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  • Writer's pictureMileHighDish

KoKo Ni | Denver, CO

Denver's newest creative chef-driven cuisine will keep your mouth watering and your taste buds in a dream. Chefs Paul Qui and James Gnizak feature local farm to table Japanese / French food in a warm, modern atmosphere - @kokonidenver - 1441 26th St. Denver, CO 80205 - a MileHighDish Must Dine


 

Koko Ni entrance and patio

 

Located in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver sits KoKo Ni, an gem of a restaurant that resets the bar for elevated cuisine for the Mile High City. My wife and I dined here for our first date in months and could not be happier with our experience. With it's intimate dining room and plants everywhere, it's the perfect date night spot. You know a restaurant is special when every single table stopped by chef James Gnizak on their way out to thank him for such a fantastic experience and to compete for the best compliment, like this was "the best meal we have had in Denver since we moved here from New York." Season 9 Top Chef Winner Paul Qui does not disappoint.


The modern experience allows you to choose your own adventure when you make your reservation, only available at Tock (click link below). You decide whether you would like to have a 4 course Pre-Fixe Menu, 10 course Omakase tasting menu or a 13 course Chef's Table experience. We went with the Pre-Fixe menu and it delivered at every turn.


The menu is mysterious in a good way. There are two options per course selection, and you are encouraged to chose one of each to try everything at the table. But, the course selections are presented simply and without explanation to allow the chefs the option to prepare each dish with what ingredients are available to them that particular evening. This drives their creativity and you surprised at every course.


The trust you give them is rewarded - I promise.


We pre-ordered Caviar and Oysters and received flavorful first courses of Caviar with garlic and sunchoke paste which was outstanding as well as the best oysters we have ever had.


 

Caviar

 

Oysters

 

Our first course was local greens with fresh apple, shaved parmesan completed with a pine nut green goddess dressing and trout roe which delivered a rounded out healthy salad. We also shared the root vegetable dish as well - which was carrot, fried sunchoke and parsnip prepared perfectly with when combined with the sauce created a symphony of a bite. Not only are both of these dishes absolutely delicious, they are gorgeous to look at. In fact all the food here is a work of art.


 

Greens

 

Root Vegetables


 

Our second course we both decided to go with the sashimi offering and we loved EVERY SINGLE BITE. Hamachi Crudo with watercress and a fantastic sauce, beautifully presented and so dang good.



Hamachi Crudo

 

The Entree course delivered massive flavor and more surprises. We went with the Tom Kha which was prepared with morel and maitake mushrooms and perfectly seared sea scallops. The Tom Kha curry broth was so bright and refreshing and paired wonderfully with the fresh homemade noodles and scallops.


We also shared Duck, which was served with english peas and beans, green onion and an X.O. This was the most interesting and flavorful seared duck breast I have ever had. The crispy charred crust on the duck was to die for! We were in flavor-town!


Tom Kha

 

Duck

 

Dessert was a Coconut Panna Cotta, presented with a fresh orange and matcha crunch- absolutely decadent and pleasantly surprised that it was vegan and still oh so good. This dessert was epitome of how versatile KoKo Ni is. Their ability to deliver on a dairy free Panna Cotta while chef James executed on dish after dish was truly impressive.


We cannot wait to return and try out the Chef's table experience. But next time, we will bring some friends :)

 




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