Humboldt Farm Fish and Wine in Denver opened up in early October of last year and has already been noted for their exceptional steaks, burgers, and fresh fish. I recently spent a lovely late morning/early afternoon catching up with a friend on the blissfully shaded patio, and enjoying a sampling of the fun stuff- starters, drinks and desserts.
My first time in San Diego, at the age of 12, we went to a fish house with my dad’s college friend who we were visiting. The long-haired, lifetime surfer with mischief perpetually gleaming in his eyes dared me to do an oyster shooter. After a brief sizing up of the shot glass full of cocktail sauce in which sunk something gray and a little menacing, I squared my shoulders and threw it back. Even since, that particular rush of lemon, brine, and ocean meat has been inseparable from that feeling of excitement and possibility. If you are as yet uninitiated to the wonderful world of oysters, an easy way to navigate all of the choices out there is by coast. Generally speaking, East Coast oysters tend to be brinier, West Coast tend to be creamier and milder, sometimes with a sweet or fruity flavor. In choosing from amongst Humboldt’s daily specials, we went with the best of both worlds, the Naked Cowboy from Long Island and the Kumamoto from Humboldt Bay, CA. My dining companion preferred the mellow buttery Kumamoto (as do many Coloradans). I, being partial to all things briny, loved the refreshing bite of the Naked Cowboy.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, the cocktail I most enjoyed, the Pimm’s Cup, was literally created to be the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon or evening of oyster swilling. After experiencing the invigorating classic cocktail made with Pimms No 1, cucumber, strawberries and ginger beer, I decided to investigate the origins of this gin-based liqeour called Pimm’s. A couple of clicks later and I found that Pimms was created by James Pimm in 1840 and served as a beverage and base for cocktails at the oyster bar that he owned in London. Fresh and light, this is an ideal summer drink.
To finish off our dilettante’s trio of hor d’oeuvres, cocktails, and desserts, we decided to really treat ourselves to the key lime pie with coconut crust and the molten caramel chocolate cake a la mode. The key lime pie was creamy and bright, a great dessert for a warm evening. The dark, hockey puck-sized chocolate cake was luxuriously dense with a consistency somewhere between a brownie and a truffle. It was served with a salt caramel ice cream and the play between the two was sophisticated, a little bit sexy and definitely delicious.
The afternoon at Humboldt was one to remember, watching all of the beautiful young couples, families with young children, and handsome older couples with young attitudes and appetites. Chatting with a friend on the couch-seating on the porch, enjoying the July sun from under a big umbrella, treating ourselves to little delights, it is hard to feel that life here at Humboldt is anything but good.