A review of European elegance: 1515 Restaurant, Denver, Colorado

@Ron Stern All rights reserved

DENVER, July 10, 2015 — Fine European restaurants treat food a little bit differently than most restaurants in the United States do. Europeans savor their food, which is made from all fresh ingredients and served in a series of small courses, leading one into the other like an intricate gustatorial dance.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

Chef Gene Tang, owner of 1515 (1515 Market St, Denver, CO, 80202), specializes in eclectic French cuisine and, equally, in French elegance. His guests come not only for the food but for the experience, and Chef Tang ensures that their experience is memorable.

Denver has many excellent restaurants, but finding one that offers an authentic, mouth-wateringly slow, course-by-course fine dining experience is challenging.

Restaurateur and chef Tang wanted to change that by introducing his own version of eclectic French cuisine to the Mile High City.

Tang learned his trade early from his mother who, along with his father, owned a boutique hotel and continental restaurant in Hong Kong. Not only did all six children have to learn to cook, but to advance their skills, they traveled all over the world sampling the finest cuisines available in the best restaurants.

Tang brought his advanced life training with him to Denver. After successfully owning a number of eateries, he opened 1515 in the busy LoDo District. The building was a circa-1860 row house that was spared in a fire that destroyed most of the others in 1863.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

The entrance is unassuming but leads you down to the lower level and the newly restored Rewind bar. Colorful LED lighting gives the space a soothing glow, backlighting the wide variety of available spirits.

If you prefer an informal atmosphere, the bar offers small plate servings for those who would rather relax and chill without consuming too much of the delicious food.

Upstairs, the ambiance includes Tang’s own design elements of pastel green seat backs together with black chairs, white tablecloths, and wall art that complements the original exposed red bricks.

Tang believes strongly that restauranteurs need to spend most of their time in the front of the house to interact with their patrons and develop relationships that will ensure repeat business.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

He also makes it a point to find talented chefs who possess both passion and tenacity, working closely with them to create an unforgettable culinary experience. His current chef is Executive Chef Joseph Arena, who uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Tang’s customers can choose anything from appetizers and entrees to a six-or-eight course degustation, with or without wine pairing. A six course without wine would cost $65.

The restaurant has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since it opened. You can be sure you’ll be able to find the perfect accompaniment to your meal from their three wine cellars and selection of 22,000 bottles of red and white wines for every palate.

After settling in at your table, your wait staff will present an amuse-bouche to whet your appetite.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

Next, try their 7X Colorado Cattle Company Wagyu Beef. This perfectly marbled tender meat is cooked Ishiyaki style on a hot stone at your table, and served along with dipping sauce and bread.

Tang uses all natural Boulder Lamb for his lamb rack with trumpet mushroom ragu. It comes artistically plated as one of the available entrees. It was among the best lamb I have ever had.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

For dessert I recommend their cherries jubilee flambé with cinnamon, lavender, and brown butter caramel ice cream, which is made using a cold molecular technique that results in a creamier textured ice cream.

The goal of Chef Tang and his staff is to offer their patrons an authentic old-world restaurant experience that might be found in a big city restaurant or seen in your favorite gustatory films.

@Ron Stern All rights reserved
@Ron Stern All rights reserved

This includes menu items that change daily based on availability of fresh ingredients, personalized service in the classic French tradition, and an owner who is on-site and involved in every aspect of operations.

“We cook food that we love to eat,” says Tang. Judging from the fact that they just won the 2015 TripAdvisor Award of Excellence and Open Table’s Diner’s Choice award, he must be doing something right.

For more information: http://1515restaurant.com

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Ron Stern
Ron Stern, aka: The Global Gumshoe is passionate about excellence in hospitality and tourism. He writes full features with a focus on luxury, cuisine, hotels, resorts, tourism and travel destinations. His articles have appeared in national and regional magazines such as Shape, Cruise, Frequent Flyer, AAA Motorist, Visit Los Cabos Guide, Destinations West, Key Biscayne and La Jolla Today. Other articles have been published in newspapers (print and online) such as The Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sun Sentinel, Bismarck Tribune, The Jamaican Observer, the Coloradoan and travel trade magazines. Ron’s other contributions have been noted by PBS, Mobil Travel Guides and his photography has been used extensively by entities such as tourism boards and public relations firms. He has traveled extensively and is the author of five books. Ron's motto: "uncovering the sole of travel" humorously captures his spirit of walking the world travel beat as a gumshoe detective, always looking for a story.