As a pastry school graduate, there are few things I find more fascinating than an expertly constructed dessert. Treats can be cruel to the pastry chef—you can’t unbreak a custard or unburn a caramel. So when a dessert is flawlessly presented, I can’t help but marvel at the planning, the experience, and the trial-and-error that went into it.
Fans of D Bar before it closed on March 22 will not be surprised to hear that the lineup at the new location (just a few blocks west and north) is solid. “I wanted [the restaurant] to still feel like D Bar, but make it bigger and better,” chef and co-owner Keegan Gerhard says.
Interesting things are happening on the savory side of D Bar’s menu as well. The scallops, served on a mound of butternut squash risotto, were seared perfectly. The bacon mac and cheese was pleasantly light, and had a panko-Cheezit topping that was the essence of comfort food. There are some minor flaws, such as the slightly undercooked and underseasoned risotto and crispy pork wings that were a little too big to eat cleanly by hand. But this is nitpicking—the flaws only stand out against the backdrop of a near-perfect dessert menu.
Gerhard, wife and partner Lisa Bailey, and the rest of the D Bar crew present a dessert menu displaying both time-honored classics and new and interesting offerings. They have a French macaron filled with chocolate ganache next to an open-faced macaron s’more with a dollop of toasted marshmallow sitting on a cookie that trades out almond flour for graham cracker crumbs. There’s also a traditional chocolate pecan tart alongside a passion fruit curd tart topped with raspberry jam. Old and new, side-by-side, perfectly executed. Fans of the old eatery can rest easy knowing that while the new location is bigger, the spirit of the old D Bar hasn’t changed. 494 E 19th Ave., 303-861-4710, dbardenver.com