Worth The Trip

More than you bargained for at Denver’s Euclid Hall

By / Photography By Evan Sémon & Marc Piscotty | March 10, 2016
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More than you bargained for at Denver’s Euclid Hall

Atoning for an outlaw past with worldly pub fare

In the late 1870s, on the streets of downtown Denver near the present-day home of the restaurant Euclid Hall, the notorious con man and outlaw Soapy Smith perfected the scam that would earn him his name. Standing on a busy corner with a case full of soap for sale, Smith attracted a crowd by opening some soaps, wrapping cash around a few bars and pretending to mix them in with the rest. While he actually used sleight-of-hand to hide the money-wrapped bars on his person, the trick always generated a flurry of sales.

Since 2010, Euclid Hall has offered customers a very different value proposition by giving them more than they pay for, not less. Affordable and eclectic entrees including the chicken schnitzel and waffles, Mexican-style “Michelada” mussels and the “Ricky Ricardo” Cubano sandwich go for a modest $10 to $20, while a beer list as long as Soapy Smith’s rap sheet complements the international pub fare.

The menu’s first three headings say it all: “because we have to” (salads, mostly), “because we want to” (pumpkin risotto with veal sweetbreads) and “because we can” (Pad Thai pig ears, brûléed marrow bones on toast). As if that weren’t evidence enough, Chef Jennifer Jasinski drives home her love of comfort food with three creative takes on the French-Canadian fries-and-gravy classic poutine, including the slightly transgressive “fowl play” (duck poutine served with foie gras and a sunny-side-up chicken egg).

Although the exploits of Soapy Smith ultimately caught up with him—he was killed in an 1898 gunfight in Skagway, Alaska—Euclid Hall shows no signs of slowing down. Jasinski and her partner, Beth Gruitch, now operate three other successful restaurants—Rioja, Bistro Vendôme and Stoic & Genuine—in the surrounding blocks of downtown. Like Smith before them, they have devised a way to fulfill the desires of Denverites, although their method is infinitely more honest—and tastier.

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
1317 14th St., Denver

Article from Edible Aspen at http://edibleaspen.ediblecommunities.com/eat/more-you-bargained-denver-s-euclid-hall
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