I was in Denver this past week, and had a fabulous meal at Jing, near Denver Tech Center in Littleton. Can a restaurant be sexy? If so, Jing, a pan-Asian restaurant, is– sort of. It’s also a bit weird– in a good way. It’s in a strip mall, but when you enter, you feel like you’re in a South Beach or Vegas Strip hotel: half is black, with lots of dim lighting, intimate half-moon booths, and houndstooth. The other half is white, with a ceiling like the Vesper Bar in the Cosmopolitan in Vegas. That sexy trendiness is complete with somewhat aloof (yet very…touchy?) waitstaff. The food was Asian and fun: Sichuan blossom cocktails, lettuce leaves with sea bass, sashimi with blood orange reduction. A dinner of small plates shared by three of us was more than plenty. An interesting experience, but one that I might just go back to on my next trip to Denver.
I was also in Athens this past week, and stayed at the Ohio University Inn for the first time. It’s so cute, with the OU pillows on the bed and two whole floors (particularly after I stayed in a 24- floor hotel just a few nights before). They also do a mean breakfast– though their pins say, “Ask me about the pumpkin bread french toast,” I decided on fluffy, crispy lemon ricotta waffles. If you’re taking your kid to college or going back for Alumni Weekend, OU Inn is definitely the place to stay. Truth be told– it’s the ONLY place to stay, really, but they don’t rest on that fact and instead have good service and delicious breakfast.
Before seeing the tour of Deadliest Catch last Monday, I popped into Taqueria Mercado for another shrimp quesadilla. On a Saturday afternoon that was steadily busy, I got the same quesadilla in about ten minutes and service was attentive. On a Monday night–two days later– with a mostly-empty restaurant, it took forever to get served a drink at the bar, and the quesadilla took about twenty minutes. I love their food, but their drinks and service leave a lot to be desired.
Ask for a Manhattan at Lackman: they’ll make it with Luxardo Maraschino and orange bitters, if you ask nicely. Twelve kinds of bitters behind their bar– they’re catching up to my collection.