Authentic German Spargel at the Chinook Tavern in Denver

by Kirsten on May 3, 2012 · 17 comments

in Main Dishes, Misc. Savory Dishes

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:

Bar Area:

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.

Spargel Naturel:

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.

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Cakewhiz May 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I have never been to that restaurant but the food sure sounds appetizing!

Mary Hirsch May 29, 2012 at 2:46 am

Kirsten, I have nominated you for The Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. Please go to my Site to pick it up. Congratulations. Mary

Sara @ Saucy Dipper May 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This is super close to me. I’ll have to head over and visit the Chinook Tavern soon. I’ve never been.

regina May 11, 2012 at 6:21 am

habe deinen blog durch zufall gefunden. ich liebe spargel sehr……das lokal sieht einladend aus,……
wünsche dir ein schönes wochenende,
liebe grüße,

kitchenroach May 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Ich beneide Dich um den weissen Spargel. Wenn wir mal welchen bekommen, dann ist er nicht aus Deutschland und auch nicht frisch. Ich war kuerzlich in Muenchen und konnte wenigstens einen griechischen Spargel bekommen und der war nicht schlecht.

Susan May 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I haven’t been to the Chinook Tavern for years. I’ll have to rectify that soon!

Steffi May 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Zum Glueck mag ich ueberhaupt keinen Spargel und somit ist das eins der wenigen deutschen Gerichte die ich nicht vermisse :-P.
Zum Glueck gibts bei Chinook ja auch noch andere gute Sachen – ich kann zum Beispiel die rote Gruetze sehr empfehlen :-).

Lea Ann May 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

What a great write up Kirsten. I really enjoyed that restaurant when we visited last summer. I don’t think I realized it’s German influence. Also I didn’t know white asparagus was so “German”. I see it every once in awhile at Whole Foods. That dish your ordered just looks wonderful. Great photos as always.

Islandgirl May 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

Hallo Kirstin, da hast Du aber Glueck, dass Du deutschen Spargel vorort geniessen kannst. Ich muss noch bis zum Deutschlandbesuch in zwei Wochen warten, dann geht es in den Schwarzwald….
Hier gibt es nur den gruenen Vertreter, ich mag ihn sehr gerne und warte sehnsuechtig auf den ersten Farmspargel, hoffentlich wird das was an diesem Wochenende.
LG Gudrun

Susan May 4, 2012 at 12:00 am

I just awarded you The Versatile Blogger award!

Susan May 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I am such a big asparagus fan! We had 25 plants I put in the garden when we lived in Connecticut. I think I came up with every recipe under the sun when it started coming in. I wish I could have a vegetable garden here, but too many evergreens:-)
This is definitely one I’ll be making. Thanks Kirsten. XOXO

stadtgarten May 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Wie schön, dass so ein gutes Restaurant in Deiner Nähe ist. Der Spargel sieht total appetitlich aus und ich werde mir die Idee mit den Mandeln auf der Hollandaise und den Röstkartoffeln gleich mal “klauen”. Wir machen für die “normale” Version dann immer Salzkartoffeln dazu. Aber wir lieben den Spargel auch gegrillt oder als Risotto oder im Salat oder…. Die Spargelsaison ist leider immer viel zu kurz und wir kochen beinahe jeden Tag welchen.
Das ist ja wirklich interessant, dass der Spargel zu Euch aus Deutschland eingeflogen wird (aber er ist dann vielleicht frischer als so mancher im Supermarkt!)
Liebe Grüße, Monika

Susan May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Himmel, bimmel!! How I would love this. Love, love, asparagus, especially these beautiful white ones. Susan

Toni @ Boulder Locavore May 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm

What a great expose Kirsten! I was in Boblingen Germany during the white asparagus season which was my first introduction. It was so special to the locals due to the short availability I never forgot that; how fun to find a local place that is able to get it! Sounds like you had a lovely meal and visit with the Chef.

Jen May 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm

The only asparagus they know in Calgary is the green one. I actually prefer the green one because it seems less “wooden” than what I remember from my childhood 🙂

Kirsten May 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

White asparagus is only “wooden” if not peeled and cooked correctly or just too old (harvested too late).
You should definitely give it another try.

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