Chef Amos Watts has a meaty reputation — both figuratively and literally. Before coming on as chef/partner of Corrida, Watts helmed the kitchen at Old Major, one of Denver’s top fine dining restaurants, a spot that’s probably best-known as being a meat Mecca, a regular shrine to swine.
So you’d be forgiven for making a beeline straight to Corrida’s meaty menu options. (And we don’t think you’d be disappointed in any of the dry-aged rib eyes, the incredible 7x wagyu bavette or the garlic saffron chicken.) But at Corrida, Watts really shines with the proteins that swim, and with — of all things — the vegetables.
Don’t miss the Atun Crudo, with its chunks of rosy tuna and pickled ramp cubes in a tangy salmorejo (a thick, creamy soup made with tomatoes and bread). Or the larger, perfectly-tender Pulpo Gallego, octopus topped with dollops of paprika aioli, resting on finger-licking-good salsa verde. The octopus tastes like the love child of a chicken and a lobster — it’s firm, rich and slightly sweet. Light-years away from the chewy versions you may have (reluctantly) eaten before.
And then there are the vegetables. The Porcini Asado is one of the most popular tapas, and with good reason. The roasted mushrooms are topped with a sous vide egg yolk and cracklins, and really, could there be any better toppings than an egg yolk and cracklins?
There’s also the piquillo peppers with fried garlic, and the coal-roasted beets with goat cheese and pistachio crumble, and the butter-braised morels with pickled onions, and the asparagus with almond Romesco sauce. You get the picture — at Corrida you’ll definitely want to eat your veggies.
Beyond Chef Watts and his soulful food, there’s a lot more to Corrida. Bryan Dayton, for one, who’s got a reputation of his own. His is just a little boozier.
Dayton first made a major mark on the Boulder restaurant scene as beverage director for Frasca Food & Wine, but that was just the beginning. He oversees the drinks and co-owns OAK at fourteenth and Denver’s Acorn (Watts was Acorn’s opening chef); both restaurants are considered among the best in the state.
So, of course, Corrida’s drinks, all Spanish-centric, are fantastic. There are lots and lots of sherry options, an all-Spanish wine list, and a fun, roaming gin tonica cart. (Radishes, espresso beans and serrano peppers are choose-your-own-adventure-style cart options.)
The indoor dining room is elegant yet comfortable, but the real showstopper is the rooftop patio with killer views of the Flatirons. It’s already the most-buzzed-about patio in town thanks to Mother Nature’s décor, and it’s possible that — even considering Watts’s and Dayton’s impressive pedigrees — the restaurant space itself has garnered the biggest reputation of all.
1023 Walnut Street #400