Eat & Drink

Dinner Theater

The new Squeaky Bean is a fully realized restaurant that commands your attention.
January 2013

The Squeaky Bean - 3 1/2 Stars

1500 Wynkoop St., #101 



The Draw A nothing-quite-like-it menu that takes seasonal, ingredient-driven cuisine to a creative new level.

The Drawback This is a place for diners who seek novelty, adventure, and a bit of theater with their meal. Those looking for familiar dishes may be disappointed.

Don’t Miss Mushroom and pine appetizer; beet appetizer; carrots small plate; One Potato, Two Potato; fried chicken ballotine; Fluffernutter dessert 

Price $$$ (Average price per entrée: $23)

FOOD: 3 1/2 stars

SERVICE: 4 stars

AMBIENCE: 4 stars


{Act I, Scene I}

Wednesday night, late fall. Two women settle at a table inside the Squeaky Bean, a stylish new restaurant in Denver’s Lower Downtown. Halfway through cocktails their conversation begins to grow animated.

First woman: I don’t think I should take this new position. The politics. The visibility. I’m not sure I’m up for it.

Second woman: Is there a way you…

At this instant, the server arrives with a rectangular wooden plank heaped with mushrooms, several small chocolate-colored sponges made of who knows what, and a few crumbly mounds of something that looks like dirt. Flower petals top the dish. The women stop speaking and stare down at the plank, and then up toward the server.

Server: This is the mushroom and pine. What you’ll find here are…

The server proceeds to describe each element of the dish, but it’s too detailed for the women to remember. All they can recall is the fact that matsutake mushrooms, pine nuts, sponge cake, and pine syrup are somehow involved. The server departs.

First woman: What did he say?

Second woman (taking a bite): I have no idea, but this is amazing…