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.

This article was originally published in 5280 March 2009.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison

Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.