Asparagus season has been in full swing since the end of March in the traditional German asparagus growing regions like Schwetzingen and Karlsruhe. Known as Spargel, the white asparagus is the preferred variety in Germany.
Coming from a Spargel growing region myself, I am always on the lookout for fresh white asparagus in the US . Unfortunately it is very difficult to find. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to find authentic German Spargel served at the Chinook Tavern located here in Denver at the Tech Center.
For those of you who haven’t visited the Chinook Tavern yet, let me just give you a little insight.
The Chinook Tavern reopened last June, after having been in business for 14 years at Cherry Creek North. Their new location is in the Denver Tech Center near Arapahoe Rd. and I 25. It is still operated by the Georg family, led by Clemens Georg and Executive Chef Markus Georg.
The pictures show how the warm wood finishes, architect Manfred Georg’s modern design, and Lieselotte Georg’s colorful art are perfectly combined to create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
Part of the main restaurant:
German born Executive Chef Markus is a graduate of the highly acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He worked during his apprenticeship under the legendary Chef Joerg Mueller in Sylt, Germany (2 Michelin Stars and top 25 restaurants in the world at the time) and later on at one of Vail’s mainstays the famous Tea Room Alpenrose as chef de cuisine for Klaus Fricke.
Chef Markus Georg:
At the Chinook Tavern Chef Markus’ menu reflects his European training. He adds his own creative touch on classic European cuisine.
A few of these menu items at the new Chinook are:
- Day boat scallops mille-feuille a la plancher, braised fennel, oven dried tomato, vanilla infused champagne beurre blanc.
- 24oz Kurobuta pork T-bone, sour apple chutney, roasted fingerling potato, cider glaze, served in sizzling cast iron.
- Roasted seasonal vegetable terrine, mustard gastrique, organic extra virgin olive oil, crispy artichoke chips, aged balsamic.
- At the request of loyal patrons some signature menu items served at the former Cherry Creek location such as, Jaeger Schnitzel, Oven Roasted Duck, Sauteed Shrimp Cakes and Rote Gruetze will be returning.
During my latest visit, the Chef’s dad Manfred Goerg shared with me how it is possible for the Chinook Tavern to put fresh German asparagus (Spargel, form the area around Karlsruhe) on their seasonal Spargel Menu.
The Spargel is flown in fresh directly from the fields in Germany. Then Chef Markus spends around 3 hours in the mornings peeling the asparagus himself, which is understandably, not one of his favorite tasks. The lucky guest finds the Spargel on the menu as a soup, naturel (with sauce hollandaise), classic (with smoked European ham, toasted almonds, fingerling potatoes, sauce hollandaise) or alongside applewood grilled Bistro Tenderloin, classic veal Wiener Schnitzel and applewood grilled halibut.
I had the pleasure to indulge on two of these outstanding Spargel dishes and would highly recommend that you make a stop at the Chinook Tavern to have your own try. Spargel is a most sought-after treat, especially when you, like Chef Markus, understand how to make it shine. Spargel season ends on June 21 st, so don’t wait!
Learn how to prepare/ cook German asparagus here.
For all of my German and German speaking friends in the Denver Metro area I would like to mention, that the Chinook Tavern holds a monthly Stammtisch in their bar area on the second Thursday at 7.30 pm.