If any of you watch Food Network Challenge, you know who Chef Keegan Gerhard is. He used to be the host and is now one of the judges. Every time I watch Challenge (and I watch them all), I think, “I have to visit D Bar the next time I’m in Denver.” We were just in Denver earlier in the week and I vowed that we wouldn’t miss it this time. I checked it out online, looked at the menu and told my family they had no choice but to go with me.
I first called to make rezzies, but was told they don’t accept them. The person on the phone said that their wait time is up to two hours at times. So, I told everyone to hop in the car and we arrived about 7pm. I was really surprised at how small the place is, it only seats about 24, a raised table that seats 8 in the middle, about 4 tables for 2 (that can be squished together) and a counter where you can watch the pastry chef making the plated desserts. in fact, they sat two more people at our table of 8 since there was only 5 of us. They also have a big TV that shows the Food Network all the time.
The “stuff we like to eat” menu is small but really yummy and really reasonable. They’re small plates, but that’s so you’ll have room for the incredible desserts. Two of us got the kobe sliders, one baked mac and cheese, one flat iron steak and one pizza salad sandwich. Both of the girls had the fresh lemonade with vanilla bean. I have to get the recipe. I wanted to confiscate their drinks, but was working on my glass of Malbec. Everything was tasted great and was presented really well. The wait staff was awesome, our waitress was very cute and sweet. (I purchased a “cupcake slut” t-shirt from her.)
But then we went on to the reason I was really there…the plated desserts! We ordered 6 different desserts for the 5 of us knowing that we were going to nibble off of all of them. Here’s our haul…
The Cake and Shake is a three-layer chocolate cake with majari frosting. It is served with a vanilla or chocolate shake or malt. Frank chose the vanilla shake and it had little chocolate nibs on the top. I’m not a big chocolate cake fan, so I had a bite of the shake…I love shakes! The cake must have been good because there was none left at the end.
This was an amazing chocolate caramel tart. The caramel ice cream with fleur de sel burst with flavor in my mouth. I wanted to eat it all but had to share. It came with a darling little cup of godiva affogato.
This was a classic done well. Maddie confiscated this dessert and only allowed us a few bites. It is classic vanilla bean custard served with a strawberry and almond orange biscotti.
This is a Guayakil 64% chocolate souffle served with Nutella beignets and candied hazelnut ice cream. Now, I lived in Germany for a year and was never a fan of Nutella, but I didn’t want to share the Nutella beignets with anyone because they were amazing — little donut-type poufs with warm, creamy Nutella in the middle (They aren’t shown in this picture, sorry)! I could have just eaten the beignets and ice cream alone. Again, the flavors were so concentrated and intense. Maybe I was achieving dessert nirvana, I don’t know, but the flavors were bursting on my tongue.
This dessert was a jasmine brulee with sable breton over honey vanilla mandarin orange segments. This was my least favorite dessert. I was disappointed in it because I love everything citrus. The one part I did love was the clementine sorbet. I could’ve just had a bowl of that (everyday for the rest of my life.)
Isabella chose the donut holes that came with six different dipping sauces. You can chose from cinnamon or powdered sugar holes. She chose cinnamon. They bring them in a bag and you shake them, then toss them in the bowl and dip to your heart’s content. I enjoyed the chocolate, salted caramel and creme anglais dipping sauces better than the fresh jams, but that’s because it was more dessertie.
All and all, it was a very successful tummy-busting dessert with dinner on the side. If you’re in Denver, definitely check out D Bar Desserts. They’re open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner. Check out their website at www.dbardesserts.com. Tell them Chef Ro sent you.