Denver: Modern Scandinavian at Trillium
In the touristy area of Five Points in Denver, we stumbled across Trillium, a modern Scandinavian restaurant across the street from Star Bar. The menu was divided into a smorgasbord section, small plates and big plates. You can also order cheese and caviar. Or you can go the tasting menu route and let the chef pick out your courses as either 3 or 4 course meals.
Plenty of things appealed from the smorgasbord section but we wanted to try a little from each section. In highsight, I would have ordered more smorgasbord and small plates.
My favorite dish was the sweet crab and goat cheese terrine. I was expecting perhaps a little pot or small dish but it came out more like a beautiful composed salad with poppyseed vinaigrette. The crab itself was piled high in the center of the plate on top of rye bread and mixed with goat cheese.
Did we get enough foie gras the night before at Ste. Ellie? Nope so we ordered the Hudson Valley foie gras pate. It was served with griddled rieska, a Finnish bread that reminded me of biscuits. We also got cloudberry marmalade and pickled yellowfoot mushrooms. It was probably the most interesting foie gras preparation I’ve seen in a while– which truth be told, I don’t see much foie since it’s banned in California (sigh).
I love aquavit. I don’t see it enough in mixed drinks and haven’t developed a healthy fear of it yet. I liked the idea of using aquavit to cure the Scottish salmon. I’ve had gin, tequila and vodka cured salmons before so why not aquavit? The fish retained a nice snap and went well with the creme fraiche and chopped egg salad.
As I mentioned we probably should have gone with more small plates or smorgasbord. But we went for two larger plates. We were in a meaty mood and got the steak. I had the lamb. After some time had passed and the restaurant even gave us an intermezzo (granita) because of the unusual long wait, our entrees arrived.
My lamb was a bit tough but it had good flavor. I liked the lingonberry veloute and maple malt vinegar gastrique sauces. I also love turnips so the accompanying turnips, snap peas and potatoes were welcome.
As mentioned, my friend found her steak tough and it was also under seasoned. It was later in the evening and we found out later the chef had already left for the night. I believe the restaurant can do much better than our entrees so if we did live in the area, we would return. Especially for that crab!