In Denver, the Question is…Where Did You Come From?

Acorn, considered by many to be one of Denver's best restaurants.
Acorn, considered by many to be one of Denver’s best restaurants.

We met up with Rochelle Jones, a young publicist who works for Visit Denver and who grew up in Colorado. That’s a big deal here in this land of “where did you come from,” she told us. Most people she knows is from somewhere other than Colorado.  It’s a city that’s pulling people in like a magnet.  Interested in learning where Denver residents actually come from? Here is a post about which out-of-state metros deliver the most new residents to the Denver area.

Indeed as we joined a full but mellow house at one of the city’s premier eateries, Acorn, we learned that there are 1000 people arriving in Denver every week.  It’s a boomtown, Millenium style, they are coming here for jobs as marijuana budtenders, trimmers, or work in one of the hundreds of cafes and bars, but they keep coming.

Rochelle told us about her stints living and teaching English in South Korea and Taiwan, as well as more familiar towns like Austin and Portland. “Boulder is so expensive,” way more than Denver, Rochelle said, when I asked her about that popular Millenium hub.

My friend Bruce remarked at how quiet the crowd was as they imbibed on local ales and the giant small plate menu at Acorn. “In NYC, this would be so much louder, but here, it was celebratory but not loud.

A food boutique with a separate stalls for wine, groceries, produce, cheeses and many other tasty things in Denver.
A food boutique with a separate stalls for wine, groceries, produce, cheeses and many other tasty things in Denver.

Acorn is located at The Source, a former 1880s foundry in Denver’s RiNo (River North) section which is mostly industrial looking flat buildings. The Source has a boutique butcher store, a high-end wine store, groceries and in the center, ‘the ocean’ a big open area where customers mingle holding pints and glasses of wine.

Acorn’s menu was outstanding–a hen of the woods mushroom with tempura; lobster arancini, (rice balls) oak roasted cauliflower, (meaty and delicious!) and crispy cod, tomato braised meatballs.  We just let the small plates keep arriving, digging three forks into each.

The best way to eat is to share it all….

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