. Served with braised leeks and baby turnips, all served on a bed of lemon risotto and spritzed with lemon.
And then- the pièce de résistance- The pork chop. Served on parsnip puree, with roasted Brussels sprouts, guanciale and a pork demi glace. I am officially in love. Brined and grilled, this chop is tender and flavorful, and worth every penny.
Then, of course, make sure you save some room for dessert, especially the baked Alaska. As I sampled this delicacy, I was taken back to my childhood. Waiting for the ice cream truck to come by so I could get a dreamsicle… The End.
Make sure you get in there and check this one out! Don’t worry- if you don’t have a reservation they do have walk in tables set aside… but be prepared to wait.
These beautiful pictures were taken by David Donovan at DX2 Exposures