Golden Triangle, Denver
303-839-5100 Bus directions: take the 0 from Market Street Station to Broadway and 9th
Originally I’d planned to take my husband to Dazzle’s happy hour last Wednesday, February 11, partly because there was no cover charge for the music. But Todd decided it would be too much for him to work a full day and then go straight to happy hour without a nap. He’s healing well from his surgery for superior canal dehiscence syndrome, but it’s only his first full week of work since the surgery. He still needs a lot of rest.
So we made reservations for Dazzle’s Urban Brunch, which showed some foresight, because when we arrived at 12 on Sunday, it was packed. The hostess offered us a booth right next to the door, in the Dizzy Room (next to the bar), but we declined and then had a short wait before we were seated at a two-top on a raised platform in the Dazzle Showroom, where we had a good view of the stage.
The stage was empty at that point, the band on break.
Dazzle reminded me of DC somehow, when I lived there in the 1980s, of Kramerbooks and Afterwords Café at Dupont Circle, where I went once or twice for breakfast on weekends. Except that Kramerbooks never had music in the morning, as far as I know, or at lunch.
I saw people of all ages at Dazzle, mostly families, mostly white. The inner sanctum we sat in had burnt orange walls and chairs with dull red upholstery. All the paintings in the Dazzle Showroom were by Bunky Echo-Hawk. He’s a Pawnee and Yakima artist based in Denver.
There were two buffet stands, 1 in the Dizzy Room between the booths and the bar, and one in the Dazzle Showroom between the raised platform and the other tables. The one near the bar had smoked salmon and a limited selection of cheese and fruit and desserts. OJ and coffee and cider with brandy were on the bar.
The other buffet stand had roast beef (I found a lovely piece with burnt ends and lots of fat—yum, heaven), a man with a puffy beard making omelets, mac and cheese, grits, some kind of frittata, and a few other hot foods. It was somehow appropriate that the twin omelet flames never went out, burning blue until some fat hit them and they sparkled.
At times I feel cheated at buffets because I just can’t fit in enough food to justify the price. But not at Dazzle: I went through 4 plates, and Todd had 3. I had 2 servings of the “award-winning” mac and cheese (which deserved its award, but I’ll have to do a D Bar versus Dazzle mac-off sometime) and 4 of the pretzel-shaped chocolate cookies frosted with white icing and pink sprinkles. Those tasted really good dipped in coffee. I also had a small bit of waffle with lingonberries, roast beef, several pieces of cantaloupe (some of which looked like “blood cantaloupe”—I’ve never seen such reddish cantaloupe before), crackers with cheese and smoked salmon that I had to cut through because it was so chewy (I was a little disappointed because the last time I had it, at a bar mitzvah, it was soooo flaky), 2 deviled eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, and half a stuffed chocolate donut. I was so happy about the pastries cut in half—genius!
The band came back on after we’d been there about an hour. Julie Monley sang and played the congas, and Frederic des Moulins played piano. Two other men played upright bass and accordion, which I couldn’t hear at all. She had a pretty good range and was well miked; I could hear her clearly. At first people talked over the band, but the crowd got a little quieter the more the band played, and there were smatterings of applause after each song.
By the time we left, they had put the Twinkies out on the dessert bar. You know it’s time to leave when they run out of regular dessert and have to bring out the Twinkies.
Dazzle opened in 1998 and has had live jazz since 2003. It was named one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world by Downbeat magazine. Dazzle Records launched in January 2008.