What: A three-course contemporary European prix fixe meal for $29

Where: Charcoal Restaurant, 43 W Ninth Avenue in the Golden Triangle

When: The prixe fixe menu is available now through this Sunday, August 11th during dinner hours: Monday-Thursday 5-10pm, Friday-Saturday 5-11pm, Sunday 5-9pm

You’ve got to try: The Dry Aged Black Angus Filet of Sirloin “Bourguignonne,” a dish created especially for Charcoal Restaurant Week.

Tucked away between Broadway and Acoma, Charcoal Restaurant seems to be a bit of a neighborhood secret, but their impeccably crafted cuisine and attentive service is worth a drive as I recently discovered after sampling their Swedish-inspired brunch. This week, Charcoal is giving diners the opportunity to sample their fare by offering a three-course prix fixe menu that includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert  with several options for each course. The regular dinner menu filled with small bites, appetizer and entrée sized choices is also available.

Brussel Sprouts

Crispy Brussels Sprouts
All photography by Eric Goitia

Charcoal’s name derives from the custom-built “Bincho” grill in the restaurant’s kitchen. This style of cooking, developed in the 8th century and popular in Japan, uses a special type of cured charcoal that burns at very high temperatures with virtually no smoke resulting in quick cooking times, fresher flavor and more tender meats.

To taste what Bincho grilling offers, try the Wild Grilled Shrimp appetizer option. Though the shrimp is grilled, it retains a tender texture and is served over a rich romesco sauce with micro cilantro and just the right amount of smoked paprika. I chose the Crispy Brussels Sprouts to begin my meal. Perfectly caramelized Brussels sprouts come topped with decadent duck confit, pistachios for a crunch and a 147° egg that, when broken, combines with a red wine vinaigrette to form a silky sauce that coats the entire dish. A Mixed Green Salad with tangy goat’s milk gorgonzola vinaigrette is also available as an appetizer choice.

Creme Brulee

Salted Carmel Créme Brûlée
All photography by Eric Goitia

For the entrée, the Dry Aged Black Angus Filet of Sirloin “Bourguignonne” is the stand-out choice.  Expertly grilled to tender perfection on the inside with a nice char on the outside, the flavorful sirloin from local Colorado ranch Gold Canyon is served over beluga lentils with a savory red wine sauce, pearl onions, crisp green beans, and pecan-smoked bacon for an undeniably crave-worthy dish available only this week.

For a lighter meal, try the delicate Dukkah Crusted Sea Scallops served alongside a salad of spicy baby arugula, a punch of acidity from grapefruit segments and creamy gorgonzola in a bowl made from papadum, a thin, crispy Indian flatbread. The Potato Gnocchi “Primavera” is a tasty vegetarian choice served with tender grilled artichoke, arugula, and shaved parmigiano-reggiano.

The dessert choices offer something sweet or something a bit more savory. For those who crave sugar, the Salted Carmel Créme Brûlée topped with a crispy olive oil cookie and almonds is an indulgent choice. For a more nuanced end to the meal, opt for the Aged Manchego served with crunchy grilled bread and a hint of sweetness from brightly hued quince paste.

Equip with a custom-designed Napa wine dispenser, you can pair your meal with affordable wine selections available in flights, half pours, full pours or by the bottle. Charcoal also offers a selection of local craft beers and imports as well as cocktails like the Ginger Paloma, a mix of exótico blanco tequila, domain de conton ginger liqueur, and invigorating grapefruit that also comes with a punch and is perfect for unwinding after a long day.

Charcoal Restaurant Week is a great way to get acquainted with this unique Denver eatery, sample their contemporary European cuisine, and experience their ability to combine fine dining in a welcoming, accessible atmosphere. With regular menu items like Cast Iron Grilled Alaskan Halibut served with a succotash and pecan smoked bacon Grilled Colorado Lamb Sirloin, I can’t wait to go back and sample even more.