Exploring Enoteca Rustica

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Last month in Side Dish, I noted the new upstairs expansion to Pizzeria Rustica, called Enoteca Rustica

Much like La Baguette Upstairs and Brooklyn's on Boulder Street, Enoteca Rustica only hosts Thursday through Saturday hours. Though part of its intention is for private party space and spillover room for those waiting for a table downstairs, the small bar can also be a destination on its own or as part of a progressive dinner. 

Check out its menu here:
See related PDF Enoteca_Menu___Drinks.pdf
A couple of nights ago, proprietor Dave Brackett hosted a media open house which we attended, dishing complimentary samples of both food and drink items prepared by chef/co-owner Jay Gust and mixologist Ken Walker

In broad brush strokes, Gust's small antipasti plates are quite similar to the tapas on display at the group's other outfit, TAPAteria, which is to say they're presented thoughtfully and gourmet in that way where tiny touches speak volumes. Take a horseradish truffle oil and pecorino crumbles on a beef bresaola carpaccio for example, or Meyer lemon essence in the garlic-white-anchovy Bagna Freddo plate. 

Walker too adds distinguishing personality via house infusions like a cherry ginger tonic, which mixes beautifully with nearby Golden Moon Gin. He and Gust are also playing with different garnishes to set-off the cocktail list, such as costly and potent finger limes squeezed into the basil Enoteca Mojito. 

Here's a brief photo tour with a few more observations:

The salmon rillete features Denver honey-smoked fish and local goat cheese, spread on excellent La Baguette multigrain slices. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The salmon rillete features Denver honey-smoked fish and local goat cheese, spread on excellent La Baguette multigrain slices.

This Italian Birrificio Le Baladin label, called Nora, exudes honey essence and interesting spice notes, from cardamom to pepper and ginger. It's outstanding. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This Italian Birrificio Le Baladin label, called Nora, exudes honey essence and interesting spice notes, from cardamom to pepper and ginger. It's outstanding.

From left to right: Jay Gust, Ken Walker, Dave Brackett. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • From left to right: Jay Gust, Ken Walker, Dave Brackett.

Octopus carpaccio with sweet peppadew peppers and gigande beans. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Octopus carpaccio with sweet peppadew peppers and gigande beans.

Enoteca Rustica's wine selection has been expertly assembled to pair with the small bites. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Enoteca Rustica's wine selection has been expertly assembled to pair with the small bites.

Away from the bar, a tiny banquet room overlooks Colorado Avenue. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Away from the bar, a tiny banquet room overlooks Colorado Avenue.

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