Tapas in Denver

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sorry for neglecting the One Butt Kitchen as of late.  I actually had to work my day job!  This weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual conference put on by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).  So now you kind of know what my real job is.  This year's conference was in Denver, and because my parents live close to there and have some really good friends who actually do live there, they decided to take a mini-vacation and hang out with me while I wasn't in classes.  

The night before I arrived, they had dinner at a restaurant called, "The 9th Door." Raving so much about it, they decided to take me there for my first night in Denver. "The 9th Door" specializes in tapas.  Amazing tapas.  Tapas that were so good, I ate myself silly.  

For those of you who haven't heard of tapas, let me 'splain:  Tapas refers to a huge variety of appetizers, which can be served hot or cold.  I guess there are different stories about where tapas came from - the one I heard is this: 

"According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales.[1] The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry."

Kind of funny, because I relayed this story to my mom and she didn't believe me.  Funny to me because she LOVES "The Joy of Cooking." 

She then shared the story of how the restaurant got its "The 9th Door" as taken from their website:

"On Spain's Costa del Sol, located between Malaga and Marbella, sits a quiet little mountain village called Mijas. During the summer of 1969, after having been made famous by James Michener's novel The Drifters, Mijas had become an expatriate community of writers and poets. On lazy afternoons, these expats would gather at their favorite bar - one without a name, recognizable only by the number nine that was carved into the door. Behind the 9th door, they would imbibe on the local wine and brandy and share the tapas of the house, trading stories and reciting poetry to the local women until the early hours of the morning."

So, let me share with you some of the tapas we indulged in.  Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of all the plates because the food was so good, I would honestly forget to snap pictures!  (Oh, and because parents always have to embarrass you, my mom told our waitress that I had a "food blog" so the waitress became super helpful.  I'm not a food critic, lady!  It was too funny.)

First up - the Croquetos de Hongos! 
Mushroom and rice croquette with sherry wine and mushroom sauce

Next up - Prawns wrapped in Prosciutto with some amazing Aoili  - mom will have to help out with more of a description as it's not on their website:

Callo de Hongos - the scallops were cooked PERFECTLY:
Seared sea scallops with truffled mushroom compote

Aguacate (personal favorite).  Who knew flash-fried avocado could be so amazing?
Flash-fried avocado with fresh pico de gallo

And I tried to fight my parents when they said, "DESSERT!"  They won.

Frutas Sevillana:
White sangria poached pear, fresh strawberries, and strawberry sorbet, drizzled with a red sangria honey

Go visit "The 9th Door" when you're in Denver.  I promise you won't regret it.  

PS: Trying to encourage mom to be a "guest blogger" on here!  She asked about it, so help me encourage her!


Jillian said...

Oh that looks amazing. I've had tapas in town, but they were not that delicious.

One-Butt-Kitchen said...

You have no idea. I didn't even mention the ribs in the bbq/pineapple glaze. *drool*

Karen said...

All of these look just amazing. Lucky you! Tell mom to do a few guests posts... I bet she'll get hooked and start her own blog :)

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