When I stepped out of my house on Saturday, the air had a decidedly back-to-school chill. That, of course, was replaced by searing heat midday, but the hint of changing seasons was enough to make me crave fall foods.
Thankfully, my family and I sat down that evening for dinner at Park Hill’s newest addition, Table Top. The menu features dishes that I associate with cool nights: root veggie salad, lamb ragu, and cornbread muffins. Even the carefully curated beer menu featured transition brews, like Epic Brewing’s Barley Wine, which clocks in at a whopping 10.4 percent ABV but is light enough for a late summer night.
To begin, we ordered the charcuterie board (we picked the sopressata and calabrese; $10) and the cauliflower “popcorn,” which was grilled with curried almonds ($4). As we nibbled, I took in the surroundings. There is a small patio on Oneida Street and a massive glass garage door that opens to a beer garden on the side and allows light to flood the dark-wood interior and furniture. One of the owners, Josef Sykora, also owns Boulder-based Sticks & Stones Woodworkers, LLC and created the eatery’s custom-made pieces, including a booth with a car wheel and tables with U.S. Geological Survey markers. (Sykora’s partners—Dipesh Amin and Sita Kedia—also work two jobs; by day they are physicians.) It was early, but there was a smattering of couples and as we ate, the space filled with multigenerational family dinners. The mix of patrons and the environs felt modern but homey, like a big neighborhood party.
For entrées, we sampled the sweet blue prawns (house-cured guanciale, Swiss cheese polenta, and sambal butter sauce; $16) and braised lamb ragu (with house-made pappardelle, rosemary feta, and Calabrian chili; $18). Both dishes are ambitious: The prawns were slightly overcooked, but the sambal butter sauce was divine and the pasta had just the right amount of bite. The kitchen is helmed by Brady Marcotte, who previously worked at Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth. Based on these early dishes—the kitchen just started serving in July—Marcotte's menus will be ones to watch.
We finished our meal with the flaky buttermilk pie with strawberries and whipped cream ($7). As we sopped up the last dollops of cream with the pie's crust, we pondered the restaurant’s future. Would the location work? How would it evolve? Our answer: Park Hill needs an eatery like this. The price point is a bit lower than nearby Tables, but the food is a bit more upscale than what you’ll find on Stapleton’s 29th Avenue Town Center. The spot—which was formerly a dance studio—draws people from both neighborhoods, as well as Hilltop (read: lots and lots of families). Perhaps most important, it’s a gathering spot. Stop by for happy hour. Have a work meeting. Grab some dessert. Sample a brew. In general, do what Park Hill does best: relax.
Bonus: The beer menu almost exclusively features Colorado brews, including ones by Station 26, Park Hill’s new brewery and a Top of the Town winner.