Ponzu Butter Braised Skuna Bay SalmonWhat: Vesta Dipping Grill

Where: 18th and Blake Street

Don’t Miss: Their sauce sampler is a must-try and can be paired with something off of their extensive cocktail list. I especially loved the “Where the Buffalo Roam” cocktail.

The idea behind Vesta Dipping Grill is simple: pair tasty food with three dipping sauces that will perfectly compliment the meals. It’s a win-win for anyone who enjoys that extra something that a dipping sauce offers. My boyfriend and I came into Vesta on a weekday evening and the restaurant was filled with people. Because of its prime location in LoDo, Vesta would be a great place to take your date before a night on the town.


All photos done by Taryn Kapronica

The cocktail list was extensive and the variety would please even the pickiest drinker. Their “Where the Buffalo Roam” cocktail immediately caught my eye (I am a CU-Buff alum, after all). Crafted with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Laird’s Applejack, house made grenadine and ginger beer; it was just enough whiskey taste without being too strong. It also had a fruity after taste that wasn’t overpowering. It was a perfect choice for the extra buzz you need to keep the conversation going.

The drinks might have been tasty but as for the food, every single bite that we tried at Vesta was impeccable. From the first round of appetizers to dessert, my boyfriend and I continued to geek out over how delicious everything was. We started the meal with the sauce sampler. While the description seems meek, the sauces at Vesta are so flavor packed that all you need to complement them is grilled flat bread. We chose an assortment of sauces to cover every flavor: roasted corn, sweet onion BBQ, basil emulsion, black pepper aioli, and the ace crisp chili oil. It was such a perfect mixture of sweet and spicy that my mouth was in shock, and we hadn’t even tried the entrees yet.

For the main course we began with house made tagliatelle. Tagliatelle is a type of egg noodle and Vesta’s version did not disappoint. Served with English peas, dried cherry tomatoes and a sweet corn soubise, this dish practically melted in our mouths. My boyfriend tried to casually hog the bowl as I was deciding between two dipping sauces in the sampler, but I quickly caught on and made him put the tagliatelle back into sharing range.

Vesta Dipping Grill Tagliatelle

All photos done by Taryn Kapronica

Next we ordered the special of the evening: pork tenderloin served with a sautéed mushroom sauce and blue cheese mashed potatoes. I personally am a firm believer in anything with blue cheese, so these were outstanding in my opinion. The pork tenderloin was cooked perfectly and was the perfect savory dish. I also ordered the Ponzu Butter Braised Skuna Bay Salmon. Just like the name itself, the entrée was a complex mixture of the salmon fillet, pancetta and celery hearts, and mushroom-bonito broth served with delectable scallion fried rice. Served with Vesta’s jalapeno ponzu, sambal aioli and ace crisp chili oil, it had an amazing essence that lingered long after the meal was over.

Vesta Dipping Grill is the perfect place to take a date if you are looking for the impressive factor, without compromising your love of great food with an extra something. Vesta doesn’t shy away from the idea that a great dish is even better with a little sauce on the side. The service was also flawless. Our server Erin gave us great recommendations and definitely knew her stuff. I will warn you though: I spent most of the dinner chowing down at an impressive rate, and barely made it out the door without going into a food coma, so keep that in mind if this is the first time you are enjoying each other’s company. On the bright side, I didn’t even spill on my outfit.