Kitty-corner from Sushi Den, you can forgive Session Kitchen for doing whatever it can to stand out from the shadow of a Denver institution. We’re all for taking chances, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, “Is this stupid?” It appears no one asked that question when it came to the giant fluorescent light show pulsing from the ceiling of Session’s main floor. It’s not quite seizure robot level, but it’s bizarre and is indicative other problems we’ve encountered.
For example, the service at Session Kitchen can be spotty, even when not busy. We once waited half an hour for dessert when the place was half empty. To Session’s credit, they comped our drinks, but they can and should do better. Also, if you ask to see the happy hour menu your waiter may respond, “Oh, you mean our shift change menu?” No dude, that’s not what I meant. Drop the wonky bullsh*t and just call it what it is - happy hour. This has happened every time we’ve been in for afternoon drinks and, like the amazing technicolor light show, we just don’t get it.
So, let’s see. Crazy light show, service issues, and a lame menu nomenclature...we’re done, right? Not so fast, because the food and drinks here can be quite good.
This place has potential, but Session has got to change some things up. Aside from the obvious service issues, we think shrinking the menu’s scope would do a lot of good. Addition through subtraction. Several dishes feel incomplete or not fully thought through, while others were just plain awkward. But with some tweaks, this place could really be a contender. If you plan to stop by, we highly recommend the upstairs bar, which is way more chill and secluded. There are enough creative drinks (like the gin and yak-based Purkissette) and solid food to have a great happy hour, but dinner can be a roller coaster ride.
Food RundownFried Green Tomatoes
Crispy, light and fresh. Not a bad place to kick things off. Served with a pistou sauce that was on point. What’s a pistou you say? Who cares. It's smoky and flavorful and we don’t need more details.Mussels & Kale Hearts
We’ve had high-level mussels in Denver before at places like Colt & Gray. Session’s version doesn’t measure up to the best, but we enjoyed it. As with other dishes here, some things didn’t quite work. Namely, a heap of spring onions are sitting on top of what you’re trying to get to - the damn mussels. That being said, the broth was legit if a bit salty. But you gotta hook people up with more bread for all that broth.Chicago Style Tart
Best thing we’ve eaten here, hands down. We’re not sure why it’s called a tart. It’s basically a flatbread pizza. Once again, someone’s being too clever (or not clever enough) with the plate naming. No matter, the chicken and blue cheese sauce were fantastic and the balsamic drizzle was outstanding. This shows you what Session is capable of.Rosemary Lamb Collar
Our waiter was all over the lamb when we asked for recommendations and told us this dish has stayed on the menu rotation longer than anything else. The collar was good, but a bit dry. The dense, super-sized gnudi (similar to gnocchi) didn’t help and the apricot/lamb jus couldn’t stand up to all that meat and pasta. In the end, this is a pretty good dish, but with some tweaks it could be stellar.Kennebec Fries
Kennebec is apparently a trendy type of potato (I can’t believe I just wrote that). These are almost steak fry size and really tasty. A good option for soaking up those stiff drinks.Chocolate Boston Cream Pie
Very pretty plate with banana, peanut caramel, and a bunch of chocolate. Balanced and satisfying.