There were a lot of great eats in Denver so its hard to narrow it down to one favorite, but Linger took the cake for many reasons. Number one, their menu is crazy good (read on for more). #2. The restaurant was once the historic Olinger Mortuary (super creepy and cool). Numero Tres, the atmosphere and ambience is different than any other restaurant I have been to. Food is emotional for me and the feeling I got from sharing each dish and experiencing the different layers of flavor was incredible.
How the Menu Works: Its divided up into different regions of the world (tasty and educational) and each dish is served family style and designed for sharing. Works for me, since this is how I usually dine.
Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites
Price: 4 out of 5 bites
Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites
Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites
Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites
Stem Cider Branch and Bramble: Dry, Raspberry Cider. Very good!
Likes: Local, fruity, not too sweet, crisp.
Cowboy Popcorn: BBQ flavored popcorn for the table. Smoky, salty, good!
Devils on Horseback (Europe & Eurasia): Applewood Smoked Bacon, Medjool Dates, Herbed Goat Cheese & Sambal Gastrique . Our server recommended these and they were spot on! The smoky, sweet, and salty bacon was cooked perfectly. The dates were caramelized and went well with the creamy, tangy goat cheese. As soon as I popped one of these in my mouth, it was over. So delicious.
Thai Fried Rice (Asia): Poached Egg, Corn, Tomatoes, Charred Pole Beans, Fried Shallots, Thai Basil, Five Spice Cashews, Coconut & Nam Prik Pao Sauce. I love that this fried rice had corn-not too common. Lots of flavors and spice from the red/green chiles. The yolk from the eggs created a luxurious, rich sauce. The char from the beans added a smokiness and the basil was a nice touch of brightness. The crispy shallots were delicious with the sweetness from the Coconut & Nam Prik Pao sauce.
Colorado Lamb Kabob (Africa & Middle East): Cucumber, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Cilantro, Chapati Bread (traditional Indian flat bread), Tzatziki, Carrot-Chili Purée & Green Harissa (condiment consisting of jalapeno, parsley, cilantro, chilies, spices). The lamb was tender and juicy. The bread was warm, slightly charred, and acted as the perfect device to soak up the delicious sauces. The tzatziki was creamy and cool and the harissa was fresh and spicy.
New England Fish Tacos (Americas): Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins, Bibb Lettuce, Dill, Cherry Tomato Relish & Tartar Sauce. Whoever thought of the salt & vinegar potato skins should get a raise. This was a flavor bomb of salty, vinegary, crispy, crunchy, goodness. Of course this paired well with the fresh, flaky fish. The tomato relish and tartar sauce was tangy, yet sweet. Love these!
Mongolian BBQ Duck Bao Bun (Asia): Scallions & Miso Pickled Cucumbers. Holy Duck! The duck was so tender it was as if it was slow roasted for hours. The sauce was sweet and sticky. The scallions and cucumbers added a nice crunchy brightness. The steamed bun was light and fluffy.
Fried Chicken Bao Bun (Asia): Togarashi Ranch (spicy Japanese seasoning), Kimchi & Honey Sambal. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and had a brilliant crunchy exterior. The kimchi was the perfect side kick and went well with the honey sambal (spicy relish).
Sesame BBQ Tacos (Caribbean): Wagyu Short Rib, Napa Slaw, Radish, Avocado & Lime. The short ribs were super tender, lean, and had a rich and hearty flavor. The slaw and radish lightened up these tacos and added texture. The avocado added color and freshness.
Service was great and our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu and offering suggestions. Linger has the perfect lighting, low, warm, like eating by candlelight. The décor has an industrial, casual feel, but is still upscale enough for a nice night out. I really liked that the menu was a taste of different areas of the world. It gave us a chance to try different things and it was exciting as each new dish came out one after the other. The menu ingredients explode with flavor and elevate your taste buds to places they haven’t gone before. The menu is very unique and the vision of showcasing different cultures is amazing -where else can you get both Cricket Empanda’s and Egplant Soup on the same menu? Linger has an additional rooftop dining area, happy hour and brunch menus, and offers 3 course dining every Tuesday. They use local ingredients and suppliers and also offer gluten free and vegan options. If you haven’t checked out Linger, you need to.