Would you dine in a restaurant that used to be a mortuary? Well, I did and I can say that the experience was far from gruesome. Before heading into the mountains, my friends and I used the one night we were all together in Denver to go out to a restaurant the locals love for dinner. Located in the Highland neighborhood, Linger is a swanky, hip restaurant with a multi-level space and tables to fit parties of two all the way to large groups. Linger doesn’t believe in the traditional single entree. Their entire menu is comprised of “small plates” meant to be shared among friends. Representing cuisine from around the world, Linger has made it its job to not be pigeon-holed as one type of restaurant. They have a versatile and unique food menu complemented by an equally original cocktail and drinks menu.
Since there were quite a few of us, we had the opportunity to try many different dishes. A few of my favorites included the Lemongrass Pork Potstickers, Wagyu Sliders and Italian “Coffee” & Doughnuts. Sometimes when restaurants take you around the world through their menu, things can seem out of place or scattered but Linger makes it work. For starters, the menu is organized by region. There is a section just for Bao Buns (which are my newest obsession, in case you’re interested), Europe & Eurasia, Americas & Caribbean, Asia, Africa & Middle East, and India. I think it’s safe to say that we went almost all the way around the world.
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Colorado Lamb Kabobs with cucumber, tzatziki, cilantro, chapati bread, and Turkish chimichurri. I’ve found that people either love lamb or hate it. I’m one of those people who love it. It has a gamey flavor that pairs really well with heartier dishes. On the contrary, this dish is super light but bursting in flavor showing you just how versatile lamb can be. The cucumber and tzatziki vs. chimichurri are almost opposite when it comes to flavor profile which provides a nice balance for the kabobs. It's an overall well-balanced dish.
Chicken B’Stilla with crispy pastry, almonds, apricots, raisins, cinnamon, harissa, cumin labneh, fennel salad, and preserved lemon. African and Middle Eastern cuisine is something that is new to me. I’ve only started to taste their dishes in the last few years and even tried my hand at a few for a series earlier this year. Most likely because of their climate, a lot of the flavors are warmer: cinnamon, harissa, sumac, etc. It’s a different flavor profile than I’m used to but so delicious. The Chicken B’Stilla is one of those dishes that when they arrive you think, what is this? It’s interesting and almost looks like baked brie until you cut into it and see all the yummy goodness inside (that’s not brie of course).
AMERICAS & CARIBBEAN
Organic Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with chipotle ketchup. I do not have a photo of these but they were definitely worth mentioning. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these are some of the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. And let’s not forget that chipotle ketchup made in house! It adds sweetness mixed with a kick of spice. To. Die. For!
Wagyu Sliders with peppered bacon, aged cheddar, curried sour cream, pickled onion, sweet potato waffle fries, and chipotle ketchup. I never thought sliders could outdo a full-sized burger btu there’s so much flavor packed into these little guys that you don’t need a full-size. Peppery bacon meets the sharpness of cheddar cheese and is balanced with sour cream. These might not be outside my comfort zone but man were they delicious. Not to mention they come with the killer sweet potato fries and chipotle ketchup. That’s a big win if you ask me!
Lemongrass Pork Potstickers with sambal, crispy shallots, garlic, ginger, and sweet soy. If you haven’t tried sambal yet, you need to. I have a whole jar of it in my cabinet and love dumping a few spoonfuls on any Asian-inspired dinners that I make. A potsticker is a potsticker. There’s not a huge difference no matter where they’re made but the quality is definitely something worth noticing. For example, these potstickers were not greasy, they were almost fresh in a way. They balanced sweet and savory perfectly and the sauces on the side made each bite even better. Someone pass the sambal please!
Masala Dosa - crispy lentil crepe, winter squash, long beans, brussels sprouts, apricots, potatoes, sambar curry, tamarind date sauce, coconut mint chutney. Of all the plates we ordered, this one was probably the most out of the box one for our regular eating habits. I don’t even know how to explain this dish. A large, crispy crepe is filled with all these not-so-random ingredients. Not sure how to eat it, we broke off pieces of the crepe and treated it kind of like chips and salsa. Whatever the proper way to eat this dish is, it’s still delicious. Definitely on the sweeter side so if you’re more of a savory person, take a bite and keep moving.
Italian “Coffee” & Doughnuts - caramelized white chocolate mousse, whipped espresso ganache and dark chocolate pearls. I could have dove into this cup of heaven. I’m not a sweets person but bring me Italian doughnuts with dark chocolate and I’m like a kid in a candy shop. This was rich and decadent, exactly how a dessert of this caliber should be. And I want more! Those dark chocolate pearls with the espresso ganache and white chocolate were almost too much to bear. Almost, I said almost.
Taiwanese Snow Ice. For $9, you get three different choices to dress your Taiwanese Snow Ice, otherwise known as super delicate shaved ice. It looks like a bowl of snow and it’s super fluffy like snow as well. There are three different flavor options although I don’t remember which one we got. This is not my cup of tea so I had one bite and moved back to my Italian doughnuts. My friends went crazy for it though so it had to be delicious.
Linger has a huge wine menu and lots of weekly specials including Happy Hour Monday through Friday with $6 wine by the glass and $5 shared plates. Indulge in a pre-fixe menu on Tuesdays, grab lunch Tuesdays through Fridays, or Brunch on weekends! If you have dietary restrictions, there is no restricting at Linger. They have Vegan and Gluten-Free options throughout their menu and the option to substitute many of the dishes that are not. They make sure to accommodate every single diner from carnivore to plant-based.