Seafood lovers know that fresh fish can be hard to come by in Colorado, however there are many types of seafood that travel well. You can enjoy amazingly fresh flavor even in the landlocked state of Colorado. Mussels are one of those perfect morsels that are filled with flavor and, when properly prepared, are always delicious any time of the year. There are lots of great restaurants that offer pots of steamed mussels, however there are only a few that really excel at the mussels game. If you love your mussels, then here are five restaurants you must visit soon.
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo St.
Denver, CO 80211
Established in 1921, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is the oldest Italian dining establishment of its kind in Denver. It’s the kind of cozy place that you can imagine full tables of Italian families sharing bread and wine for decades, and it never disappoints. The steamed mussels appetizer here is also incredible. Served in a simple herbed white wine broth, there are so many mussels that you can easily make a meal out of it. Of course, there are lots of other amazing dishes on the menu here, but if you are looking for traditional, flavorful mussels, then you’ll want to take a trip to the Navajo Street Arts District to sample the incredible mussels at Patsy’s Italian Restaurant.
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1600 W 33rd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211
This Highlands neighborhood restaurant has quickly become one of the most popular destinations of its kind in the city. Root Down offers “globally influenced seasonal cuisine” which means that there is a variety of styles and influences in every dish. The mussels here are served with a coconut red curry, white wine, scallions, Israeli couscous and herbs with grilled bread, and they are bursting with flavor and perfect for anyone that dreams of large pots of mussels to share with loved ones. Root Down’s mussels are just one of the many reasons to visit this amazing restaurant, but be warned, it fills up fast. So make your reservations early and plan on a wonderful evening out at Root Down.
1453 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
Since 2007, Osteria Marco has been offering amazing Italian food at this high-end eatery in Denver. Named for the youngest son in this family-owned business, Osteria Marco takes the same fine cuisine of its partner restaurant, Luca, and gives each dish a slightly more playful and artisan spirit. When it comes to mussels, this artisan spirit is clear, as they are served with spicy sausage, fennel and San Marzano tomatoes. It’s another example of an appetizer that could easily become a main dish. Pair your mussels with a glass of white wine off the extensive wine list and you’ll have a delicious, light meal that you can only get at Osteria Marco.
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3934 W 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80212
If you crave amazingly fresh seafood in a neighborhood-style eatery, then Highland Pacific is the place to go. You’ll often find live music and the menu changes seasonally to highlight the most fresh and flavorful catches each month. The mussels, luckily, are always on the menu, offered up with tomatoes, white wine, green onions, garlic-herb butter and garlic-herb fries with sesame aioli. In fact, the mussels are so popular that every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close, you can enjoy 50-percent off all mussels until the kitchen runs out. The mussels are also served in the amazingly delicious Seafood Cioppino, which includes shrimp and fish in a tomato, garlic and onion stew. No matter how you enjoy the mussels at Highland Pacific, you’ll be glad you tried them, and you’ll be back to try them again and again.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.