Al Fresco: Izakaya Den

August 31 2011, 11:30 AM

While evenings are still warm, request a table in one of Izakaya Den's two open-air rooms. The elegant, glassed-in spaces give the feel of outdoor dining, with all the finesse of indoor amenities.

The bonus is the cross-cultural culinary surprises on the menu. Yes, those are thin rounds of jalapeño atop the rectangles of supremely tender yellowtail sashimi. Yes, those are chubby Italian ricotta gnocchi hidden inside the cool cucumber and lobster soup. Yes, the duck confit has been pulled from the bone and cooked with Chinese hoisin sauce and served, Italian-style, atop a crostini round.

On the surface, Izakaya Den is distinctly Japanese, but there is much more to discover—indoors and out—at this popular South Pearl Street spot.

1518 S. Pearl St., 303-777-0691