Guard and Grace
This handsome, glass-filled space off the lobby of the venerable Allen Center comes to us courtesy of Denver restaurateur Troy Guard. And though it’s still early, our meal proved uneven. Our best dishes arrived first: tender tuna sashimi with ponzu, slivers of jalapeño, and sel gris and mushroom ricotta agnolotti, pretty oblongs flavored with celery root. Only one starter disappointed: sadly undercooked oak-fired carrots with herb yogurt, carrot top greens, pistachio crumble, and shaved fennel. A small filet of Angus beef followed, with perhaps the most sour and unpleasant béarnaise we’ve ever tasted. And the “loaded” baked potato, for $7, came limp-skinned and barely touched by sour cream, chives, cheese, and (tough) bacon. The dining room was noisy, despite a smattering of diners (do they pipe in the crowd sounds?), and the only bottle of California chard listed on the menu was $135. Finally, the service, though earnest, seemed amateurish.