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When the 9th Door opened in 2005, veteran chef Michael Wahaltere was called in as a consultant, and he created a menu of Spanish favorites, meant to be mixed and matched and made into a meal. To go with this inviting lineup, the cavernous spot was decked out in coppery hues and dark woods, with a plush red banquette along the wall and a bed in the middle of the dining room, gimmicky enough to make you feel like you've entered some adult theme park. The decor remains; the chef does not. Today's board keeps a lot of the original Wahaltere creations; the menu is divided between hot and cold tapas, all of which combine such traditional ingredients as olives, ham and Manchego and goat cheeses, with varying levels of complexity and success. The best time to stop by this restaurant is during happy hour, when the bites and beverages are a steal.
I ate at the 9th door yesterday with a friend and was disappointed with their lack of professionalism for their supposed "swanky upscale establishment". Its was about 90 degrees outside and when we sat down it was hot in there and the waiter came up he was sweating and I asked if there was a/c available. He seemed to get upset that I asked this and was rude for the rest of our meal there. He took forever bringing out my food and was overall unpleasant I felt like he just did not like us, he acted snobby. The food was not that good either, in fact I ordered to go food from here and ended up throwing it away, there are way better upscale bars and restaurants in Denver to enjoy such as Rioja.
Great place for a group of friends for dinner or just drinks. If you're eating, try the lamb meatballs, salmon wrapped asparagus, and the charcuterie. If you're boozing, try the Mejita (a mojito with fresh watermelon - lethal because you can't taste the liquor) or the El Pepino (like a cucumber martini). A DJ spins pretty loud tunes (so the music can be heard over Beta's throbbing beats from down the street?), so maybe not the best place for a first date.
Two short pours of beer get you a free plate of tapas at El Tigre, a dark, dungeon-like bar crammed into the heart of Madrid. The place is always packed, with people jostling each other as they order a drink from one of the bartenders, then try... More »
Next week's Best of Denver 2006 will mark the end of several solid months of eating and note-taking, list-making and writing -- but mostly eating. I have no idea how many dollars and how many hours I've spent scrambling around the city in a... More »
So, there's this girl or guy you really like. You've been pursuing (read: stalking) him or her for months now -- courting in the most old-fashioned way. You've bought flowers, burned your name on his or her lawn, taken a page from Tom McGuane and nailed your hand to his or her front door, even successfully fought off three restraining orders. And now, against all odds, the object of your affection has consented to have dinner with you. So where do you go? The 9th Door. With its... More »
The small-plate fads may be dying, but the 9th Door deserves to stick around. Rather than compromise in the face of changing tastes, it remains dedicated to traditional Spanish flavors: anchovies, a handful of olives and almonds, some sour goat cheese laced with honey, pan-fried artichokes and potatoes sparked with romesco. The plates may be small, but that sounds like the makings of a big meal. More »
In adopting -- and adapting -- the theme of drunken, lazy, artistic Spanish dining, the 9th Door has deliberately painted itself into a very good culinary corner, forcing the kitchen to stay true to the influences of Spanish cuisine and the bar to the ideal of fully tanked Spanish drinking habits. The menu was designed by consulting chef Michel Wahaltere, but after he left last summer, the crew took his concept and ran with it, offering real tapas in a city already awash in small plates. The... More »
The small plates at the 9th Door have a lot of big tastes -- and the biggest may be the fried cheese. While we like a nice plate of white-trash mozzarella and canned marinara as much as the next guy, the 9th Door offers a much classier take: deep-fried balls of goat cheese topped with a drizzle of spiced honey. The sweetness of the honey, the earthy funk of the goat, the fact that the cheese has been turned into white lava by its dip in the Fryolator -- it all makes for some damn fine... More »
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