Dining

Best Bites: Shazz Cafe and Bar

March 2009

Shazz Cafe and Bar, 4262 Lowell Blvd., 303-477-1407

If you haven't been to Shazz, a Slow Food-inspired restaurant in northwest Denver, the halloumi cheese appetizer itself is worth the trip. The dish, inspired by chef Benny Kaplan's formative years in Greek-influenced Detroit, is his spin on flaming saganaki. Traditionally prepared with Kasseri cheese, Kaplan's version is made by quickly pan-frying slices of halloumi—a firm, briny cheese he procures from Longmont-based Cheese Importers—before plating them with a squirt of fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh herbs, and gorgeously crunchy caperberries. Tips: Sip on a glass of the supple Blaufränkisch (a food-friendly Austrian red), and use the house-baked bread to mop up this exquisite starter.

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