November 19, 2013</div>
A true neighborhood restaurant, <a href="http://humboldtrestaurant.com/"><b>Humboldt Farm. Fish. Wine</b>.</a> is a go to for a friendly buzzing bar scene with a hard to resist happy hour. Hard to resist because the <a href="http://humboldtrestaurant.com/%23bar">bar menu</a> ranges from $1 to $8 for small plates that include Oysters, Marinated Steak Skewers, Smoked Trout Dip, Garlic Bread and the popular Humboldt Burger. Add in $6 speciality cocktails, community-style bar tables, wine and beer specials and you may have found your next go to stop. At least from the hours of 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday when happy hour is on the books.
Natural light and an open layout bring out an inviting feel in the redesigned Uptown space that once housed Strings, a restaurant owned by the late Noel Cunningham for the past 27 years. His wife sold the restaurant to Concept Restaurants earlier this year, and the company, which owns numerous other restaurants including Rialto Cafe, Via Baci, Table Mountain Inn & Cantina, opened Humboldt in October.
Fueled by a strong culinary team headed by Executive Chef DJ Nagle (of Udi’s, Tag and North), Humboldt is hoping to make this a 17th Ave. staple. To do this, the team says they will focus on serving up classic and flavorful American dishes.
“At the end of the day we wanted to open a good restaurant,” said Sean Huggard, Director of Operations for Concept Restaurants. “We weren’t trying to be the hottest or the hippest. Our goal wasn’t to be a flash in the pan kind of restaurant. We want to be something that is still relevant years from now. We are willing to change and evolve with times.”
So far, so good. Humboldt wows taste buds with modern re-interpretations of classic simple meals, from crispy broccoli with pepperoncini aioli to jumbo shrimp cocktail, signature steaks, satisfying beef and bacon blend burgers and flavorful pasta dishes.
Nagle has crafted an eclectic <a href="http://humboldtrestaurant.com/%23welcome">menu</a> made up of a mix of small plates for sharing and sampling, as well as full meals for guests who just want to dig in.
“We hired DJ because during his tryout he made an impression,” said Huggard. “His style of food was effortless. He wasn’t trying too hard, and the food was approachable.”
Nagle makes an effort to incorporate local ingredients whenever possible, sourcing items from Colorado farmers, bakers and ranchers. His ever-changing menu features fresh oysters and ocean-friendly seafood, local grass fed, all-natural Crystal River beef and plenty of tasty homemade sauces and dressings.
“I’m just trying to do food the right way,” explained Nagle.
Humboldt is located at 1700 Humboldt Street in Denver, and is open daily for lunch and dinner along with brunch on the weekends. If you are looking for more of a fine dining experience, head to the back of the restaurant where the lighting is dimmed and the buzz calms.
<p align="center"><b>Top picks from Humboldt’s menu: </b></p>
<li><b>Shrimp Cocktail </b>– An irresistible classic, the cocktail sauce here is incredible.</li>
<li><b>Smoked Trout Dip</b> – Humboldt’s unique creation of Idaho trout, cream cheese, shallots and savory herbs paired with an house-made sweet onion jam, and served with potato chips.</li>
<li><b>Oysters</b> – Oysters are dear to DJ’s heart, since the chef grew up on the east coast, where he used to fish often. Choose from a wide selection including fresh shucked, crispy fried, and charboiled with tarragon lemon butter.</li>
<li><b>Whole Crispy Fish </b>– A mouth-watering combination of lemongrass bbq, sesame spinach, and pickled vegetables.</li>
<li><b>Lobster Risotto</b> – Served only on Fridays and Saturdays, this filling dish features sweet corn, buttered leaks and a pound of lobster.</li>
By Carri Willbanks