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6.0
DEN

Duo

Dear Duo,

Whatever it was that used to make you dynamic has unfortunately gone missing. That “unfortunately” is very intentional, because we’ve always loved you. Over the past year we knew something was off, but just honestly thought you needed new inspiration. However, after our latest visit, we’re convinced that what you actually need is an intervention. You were once one of Denver’s most consistently raved about restaurants, and deservingly so. Until now.

Soooo, what’s the deal? Have you’ve gotten bored, developed a drug problem, or just plain burned out? We know your parents/owners left town awhile back to try some new things in Vermont, but that’s no excuse. Is your food still good? Sure. Is it worth a few hundred bucks? Sorry, but no. Duo, you’ve gotten boring and we need you to pull your shi* together.

Sorry to be harsh, but this is how interventions work. We won’t go as far as to say you need a throat punch, but you do need to wake up to your potential. For one, your name is Duo (2), but the pairings on most of your main dinner plates just don’t jive. You’re disrespecting a perfectly cooked duck breast with slimey quinoa, and a mangled mushroom patty underneath. Your paella is lazy. The hot sauce octopus appetizer? We want this to work, but what you’re doing is not working. We’ll admit that your brunch is still pretty solid, but c'mon, you’re better than brunch. A lot of restaurants around here can do brunch.

Let’s take a breath, keep things simple, and try to remember what you do best. Why not start with your fried chicken? It’s always amazing. Get it back on your menu, and keep it on the menu - Year. Round. Focus on the small steps, and you’ll get there. We want you back, Duo, but we’re done giving you chances. At least until you give us a reason to give you another chance. Seriously, get your sh*t together. We'll wait patiently.

Food Rundown

(Duo rotates their menu often, but here’s what we had recently):

Pancetta Dates

Dates have freaked us out since seeing the monkey die in Raiders of the Lost Ark. And while these won’t kill you, they are "bad dates." Not worth $7.

Grilled Octopus

This actually tastes pretty good, but you can't really tell that you're eating octopus. Between the accoutrements and buffalo hot sauce, everything drowns into a “what are we eating?” conversation.

Borscht

If you lived in Russia, in its current economic state, this would be a welcomed luxury. But here in the USA, beet soup is beet soup. Don't order the Borscht… thanks a lot, Obama.

Rock River Ranch Buffalo

The best of the current main offerings. The meat in this dish rocks. Lean and tender for sure, but the horseradish gratin is what really shines. If they sold the gratin solo, we’d buy it every day. Safe bet if you choose Duo for dinner.

Paella

Rice-A-Roni. The saffron rice tastes like Rice-A-Roni. They aren’t trying on this dish. The ultimate let down that led us to believe a once titan of the 303 culinary world has become a heroin junky.

Hudson Valley Duck Breast

As mentioned earlier in the review, the duck by itself is great. The stuff underneath, yikes. Maybe just ask for some duck and buffalo by itself, with a side of gratin…

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