10 Must-Try Dishes at The Squeaky Bean

By Ruth Tobias  |  February 21, 2014
Credit: Ruth Tobias

Since the departure of chef Max Mackissock last summer and the subsequent arrival of Theo Adley, Johnny Ballen’s supremely quirky LoDo destination, The Squeaky Bean, has seen all kinds of changes. Here’s what you should know - and what you should try. 

Chef Adley’s serious about having fun. His free-wheeling approach to contemporary cuisine shows not only in new dishes like Kung Pao lamb sweetbreads but the return of old signatures, including the “TV dinner”: think lemongrass-pulled pork and chamoya-pineapple slaw with shrimp-lime dressing, served in a compartmentalized tray for a blast of nostalgia. See some of our other favorites in the slideshow below.

The cocktail program’s bigger and better than ever. The Bean team has long been known for their experiments with everything from housemade liqueurs and tinctures to molecular techniques like nitrogen cavitation. But bar manager Brian Smith has just unveiled a new, expanded drink list that goes even further with funky concoctions such as the so-called Crocktails, made in Crock-Pots and served warm in mugs or goblets. (Come spring, says Ballen, they’ll likely be replaced with boozy snow cones.)

The Bean is betting the farm on organic produce. Having long tended the restaurant’s own garden, partner Joshua Olsen is now working closely with Everitt Farms in Lakewood with an ambitious project in mind: in addition to overseeing several acres of land dedicated to non-GMO crops, he and owners Derek and Kamise Mullen plan to open a retail space and community agricultural-education center. Stay tuned for details as they unfold.

1500 Wynkoop St. Ste. 101; 303-623-2665

  • Credit: Daniel Holton

    Before you say you're sick of brussels sprouts, get a load of these: fried crisp and tossed with peanuts and minty Thai vinaigrette

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    As Adley puts it, "Southern Italian meets Hong Kong lo mein" in this killer bowl of semolina pasta with XO sauce, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, pea shoots and lots of garlic

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    A trio of sweet potatoes stars in this hash, supported by chopped rapini, satsuma-citrus segments and amaranth leaves over a robust sunchoke purée

  • Bee-pollen crumble adds texture to sprightly, silken sablefish crudo with roasted pineapple and pink peppercorns 

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Grilled octopus is wrapped in prosciutto and radicchio, then served over farro with horseradish chimichurri

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Don't miss the oh-so-velvety chicken-liver pâté with apple butter and grain mustard

  • Credit: Daniel Horton

    Warm radicchio salad comes gently bathed in bagna cauda - a warm dip of olive oil, garlic and anchovies

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    To accompany this fork-tender braised lamb shank studded with pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachis, Adley roasts the cauliflower in a curried yogurt that forms a luscious dressing for green lentils

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Cinnamon ice cream caps off this apple galette with oat crumble in salted-caramel sauce

  • Credit: Ruth Tobias

    Luxardo cherries and smears of pistachio butter give dimension to the brownie à la mode

  • Be sure to wash it all down with a house-bottled cocktail...

  • ...complete with ice cubes cut like jewels