Saturday night, I made the 160 mile trek from my front door in beautiful downtown Denver to devastatingly charming Glenwood Springs on Saturday night. Reservations were made, nice clothes cleaned and pressed, personal grooming attended to, drive made.
Six89 (www.six89.com) seems to be a restaurant that most people agree is worth the trek to Carbondale from Glenwood Springs, or further south, Aspen. I'm a fan of crowdsourcing - and the people on Yelp give this place a full five star rating. Mission accomplished.
So Sara (yep, Sara of EatFace fame) and I sit down to eat, and the waiter brings us a couple of Six89's version of fried pickles - except these are pickle chips which have magically somehow remained cool on the inside as a pickle should be, and crispy fried on the outside. They're good. Damn good, especially for what is generally considered bar food.
I have a scotch. She has a glass of Pinot Noir. We exchange pleasantries about the pickles. She smiles. About halfway through her glass of wine, we order dinner. "You may have to drive back," she informs me. I discuss scotch, and she very graciously nods her way through that portion of the conversation, even though my material is about as interesting as watching Guy Fieri sample the food of some ethnic minority. (WOW, THAT'S REALLY GOOD.)
We didn't wait long for our food to come out, and that was after the waiter had informed us that they were really busy.
An aside about our waiter: if you enjoy eating something that one of us has ordered, do tell. We can discuss. But don't say that it's your favorite thing on the menu. Because that means that the thing the other person has ordered is not as good, in your eyes. And nobody wants that. Other than that, our waiter was a stand-up guy, was extremely knowledgeable and just the right amount of attentive.
We both had decided on the hamachi for starters - and we were not disappointed. A lot of times, fish this far inland is hit or miss - but it was fresh, and topped with a really light jalapeno sauce and homemade thin crunchy tortilla strips that gave it some much needed texture. I ate mine quickly, and she, being a lady, took her time with it. So I stared longingly at her plate. Don't think she caught me.
Main courses came quickly thereafter, and that's a definite positive. Hers: Grit and rabbit cakes, braised in milk, in a tomato-based sauce. Mine: BBQ Pork in a pear and melted cabbage sauce with pieces of pear. Both dishes were meticulously crafted, you could tell. Presentation was great, and flavor was - well - outstanding.
Outstanding is not a phrase that I use a lot on this blog. Outstanding is not a phrase I use on ANY blog. But the food at Six89 is outstanding.
Her food was delicious and had an interesting texture because of the grits ("I love it when they call grits, grits," Sara said.).
My pork was tender, flavorful and the pear, which I thought would not go well with pork, actually was what pulled the entire plate together.
Delicious, local, and the host wears a bow tie, which Sara was particularly impressed with.
I'm particularly impressed with a lot of things about Six89. It's in an older style house, and the ambiance reflects that. Huge wine selection, a varied menu that has something for everyone and it's not particularly crowded at all, which you can bet is not going to be the case forever.