New: Venue

December 15 2008, 7:59 AM
Three weeks ago Holly Hartnett, the former manager of Table 6, opened Venue, a minimalist American bistro in the Highland Square space once occupied by 8 Rivers. Expect a small menu from chef James Rugile (formerly of Black Pearl) that changes regularly. On the night I dined, the composed beet salad with pistachios and the mussels with caramelized fennel and tomato stood out. I enjoyed the thoughtful presentation of the mussels (slices of rustic bread sit at the bottom of the bowl to soak up the addictive broth), but I think the starter would benefit from an additional ladle of broth. As for the other dishes--I tried the barramundi, the scallops, and the flat iron steak--there are kinks to work out but potential in each. Tip: Venue is tiny (read: bar-less), so plan on grabbing a drink before or after dinner at the Mead St. Station or Coral Room. 3 609 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-0477