Sunday, April 20, 2014


Last Saturday, DB~ and I wanted to try someplace new for dinner.  Like yesterday, the Saturday of a week ago was full of sunshine.  DB~ made reservations at Tenpenny downtown at the intersection of, through no coincidence, Tenth and Penn.

Tenpenny is located directly across the street from the Westin and diagonal from the Convention Center, so I imagine at times it is packed in here.  In fact, we had to eat at 5:15 or else our other option was 9:15.

When we walked in to Tenpenny, we were greeted by a pleasant cross breeze.  As a result of being on a corner, Tenpenny put in two walls of floor to ceiling windows.  On this day, they were all open and allowing some circulation.  The interior of Tenpenny is striking, as it's fashioned with wooden beams and posts and a nouveau-rustic appearance.  Our server, a very affable guy named Barton, told us that the site was originally (many moons ago) a general store named Pickering's.  The way they had all the foodstuffs arranged throughout the dining room was to both simulate the general store and display some of the things they cook with.

Tenpenny also has a whole array of light bulbs hanging down from the ceiling.  At night, it's probably a very interesting look.  The whole place showed it was part of the new breed of restaurants where the interior design is just as vital as the food on the menu.

Tenpenny is the kind of place where you can come in for an appetizer and beer at the bar or have a full dinner in the dining area.  We kind of went with a hybrid of this concept.  We were told ahead of time to get the Mega Meatball.  It was...a giant meatball...but quite good.

DB~ went with two appetizers.  The first was the Truffled Mac 'n Cheese with three different types of cheeses (goat, cheddar, and gouda) melted over a twisty pasta.  It was good, but not the best ever (that might be the mac and cheese at Willow).

She also got an order of Crispy Brussel Sprouts, which is definitely large enough for 2 or 3 people to share.  The sprouts were the star of the evening.  They were cut up into small leaves, with their hard cores discarded, then flash-fried for a few seconds.  There was an excellent sauce drizzled over them made of a reduced Jack Daniels and balsamic glaze.  Some bacon and blue cheese were sprinkled over them as well.  If you don't like brussel sprouts normally, try these.  If you still don't like them, you can safely cross them off your list.

I played it safe, which made me disappointed in myself.  I went with a Braised Beef Cheek Ragout over papardelle pasta.  The dish itself was excellent, but too safe for me.

The part that quasi-annoyed us is that when we left at about 6:30 or so, there were plenty of tables seemingly available.  I know there is a function of how many servers are scheduled, too, but there were many tables in just the main seating areas that were sitting empty.  A minor complaint for an excellent dinner.

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