Pork belly has become ubiquitous on menus. Being a sucker for those succulent layers of meat and fat—typically packaged in appetizer-size cubes—I've tried almost too many to count. Some of Denver's best can be found, depending on the season, at Shazz Cafe and Bar (plated with an onion-fig jam), Vesta Dipping Grill (served Chinese-barbecue-style), and Rioja (prepared with a fragrant cardamom spice).
But my latest worth-a-special trip favorite is from Restaurant Kevin Taylor, the elegant yet understated eatery inside the Hotel Teatro. Here, the squares of pork have been prepared confit-style, giving the meat a satisfying and slightly crackly exterior. Each rich bite is enhanced by the dish's unexpected sides: kernels of roasted corn, fresh baby clams, chewy fava beans, caramelized leeks, and a drizzle of pecan-wood-smoked bacon chowder.
At $14, it's not an inexpensive starter, but it's an impressive one worth every dime.
1106 14th St., 303-820-2600
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