Restaurant Review // Z Cuisine

October 22, 2012

I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of the restaurants that I have been dying to try in Denver was Z Cuisine.  The appeal of the restaurant was automatic; an intimate dining room and adjoining bar for overflow of guests, trying to get a spot at a dimly lit table with decadent French food that warms you from the inside out.  Regardless if you dine at Z Cuisine for a multi-course French affair or grab drinks and apps at À Côté next door, you are going to walk away thinking about your next visit back.

As you walk into Z Cuisine, you are swept away with artisanal details that fill the dining room with whimsy and delight.  Beautiful handmade sea-glass chandeliers, chalkboards with the day’s ‘Farm to Fork’ offerings and framed artwork that is simple but intricately adorning buttery-tan walls.  My visit  to À Côté, the restaurant's next-door Parisian bar was on a busy Saturday but we were able to snag prime seating at the bar (my favorite place to sit in nearly all restaurants). 

As we watched the bartender whip up signature cocktails, we devoured heavenly French Onion soup and fresh sautéed mussels.  The soup was bubbling hot when it arrived in a grand tureen; a crusty boule crostini topped the delicious onion broth and endless gooey emmenthal and raclette cheese finished off this classic soup.  As for the mussels, they were nearly overflowing from their large ceramic dish upon arrival.  They were sautéed in fresh fennel, leeks, white wine, tomatoes, orange zest, butter and finished with a flambé of Absinthe.  The luscious broth was spooned up with mussel shells and soaked up with grilled crostini till there was nothing left.  

Another hit was a baked dish of braised Belgium endive with lemon and wine.  It was wrapped in locally-raised ham from John Long’s Farm and topped with a rich béchamel sauce and more creamy cheese then baked until golden brown.  It was an extremely rich dish so I am happy we shared it as a group.

The absolute charm of Z Cuisine is undeniable.  Thus there is no surprise that a coveted table is hard to come by without some planning ahead and a reservation.  I can picture a cool winter evening in my near future gathered around a table a Z Cuisine… telling stories with friends, beautiful sights all around us, sipping wine into the late hours of the night and filling my belly with some of the freshest French cuisine Denver has to offer.  


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