On a recent visit to my favorite denver restaurant, beatrice and woodsley, we were able to eat our way through the spring/summer menu with smiles on our faces. Savory mussels in a cider shallot broth were a favorite of the night, along with the paella ranchero which was filled with smoky octopus, a rich house made blood-sausage, succulent stuffed quail and tons of toasted paprika rice. Yet the dish that really left an impression on my tastebuds was the grits and greens.
I have to say, I am a huge lover of grits so seeing this dish on the menu, I was instantly intrigued. Artisanal stone-ground grits in all their creamy-tender-glory are then topped with earthy braised greens. Tender spec (an italian cured meat similar to prosciutto and from the hind leg of the pig) is hidden between the greens and adds a richness that balances out the slightly bitterness quite nicely. A few cubes of paneer cheese and a small frito misto salad for a little crunch, finish things off and truly add to the presentation.
This dish really does personify summer and chef pete list's ability to highlight ingredients without over complicating things. Each ingredient has a reason for being on the plate and is cooked beautifully. I know that every visit I have to beatrice and woodsley will greet me with surprise and a bit of whimsy but more importantly, I know my dining experience will feature ingredients cooked with intention and showcase the season's bounty flawlessly.