Beckon Combines Dining with Performance Art at Tiny 17-Seat, Ticketed Restaurant

Intimate dining is not entirely new to Denver. Granite counters and micro-restaurants (such as Cart-Driver and Work & Class) have pushed Mile High sponsors to become comfy. However Beckon, the sister to Call starting this week RiNo’s Larimer Street, is not only tiny — it only seats 17 people — it s also requiring a lot of trust from its diners.

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That which is done a tiny bit different within this home. Rather than two-tops, there’s only one large chef. Here, guests have been seated in the form of a large staple along its three sides, forcing all eyes to become riveted towards the middle of the room. Within the center area, chefs dancing between one another while stirring, cooking and preparing nearly each the food — only a little dish pit is made from sight. Waiters espouse the periphery, only interjecting to pour a glass of wine, then fold a napkin or answer a question. The whole coordinated effort and performance art feels much less and much more as a formal dinner party meet. It is reasonable that reservations are known as “tickets,” using a pre-determined cost ($95 for your eight-course dinner, having an extra $65 to get a wine or beer/cider matching ). Also, the structure of this nightly service feels very theater-influenced as it only contains two seatings — at 5:30 pm along with another at 8 p.m. 

Past the synchronization of this evening, this meal’s drama comes from the food — which is only shown to you plate . No menu, even beyond that of a la carte beverage list, is available until the end of this meal.  (People with allergies and limitations worry not — you can make any dietary needs known when you reserve your ticket).

“We’re doing something that’s not yet been done in Denver,” stated co-owner Craig Lieberman, who’s also the owner of the next-door cracker firm 34 Degrees. “But now we don’t need to take ourselves seriously, we want it to become approachable — we are in RiNo. ”

The vibe of this neighborhood will seep in — mostly on the walls where you ll find a mural by local artists Sandra Fettingis. The paint laced using stencil work makes the room feel raw and dressier — providing it just enough edge to feel at home in the neighborhood that is artsy. This can’t be said of their food which, because of the Scandinavian effects of executive chef Duncan Holmes, is still hidden in RiNo.

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Holmes, an alum of this Frasca, attracts his love to the little space to get ingredients with execution. In partnership with director of expertise, Allison Anderson (also from Frasca) and Mercantile’s former sommelier Zach Byers, the trio create a simple experience that’s at times decadent and complex in its delicate manner. Take the bread. In the beginning, it tastes like nothing more than a house made wheat. However, after a while, you ll recognize something oddly familiar with it that it ll drive you insane trying to place it or strike one right off. For those people who grew up round aspen trees, you re planning to be the former since the bread is produced of the bark of this Colorado tree and gives it a more woodsy flavor.

Nothing was as showing as the bread but there have been plenty of dishes that were equally satisfying. The langoustine in a skillet that was foamy and both the creamy polenta with hazelnuts along with truffles made that class whereas the roasted Squab dressed in the java as well as a chocolate lingonberry compote roasted chicory had me assessing every word. Even the dessert left us guessing (later we discovered the floral notes came from a thinly sliced raw bit of a fruit known as a Buddha’s Hand).

Like any fantastic operation, the night was full of surprises though at times they had been subtle. The setting made it feel that much more unique although the attentive staff and wine retained the pace of your average meal. And just like next-door neighbor and its sister — Call — Beckon is bringing something new. But if the restaurant is currently compelling on a number of notions of what it intends to eat outside in Denver — their attention to detail and hospitality show that they are likely to take your trust.

Beckon is located at 2843 Larimer St. Denver and opens Wednesday, November 21. Tickets are available for purchase here. It is available Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 11 p.m.

All photography from Brittany Werges, unless otherwise noted.

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