Three weeks ago Holly Hartnett, the former manager of Table 6, opened Venue, a minimalist American bistro in the Highland Square space once occupied by 8 Rivers. Expect a small menu from chef James Rugile (formerly of Black Pearl) that changes regularly.

On the night I dined, the composed beet salad with pistachios and the mussels with caramelized fennel and tomato stood out. I enjoyed the thoughtful presentation of the mussels (slices of rustic bread sit at the bottom of the bowl to soak up the addictive broth), but I think the starter would benefit from an additional ladle of broth.

As for the other dishes–I tried the barramundi, the scallops, and the flat iron steak–there are kinks to work out but potential in each.

Tip: Venue is tiny (read: bar-less), so plan on grabbing a drink before or after dinner at the Mead St. Station or Coral Room. 3

609 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-0477

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