Where to Eat for Chinese New Year in Denver
It’s not only Broncos fans who are celebrating the Year of the Horse this weekend. Come Friday, Lunar New Year festivals will be kicking off across Asia with fireworks, good-fortune rituals and, of course, food. You can get a piece of the action here in Denver too, thanks to the following venues.
At this Uptown pan-Asian playground (think Ping-Pong, potstickers and picklebacks), chef Brandon Biederman and crew are whipping up a five-course tasting for two that runs from grilled rice balls with Sichuan syrup to fried snapper with long beans and litchis, accompanied by housemade soda (Friday-Saturday, 3 PM-12 AM; $52). If you’re not quite hungry enough to eat a horse, however, each dish is available à la carte, as are Randy Layman’s themed cocktail specials.
501 E. 17th Ave.; 303-800-7705
Chef Lon Symensma’s got a whole Berkshire pig, and he’s going to use every bit of it in myriad à la carte dinner specials, including bo ssam, at his chic East-West go-to in LoDo on Friday.
1555 Blake St.; 303-353-5223
In honor of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Tét, Mary Nguyen's modern-Asian flagship at the edge of Uptown, presents a three-course prix fixe Friday evening that starts with hand-cut udon-noodle soup, followed by grilled scallops with smoked salsify in arugula pesto and sausage-stuffed quail with mushroom bread pudding ($40 per person/$60 with wine pairings). Or try any one item on its own.
1600 East 17th Ave.; 303-399-0988
Though this wee, cheery Southeast Asian kitchen on Old South Pearl is sticking to its regular menu on Friday and Saturday, guests can still toast to the holiday all night long with $3 bottles of Tiger, Singha and Tsingtao.
1859 S. Pearl St.; 720-524-8093
This beloved Southwest Denver dim-sum den is packed tight by 11 AM on an average morning. So you’d do well to show up extra-early this Saturday (it opens at 10 AM), before the traditional lion-dance troupe arrives to strut its stuff at 11:15.
2917 W. Mississippi Ave.; 303-936-0089
Meanwhile, Star Kitchen’s strongest rival for Denverites’ dim sum affections, Super Star, is pulling out all the celebratory stops on Saturday. Opening for business an hour earlier than usual (9 AM), it will welcome both lion and dragon dancers at noon. Better still, the kitchen’s offering an all-day buy-one-get-one deal on lobster.
2200 W. Alameda Ave.; 303-727-9889
Richard Sandoval's Latin-Asian Riverfront fixture has a quartet of specials to symbolize health and happiness in the new year: scallop potstickers with chipotle nuoc cham for luck, shiitake-noodle egg rolls for wealth and so on. (Guests should check their fortune cookies for surprises to boot.)
1610 Little Raven St.; 720-904-0965