Remembering STRINGS 2008 -2012

STRINGS was Denver's home for creative and delicious new American cuisine. The restaurant closed in 2012 after nearly 27 years.
Content is from the sites 2008 -2012 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.

The new owners of this domain have chosen to create a tribute to Strings and the extraordinary folks who were so much a part of the restaurant, rather than repurpose the site for something else. Thank you to the Cunninghams and everyone else who made Strings the memorable restaurant that so many of us enjoyed over the years.

Looking Back

About Strings

Located in Denver's Uptown neighborhood, the newly redecorated Strings has long been one of Denver's hippest restaurants. Great service and delicious, artful food attracts a "tony" crowd of visiting celebrities, politicians and loyal locals. Popular and bustling with excitement, the dress code ranges from blue jeans to tuxedos in this casual, but elegant atmosphere. The menu focuses on new American cuisine, with creative noodle dishes and fresh seafood, like the Cashew Crusted Seabass with saffron couscous & vanilla beurre blanc. Lunch and dinner specials change daily to match the season and the mood of the chef.

We invite you to sample from our eclectic menu, transformed seasonally with dishes dramatized by fresh local ingredients.

New to Strings is our lighter bar & patio menu, featuring happy-hour specials to complement the dining experience in our famously diverse, retro-modern interior space. Our atmosphere is lighthearted and casual, never stuffy, reflecting our commitment to enchanting you with a spirited meal at every visit.

At Strings, we always strive to make your dining experience special!


This was a special place for us - our crew from the badlands dedicated to getting legislation to regulate Google. One of our strongest arguments was a need to address the harm caused by the search giant's results page. That DUI from 15 years ago should not be harming your ability to rise politically simply because it's on page one of Google's search results when people search your name. And any information regarding your private life should be kept private and never appear in Google searches. In the EU Google must remove private information that meets some well defined standard. Not so in the US. Here, you're either stuck with the bad result or you pay through the nose to get professional help to suppress those embarrassing results. It's a complete travesty. There has to be a way to delete search results from Google when a breach of privacy is involved. We know there are commercial entities that can do this, but we need to force Google to address the needs of our citizens. These are the kinds of discussions we had at Strings. We were young and hopeful we could change the world. We might have gotten closer than we thought.


Strings restaurant in Denver will close after nearly 27 years

By DOUGLAS J. BROWN | The Denver Post /
PUBLISHED: April 5, 2013

After nearly 27 years of dinner specials, movie-star visits and power-broker lunches, Strings restaurant in Denver is closing. April 30 will be the last day of business, owner Tammy Cunningham said.

“The restaurant business is in my blood, but not my heart,” said Cunningham, who has managed Strings since her husband, restaurateur and philanthropist Noel Cunningham, committed suicide Dec. 1, 2011.

While shuttering Strings saddens her, Cunningham said she also finds the prospect thrilling.

“I made the decision a couple of days ago,” she said Friday morning. “It’s something I knew I was going to do at some point, but I decided I wanted to do it sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to getting on with my life.”

After Strings closes, Cunningham will resume her therapy practice — put on hold after Noel died. The therapy work, she said, is what owns her heart.

A new restaurant probably will fill the sprawling 9,400-square-foot building at 1700 Humbolt St., which includes several private dining rooms that have been popular spots for politicians to hold events.

Cunningham owns the building, and she said details about what will fill the space probably will be worked out by the end of April.

The building anchors a corner of what is becoming a boulevard of excellent eating — East 17th Avenue. But it comes with challenges, Denver restaurant consultant John Imbergamo said.

“We don’t tend to be building independent restaurants of that size. The trend is towards smaller, chef-driven places. In general, people are building more Squeaky Beans, and Beast + Bottle, and Old Majors,” he said. “It’s tougher to do big restaurants. There are big rents and it costs a lot of money to do the reconcepting.”

On the flip side, Imbergamo said, Strings’ longevity gives restaurateurs a good sense of what kind of business the space can do.

“I don’t think it will sit empty for long,” he said.

Longtime Denver restaurateur Blair Taylor opened a restaurant called Chives within a month of the opening of Strings in 1986. Strings, he said, “was from the very beginning this spectacularly well-thought-through concept and restaurant.”

“It not only had elegance, but it was comfortable,” said Taylor, who now owns Barolo Grill. “You could be stylish and be seen, but it was a place, too, where you could go have a relaxed meal with friends.”

Like books, restaurants “have starting places, and middles and ends. Strings is a great testament to Noel and Tammy,” Taylor said Friday. “I’m sure Strings will be considered one of the most iconic restaurants in Colorado. Forever.”

Former Gov. Bill Ritter, who gave the eulogy at Noel’s funeral, said he’s sad to see Strings go.

“It was an extension of Noel’s soul. It was just a very soulful place,” he said.

Between now and April 30, Cunningham plans to run specials that Strings featured over the years.

On the final day of service, she plans to hold a closing party, with cocktails, food and a silent auction of the photographs, memorabilia and decorations that helped give Strings its friendly atmosphere.

“A lot of people have been through these doors,” she said. “It will be wonderful for them to take a little piece of Strings with them.”

Ritter said he hopes to leave the closing party with framed photographs of two of his children with Noel in Ethiopia, where Noel did charitable work.

Noel was one of Denver’s most energetic philanthropists, devoting enormous chunks of time and energy to helping poor people around the world. He and Tammy started The Cunningham Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children in Ethiopia.

Noel’s warmth radiated through the restaurant, too. The pasta chef has been there for 18 years, Cunningham said. Another kitchen employee began working with Noel 30 years ago at another restaurant before moving to Strings. A waiter has served diners for 13 years.

Famous people were drawn to Strings, Cunningham said. Michael Jackson. Tommy Lee Jones. Shirley MacLaine. Lily Tomlin. Sheryl Crow. One night, Paul and Linda McCartney snuck in through a back door.

But Cunningham’s best restaurant memories revolve around Noel. She was a hostess at Strings in 1987 when Noel began awkwardly flirting with her. They married three years later.

“What I love is it made Noel happy,” she said. “It was him. He would come home and be happy to go to work again in the morning. What is special in my heart about Strings is how happy it made Noel.”



Strings holds auction

By DOUGLAS J. BROWN | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: April 22, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.

Strings (1700 Humboldt St., 303-831-7310, will soon be gone, and many of us are sad to see it go. As former Gov. Bill Ritter told me: The place had soul.

The last day of service is set for Tuesday, and owner Tammy Cunningham is planning a day-long send-off that includes a live auction of Strings memorabilia that accumulated during the restaurant’s nearly 27 years of service. Among the items for sale: a photograph of Noel Cunningham (who owned Strings until he died in 2011) with U2’s Bono, and signed by Bono; an Aerosmith guitar, signed by the band; a poster signed by Mario Andretti; signed and framed album covers by Michael JacksonSheryl CrowStingDepeche ModeThe Hooters and Van Halen; Noel’s chef’s jacket, signed by soccer great Pelé; a T-shirt signed by Tommy Lee Jones; a Strings menu signed by Ted Kennedy; and much more.

If you were a Strings fan, you don’t have much time for a final visit. Given the restaurant’s place in Denver dining history, the final shindig should be a good one.

Strings owners Noel and Tammy Cunningham spent a lot of energy and money helping others, through charities. Another Front Range restaurateur toiling to improve the lives of others is Kimbal Musk, the owner of The Kitchen restaurants in Boulder (1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973, and Denver (1530 16th St., 303-623-3127) and a nonprofit called The Kitchen Community. The Kitchen Community builds unique “learning gardens” in school playgrounds — and as Musk told me last week, not on the edges of the playground, not in some remote nook of the school property, but smack in the center of the playground. The gardens get used that way, and the benefits to kids go beyond aesthetics. Among other things, one study showed that involvement in gardening education among six-graders increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 2.5 servings a day.



Looking Back at a few of the Menus 2008 / 2012

Lunch Menu - Spring 2008



Beef Carpaccio, Dijon Mayonnaise, Parmesan, Capers, Red Onions             


Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Crispy Wonton Chips, Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette

Strings Crab Cakes, 7 Fruit Chutney, Cranberry Ketchup, Curry Oil    
Seared Foie Gras, Pain Perdu, Citrus in Many Forms  
P.E.I Mussels, Smoked Paprika Butter, Fennel, Garlic
Rock & Roll Shrimp, Roasted Lemon, Spicy Butter




Mixed Organic Greens, Cucumber, Radish, Tomato, Champagne Vinaigrette
6 1/2

Romaine Hearts, Parmesan, Focaccia Croutons, Caesar Dressing     

8 1/2
Arugula, Asparagus, Golden Beets, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese
8 1/2

Lola Rosa, Avocado, Cucumber, Pancetta, Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing

Watercress, Jicama, Radish, Watermelon, Chili Vinaigrette              
Red Lettuces, Apples, Gorgonzola, Walnut Oil Vinaigrette    
Surf & Turf: Manila Clams, Chorizo Ravioli, Parmesan Brodo, Chives
Bay Scallop Risotto, Zucchini, Lemon Zest, Red Pepper Chutney
Rigatoni, Braised Rabbit, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Black Pepper Cream
Capellini Rustica, Mozzarella, Basil, Garlic, Tomatoes, Chili Flakes
12 1/2

Penne Bagutta, Chicken, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Spicy Tomato Cream

Linguini, Basil, Toasted Pine Nuts, Parmesan, Cippolini Onions
Ground New York Strip Burger, Extra Sharp Cheddar, Hand-cut French Fries
Roasted Trout, Haricots Verts, Toasted Almond Brown Butter, Herbed Quinoa
Calf’s Liver, Whipped Potatoes, Crispy Bacon, Caramelized Onion Demi-Glace
Cashew Crusted Sea Bass, Saffron Couscous, Vanilla Bean Cream   
BLTA: Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado on Focaccia, House-made Chips
Grilled Salmon, Asian Salad Greens, Edamame, Miso Dressing
Chicken Salad Sandwich, Basil Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella

Blackened Catfish, Corn Griddle Cake, Sautéed Frisee, Red Pepper Puree

Steak Cardone Sandwich, House-made Potato Chips

Executive Chef-Aaron Whitcomb


Dinner Menu - Spring 2008

Beef Carpaccio, Dijon Mayonnaise, Parmesan, Capers, Red Onions             

Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Crispy Wonton Chips, Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette

Seared Foie Gras, Pain Perdu, Citrus in Many Forms  
P.E.I Mussels, Smoked Paprika Butter, Fennel, Garlic
Strings Crab Cakes, Seven Fruit Chutney, Cranberry Ketchup, Curry Oil
Jumbo Shrimp, Crunchy & Creamy Grits, Garlic Puree, Shrimp Essence

Mahon Cheese, Candied Almonds, Dried Fruits, Crostini






Arugula, Asparagus, Golden Beets, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese    

8 1/2

Watercress, Jicama, Radish, Watermelon, Chili Vinaigrette              


Red Lettuces, Apples, Gorgonzola, Walnut Oil Vinaigrette


Lola Rosa, Avocado, Cucumber, Pancetta, Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing

8 1/2

Mixed Organic Greens, Cucumber, Radish, Tomato, Champagne Vinaigrette

6 1/2

Romaine Hearts, Parmesan, Focaccia Croutons, Caesar Dressing     

8 1/2
Rigatoni, Braised Rabbit, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Black Pepper Cream
Bay Scallop Risotto, Zucchini, Lemon Zest, Red Pepper Chutney       
Linguini, Artichokes, Italian Sausage, Basil Pesto Cream, Parmesan             
Surf & Turf: Manilla Clams, Chorizo Ravioli, Parmesan Brodo, Chives

Capellini Rustica, Mozzarella, Basil, Tomatoes, Red Chili Flake        

14 1/2
Penne Bagutta, Chicken, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Spicy Tomato Cream
16 1/2


Redbird Chicken, Hen of the Woods, Herbed Polenta, Whole Grain Mustard
Seared Scallops, Pea Shoot & Carrot Salad, Coconut Jasmine Rice, Ginger   
New York, Caramelized Onion, Overnight Tomatoes, Pommes Frites
Duck Breast & Confit of Leg, Edamame & White Corn, New Potato, Espelette
Roasted Lamb, Eggplant, White Bean Puree, Kalamata Olive, Basil  
Calf’s Liver, Whipped Potatoes, Crispy Bacon, Caramelized Onion Demi Glace
Cashew Crusted Sea Bass, Saffron Couscous, Vanilla Bean Cream   
Alaskan Halibut, Fennel, Tarragon Aioli, Blood Orange, Roasted Potato       

Executive Chef-Aaron Whitcomb



Monday thru Friday 4pm - 7pm

Available Only in the Bar / Lounge Area or on the Patio

Beer $3

Coors Light

Wine $4

2007 Painter "Unoaked" Chardonnay, California
2007 Painter Bridge Red Zinfandel, California

Martinis $5

Chocolate Martini
Cris-Crossed Berry Martini
Pomegranate Martini
Skyy Vodka or Tanqueray Gin Dirty Martini
Sour Apple Martini

Premium Well Drinks, $4

Happy Hour Edibles, $5

Mini Cheeseburgers Aged Cheddar, Butter Lettuce, Tomatoes
Strings' Onion Rings Honey Mustard Aioli
Truffled French Fries with Parmesan & Chives
Chicken McNoel Nuggets Garlic, Parmesan, Sweet Chili Sauce
Tuna Tartar Lemon Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, Wonton Chips, Avocado
Strings Beef Carpaccio Dijon Mayonnaise, Parmesan, Capers


Dinner Menu - Winter 2012


Steamed Shellfish Bowl Mussels,Clams, Cider, Tarragon and Root Vegetables $9
Beef Carpaccio Dijon Mayonnaise, Parmesan, Capers, Toast Points $9
Sweet Potato-Parsnip Gnocchi Mushroom Broth, Grapes, Brussels Sprouts, Horseradish $12
Wild Mushrooms Fromage Blanc & Leek Panna Cotta, Escarole, Blueberry & Porcini Veloute $13
Crab Cakes 7 Fruit Chutney, Cranberry Puree, Curry Oil, Crispy Onions $14
Ahi Tuna Tartare Lemon-Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette, Avocado, Wonton Chips $14
Seared Foie Gras Torchon, Quince, Banyuls Gastrique $16
Antipasto Misto Chef's Selection of House Cured Meats, Cheeses, Olives and Crackers $18/30


Small Organic Greens Salad Champagne Vinaigrette, Radish, Cucumber, Tomatoes $6
Small Caesar Salad Romaine Hearts, Spanish White Anchovy, Parmesan Crisp $7
Marinated Beet Salad Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Mustard Greens, Belgian Endive $9
Poached Pear Salad Arugula, Artichokes, Burrata, Lavender Vinaigrette, Chestnuts $9
Warm Brussels Sprouts Endive, Grain Mustard Vinaigrette, Lardons, Shallots, Toffee $9
Persimmon & Roasted Cauliflower Salad Watercress, Fromage,Pine Nuts,Honey-Radish Vinaigrette $12
Felipe's Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque $7
Roasted Pumpkin Soup Red Miso, Gingerbread, Cardamom-Sage Oil $8
Guinness Stout Onion Soup Sourdough, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere $9


**All Pastas Available Appetizer Portion and with Rice Noodle Substitution**

Capellini Rustica Fresh Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomatoes, Basil, Chili Flakes $15
Spaghetti Hot Italian Sausage, Roasted Pepper, Tomato, Onions, Pecorino $15
Angel Hair Carbonara Egg Yolk, House Cured Pancetta, Pecorino $15
Penne Bagutta Chicken, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce $16
Pumpkin Risotto Walnuts, Pears, Spiced Oil, Gjetost $17
Shrimp Penne Asparagus, Onions, Arugula, Tomato, Lemon Cream $17


Wild Mushroom Terrine Fennel, Celeriac Polenta, Black Garlic(Available Vegan) $19
Roasted Chicken Tasting of Cauliflower, Artichokes, Watercress, Golden Raisin Vinaigrette $20
Calf's Liver Whipped Potato, Onions, Smoked Bacon, Asparagus $20
Pan Roasted Duck Breast Confit Leg, Socca, Broccoli Rabe, Ras el Hanout, Grapes $26
Duo of Pork Grilled Chop, Apple-Sage Sausage, Fennel, Sweet Potato Latke, Cabbage $25
Shetland King Salmon Quince, Endive, Bacon, Blue Cheese, Juniper-Cider Vinaigrette $27
Pan Seared Scallops Whole Grain Mustard, Almonds, Salsify, Sauce Grenobloise, Escarole $28
Braised Lamb Shank Root Vegetables, Salsify, Figs, Cipollini Onions, Lamb Jus $26
Beef Tournedos Oxtail Tartlet, Lentils, Onions, Chanterelles, Smoked Hickory Vinaigrette $35
Cashew Crusted Sea Bass Saffron Couscous, Vanilla Cream, Cranberry Coulis, Orange $35

Strings Proudly Features Local Cage-Free Organic Eggs, Certified Hereford Beef, Naturally Raised Local Chickens, Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese & Locally Sourced Products

Strings Offers Gluten Free Menu on Request

Chefs: Jason Clark & Adam Detert

Strings Restaurant 1700 Humboldt, Denver, CO 80218 (303) 831-7310

Menu subject to change


Strings Blog POSTS 2011 & 2012

5280 Menu for Sunday, January 29th

Pippa Taylor - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Come into Strings this Sunday for our weekly 5280 specials! Every Sunday night we do a four course menu for only $52.80 for two people. For a little bit extra, you can add wine pairings to each course. The Strings Family is very proud of the menu and wines we come up with each week. Come in and see us!

5280 Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Course

Truffle Parmesan Gougeres

Chicken Liver Pate, Pomegranate, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Pistachio-Pesto Aioli, Crisp Bresola


Potato Leek Soup

Bacon Whipped Cream, Fried Leeks, Chive Oil

Second Course

"Birds Nest" Tagliatelli

Poached Egg, Duck Confit, Onions, Chervil, Chestnut-Stout Brown Butter

Third Course

Pan Roasted Salmon

Hearts of Palm, Haricots Verts Puree, Gruyere Baguette, Mushroom Veloute, Confit Lemon


Grilled Dry Aged New York Strip

Tarragon Risotto, Oven Dried Tomato, Olive Gastrique, Mustard-Star Anise Butter, Shallot-Endive Marmalade

Fourth Course

Spiced Apple Crisp

Tamarind Syrup, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Noel Cunningham, our beloved

Brent Weaver - Friday, December 02, 2011

It is with great sadness to write such a blog post on the Strings website.

Noel Cunningham, owner of Strings and much more to the community at large, passed away Thursday afternoon.

We plan to use this note to keep the general public up to date with proceedings and specific information about services as they are set.

If you have plans to visit Strings for a meal or to visit with the staff, please do, as the restaurant is remaining open for business. All party and holiday plans that have been committed to will be honored through the duration of the holidays.

Strings is receiving a high amount of phone calls, so please bear with us.

[Friday 2:38pm update]

Donations to assist the family can be made through:

Noel Cunningham Fund
Am First Bank
5201 S. Yosemite St
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

[Saturday 6:44pm update]

On Thursday, December 8, 2011 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm there will be a viewing service at Olinger Hampden Mortuary & Cemetery.

Olinger Hampden Mortuary
8600 East Hampden Ave
Denver, CO 80231

Funeral services will be held at St. John's Cathedral on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 11:00am.

St John's Cathedral
1350 Washington Street
Denver, CO 80203

Reception at Strings to follow. Jay's Valet will be providing a shuttle service from Strings to St. John's Cathedral before and after the service, so if you would like to park near Strings, Jay's will provide the convenience.

1700 Humboldt St
Denver, CO 80218


October's First 5280 Menu

Adam Detert - Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smoked Lardo
 Pine Nuts, Manchego, Fig Mostarda, Mushrooms


Pumpkin Bisque
Thai Yellow Curry, Pain d'Epice, Quince

 Black Garlic, Fall Vegetables, Flageolet Beans, Truffled Brioche Breadcrumbs


 Rocket, Boar, Cocoa


 Guajillo Chili, Kidney Beans, Plantains, Arroz a la Creole

Choice of Strings Creme Brulee or Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake

Sunday's 5280 Menu

Adam Detert - Thursday, September 08, 2011

Chilled Veloute of Corn
 Mint, Piquillo Peppers, Rocket


Carrot and Radish Salad
Cucumber, Earl Grey Tea

Beef Short Rib
 Pumpkin, Cippolini Onions, Rapini


 Red Pepper, Pork Belly, Olathe Sweet Corn


 Petite Leeks, Hearts of Palm, Ginger, Beurre Blanc au Crustacés

Choice of Strings Creme Brulee or Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake

5280 Menu for Sept. 5, 2011

Adam Detert - Thursday, September 01, 2011

 Beets, Horseradish, Creme Fraiche


Anchovy, Garlic, Arugula, Lemon Oil

 Confit Lamb, Feta, Kalamata Olives

Duck Breast
 Sultanas, Saffron, Couscous


 Frito Misto, Fennel, Bagna Cauda

Bara Brith

Physalis, Mesquite Smoked Salted Ice Cream

August 7, 2011 5280 Menu

Adam Detert - Friday, August 05, 2011

Soup and Salad
 Heirloom Tomato, Buratta, Basil

Cucumber Soup
 Creme Fraiche, Caviar

Potato Gnocchi
 Crawfish, Corn, Andouillette

Butter Poached Monkfish
 Summer Succotasch

Mesquite Grilled Pork

Rib Chop, Colorado Peaches, Pecans, Sausage

Strings Creme Brulee

Upcoming 5280 Menu

Adam Detert - Friday, July 29, 2011

Roasted Sweet Corn Soup
 Smoked Hominy, Tasso Ham, Gruyere, Anaheim Pepper Relish
Butter Lettuce Salad
 Creamy Smoked Bleu Cheese Dressing, Foccacia, Red Onion, Heirloom Tomato, Crispy Egg Yolk

Handmade Linguini
 Calamari, Eggplant Agro Dolce, Crisp Artichokes, Sauce Nero

Pan Seared Scallops
 Johnny Cake, Tasso Ham, Garden Kale, Pickalilli
Braised Paleron of Beef
 Gnocchi a la Parisienne, Beetroot, Arugula, Horseradish Creme Fraiche, Celery Gremolata

Ills Flotants
 Lavander Creme Anglaise, Orange Hanzelnut Honeycombed Toffee

July 17th 5280 Menu!

Adam Detert - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here is a preview of our upcoming Sunday 5280 Menu...

Ahi Tuna Tataki
Eggplant Caponata, Saffron vinaigrette, Opal Basil Arancini
Marinated Bocconcini
Heirloom Tomato, Spanish Chorizo, Shaved Fennel, Citronette

Ricotta, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Tarragon

Saffron Risotto, Corn, Sultanas, Piquillo Peppers, Sauternes Reduction
Roasted Chicken Breast
Panzanella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Pignolis, Aged Balsamic

Ice Cream Sandwich
Banana Bread, Homemade "Crunchie Bar" Ice Cream, Sherry Creme Anglaise

Sunday 5280 Menu!

Adam Detert - Thursday, July 07, 2011

This is a peak at what we have working for Sunday...


-Calamari, New Potatoes, Corn, Saffron Vinaigrette

-Spinach, Cherries, Filberts, Sherry Vinaigrette


-Garganelli, Sweet Corn, Spanish Chorizo, Manchego


-Colorado Striped Bass, Fennel, Vanilla-Green Olive Sauce

-Mustard Crusted Striploin, Eggplant, Onions, Brown Ale Jus


-Trio of Watermelon

Dinner to Die From

Adam Detert - Thursday, July 07, 2011

Here is what is en route for the Dinner to Die From...

First Course
- Truffled Sunchoke Bisque, Artichoke-Roncal Croquette

Second Course
-Foie Gras, Membrillio, Griddled Brioche, Pedro Jimenez Gastrique, Lemon Verbena

Third Course
-New Zealand Blue Abalone, Eringi Mushrooms, Scallion, Saffron Aioli

Fourth Course
-Roasted Rib of Veal, Pommes Anna Forestier, Salsify, Black Truffle, Sauce Bavaroise

*Menu subject to revision

Strings Blog Posts 2009

New Menu

Aaron Whitcomb - Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The day has come and  we have a new menu. The tasting went really well today and everyone is excited about the new menu items. Here is a previw of the new menu and some early pics. 



Roasted Clams, Grilled Bread, Lemon Aioli, Mixed Herbs                       $10

Foie Gras Panna Cotta, Pineapple Brulee, Pickled Shallots                     $14

Crab Cake, 7 Fruit Chutney, Cranberry Ketchup                                         $13

Ahi Tuna Tartar, Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette, Avocado                              $13

Beef Carpaccio, Dijon Mayonnaise, Parmesan, Capers                               $10

Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque, Focaccia Crouton, Chives                        $6

Crispy Sweetbreads, Sunchoke Puree, Foraged Mushrooms                     $14

Lobster Crepe, Chive Crème Fraiche, Mache Salad, Orange                   $16


Romaine Heart, Spanish White Anchovy Vinaigrette, Parmesan Crisp    $8 ½

Jumbo Asparagus, Prosciutto, Meyer Lemon Anglaise, Micro Basil        $9

Haystack Mountain Smoked Goat Cheese, Beets, Focaccia                     $8 

Organic Greens, Champagne Vinaigrette, Radish, Cucumber, Tomato   $6 ½

 Arugula Lettuce, Roasted Pear, Maytag Bleu Cheese, Walnuts               $8


Orecchiette Pasta, Jerusalem Artichoke, Helix Snails, Persillade Butter                         $17 

Butternut Squash Casoncelli, Sage, Brown Butter, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts  $15

Potato Gnocchi, Crispy Pancetta, Pistachios, Crème Fraiche, Marjoram                           $16

Capellini Rustica, Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil, Chili Flake…                                                    $14½

Rigatoni Noodles, Braised Duck, Olives, Cipollini Onion, Thyme                                     $18

Penne Bagutta, Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, Spicy Tomato Cream…                           $16½


Red Birds Farm Chicken, Spaghetti Squash Sauce, Honey Bubbles, Corn Bread     $19 

Alaskan Cod, Manilla Clams, Fennel, Smoked Paprika Broth, Petite Potatoes               $25

Seared Muscovy Duck Breast, Black Eyed Peas, Mustard Greens, Ham                          $28

Braised Pork Osso Bucco, Lavender Scented Braising Liquid, Mascarpone Polenta   $23

Cashew Crusted Sea Bass, Saffron Couscous, Vanilla Cream…                                         $35 

Hickory Grilled Prime Filet Mignon, Parsnip Puree & Chips, Winter Vegetable Melange$32

Calves’ Liver, Crispy Potatoes, Onion Soubise, Asparagus, Smoked Bacon                  $18

New Menu Tomorrow

Aaron Whitcomb - Monday, February 02, 2009

There are few times that are more stressful than new menu day. It is almost like opening a new restaurant because you have to do all new prep and educate everyone as quick as possible on the new menu items.

Well tomorrow is new menu day here at Strings and the stress is not that bad, yet. With this new menu we are heading in a great new direction from the last menu, this menu will be a bit smaller but we are offering pre-fixe menus and more featured dishes. This means that the core menu will be there and there are some very fun items on that menu, but we will have a weekly pre-fixe menu with two starters, two pastas and four entrees to choose from. The pre-fixe menu options will be available al a carte as well but for only $40 why not get three courses.

This new menu format will allow us to have more seasonal featured dishes, an avenue to be creative with food, create great wine pairings and keep the menu ever changing for our regular cliental. We are really excited for this new menu. Saturday was the first evening that we tried this format and the response was very positive.

Come check out the new menu starting February 3! I will post some preliminary menu items later.



American Woman TV Show

Aaron Whitcomb - Monday, February 02, 2009

Check out this clip of the new American Woman TV Show on Strings, the new menu, wine tasting and Valentines Day Menu. Always fun to sit down and talk with Nancy, a true foodie. 

Sunday's Tasting Menu

Lance Barto - Thursday, January 29, 2009

Every Sunday at Strings I have the opportunity to run a tasting menu of four courses. This is one of the things I look forward to every week, as a lot of my Sunday before service is spent playing with my food. Sometimes this is me (and our cooks) trying out whacky (See: Dessert) ideas, playing with a new technique of Molecular Gastronomy, or developing a recipe/technique for an upcoming menu. Here's a rundown of last weeks Menu. Oh yeah, one more kicker, the menu's only $26.40 per person (plus tax and service of course).

The Salad Choice on the first course was inspired by the salad of Haricot Verts By Thomas Keller of the French Laundry. Roasted Tomato Tartare, Creamy-Dressed Haricot Verts, Grilled Frisee, Chives, 20 Yr. Old Balsamic Vinegar, and some Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese we smoked with Canadian Oak, Froze and grated finely into 'Snow'.

The other choice for the first course was simple, yet delicious. Felipe's Clam Chowder with Bacon. A Crouton made from our house-made Focaccia and Chives finished the dish.

The pasta course was a dish that will be altered and end up on the winter menu. Butternut Squash and caramelized Fennel stuffed Cascionelli, Honey Candied Pancetta, Beurre Noisette, and Micro Sage. I'd bet it ends up with Walnuts, maybe even plumped craisins.

The first of the two entree choices was a Sous-vide Pork Loin. Underneath the Pork is a Pistachio Puree, and Spaghetti Squash. On top of the Pork is a Riesling Demi-Glace, Crispy Arugula, and Smoked Salt.

The second choice for an entree was a salad featuring some beautiful Yellowfin Tuna. Behind the Tuna is a salad of Arugula, Red Onion, Red Pepper, Carrot, and Radicchio dressed in a Green Curry Vinaigrette, on the side is a crispy cigar of those same vegetables, minus the Arugula. The Sauce is a reduction of Soy, Mirin, Lime, and Hoisin. Dolloped on the Tuna is an Edamame and Wasabi Puree.

Lewis and I had a brainchild for the Dessert this week,and with permission from the Pastry Chef we were allowed to dabble on the sweet side for a night. The idea: Deep-fried Cookies. After some basic research we figured that cookie dough wouldn't hold up in the fryer alone, so the answer was obvious, let's batter it! Upon realization that the batter worked, we weren't satsfied, we wanted Ice Cream too. We rolled the cookie dough thin, and deposited little scoops of Butterfinger Ice Cream made by the wonderful DBar, into the cookie dough. We then wrapped the dough around the ice cream, formed it into a ball and refroze the whole thing. The frozen Ice Cream/Cookie Dough balls were battered, fried, tossed in powdered sugar and served atop Salted Caramel Sauce, Raspberry Coulis, and Vanilla Creme Anglais. Aside the Dessert is some Ice cold milk. Labor-intensive? Yes. Less than Elegant? Yes. Delicious? More than you could imagine.

So, I have to thank all the Cooks, and Chef for the help with the menu ideas, and development.


Aaron Whitcomb - Friday, January 23, 2009


    My name is Aaron Whitcomb, I am the Executive Chef here at Strings Restaurant. I am so excited to have the opportunity to start blogging about the process and operation of running a professional kitchen. With collaboration with my Sous Chef Lance Barto, I hope to bring a new light to the creative process that is involved in creating, executing and tweaking a menu. We will be posting multiple media types to guide you along the way and give recipes and examples as much as possible. 

    I hope that you stay tuned and enjoy as much as we do the process of developing great food.

Winter Menu Development

Lance Barto - Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello! My name is Lance Barto, I am the Sous Chef at Strings and have recently become a new contributor to the Strings Blog!
I will be blogging about the creative process that Aaron and I go through to develop menus and help explain how the food at Strings comes to be. There should also be plenty of photographs, videos, upcoming menus and the occasional recipe on the way!

Chef Aaron and I had a good chance to sit down today and discuss some ideas for the new Winter Menu (which will hopefully be out next week). I thought I'd give you all a little insight to some of the ideas we're tossing around.

The first two dishes that are relatively solidified are both Entrees for the dinner menu. A dish featuring Duck Breast inspired by Southern Cuisine, and a Seafood (Scallops, or White Fish) dish inspired by some of our favorite Thai flavors.

The Duck will be a seared Muscovy Duck Breast, resting on top of Black Eyed Peas, and wilted Mustard Greens. The Black Eyed Peas will be cooked in a broth of Ham Hocks and Mirepoix (Carrot, Celery, and Onion), the leftover broth will be emulsified with Foie Gras, and act as the sauce of the dish. There will certainly be some fresh herbs and garnishes with the dish though they are yet to be specifically determined. One garnish in particular we have yet to work out the details for will be cornbread or corn in some form. This is a dish meant to warm your bones through the cold of winter, and remind you of some good old Southern hospitality.

The Thai inspired Seafood dish will revolve around either a piece of pan-seared white fish (Haddock, Alaskan Cod, or True North Atlantic Cod) or Scallops Brochette (Sea Scallops Skewered and Grilled). Underneath the Seafood will be a Gingered Carrot Puree, and a broth of Lemongrass and Coriander. The Broth will also probably be used to emulate 'Sea Foam' on top of the Seafood. Once again some of the smaller details are yet to be worked out, but I'd say you can bet on seeing some Micro Cilantro, some form of citrus, and something crunchy.

Keep your eyes open in the next few days to look for a few more of our ideas and experiments!

5280 Menu 2/21 to 2/27

Brent Weaver - Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque


Caesar Salad 'Dips'


Linguini Rustica, Tomato Concaisse, Herbs, Fresh Mozzerella


Cavatappi Noodles, Haystack Goat Cheese, Chardonnay Braised Pistachios, Crispy Crust


Smoked Trout Crusted Trout, Herbed Couscous, Acorn Squash


Roasted Chicken, Lemon Thyme Butter, Roasted Root Vegetables, Parsnip Puree, Jus Lie


Grilled Pork Loin, Braised Red Cabbage with Kielbasa, Poached Fingerling Potatoes, Caraway Sauce


64% Chocolate Bread Pudding, Brioche, Buttered Croissant, Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Sauce


String's Creme Brulee, Orange-Almond Biscotti, Fresh Mixed Berries

Stock Show Menu Specials

Brent Weaver - Monday, January 19, 2009

1/12 – 1/24

Here's our specials for the two weeks of the National Western Stock Show. We're trying to keep it hearty and simple, while showcasing some of the wonderful local products the Rocky Mountain Region Has to offer.


Lentil & Bacon Soup $7


Rigatoni Noodles, Braised Buffalo Short Rib Meat, Olives, Caramelized Fennel, Tomato Sauce $19


Kale & Bacon Stuffed Trout, Quinoa, Warm Lemon Vinaigrette $26

Hickory Grilled Bone-In Ribeye, Creamy Potato Gratin, Glazed Carrot, Red Wine Reduction $32


Head Chef - Aaron Whitcomb

As the newly appointed Executive Chef, Aaron Whitcomb feels right at home in the open kitchen at Strings Restaurant. To quote Tolstoy, “There is no greatness without simplicity,” Whitcomb describes his cooking style as “simple with a twist.”  

Whitcomb’s passion for food developed at an early age, as his mother’s and grandmothers’ cooking were his first influences, along with a healthy dose of Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and afternoon cooking shows. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Art in Denver, Colorado, his first apprenticeship was at the California Cafe at Park Meadows Mall. Not limited to the kitchen, Whitcomb also has a very strong training in wine and wine pairings, including a first level certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers, where he was top of his class.

Fortunately for food lovers, Whitcomb returned to his love of cooking. After cooking as Sous Chef under Chef Bryan Moscatello, who was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 2002 Best New Chefs, at Adega Restaurant & Wine Bar, Whitcomb sharpened his culinary skills and opened Table 6 as the Executive Chef. After 2 years at Table 6, striving to continue his development as a Chef, Aaron moved to Chicago, Illinois and spent a year working under famed Grant Achatz at Alinea, then teamed up with restaurateur Jerry Kleiner to open Room 21. Longing to get back to his home town and family roots, Whitcomb moved back to Denver in September of this year.

Among Whitcomb’s accomplishments are: Esquire Magazine’s “Top 21 Best New Restaurants  in America, 2004,” Food & Wine Magazine’s “Fast Track Chef” October 2005, Wine Spectator’s “Top Dining in Denver” December  2004 and 5280 Magazine’s “Top 10 Best New Restaurants.” He still enjoys performing at private wine dinners and tastings, and when he’s not crafting the latest special dinner menus at Strings, Whitcomb can be found sampling Denver’s latest ethnic restaurants.



A Few Representative YELP REVIEWS 2008 - 2012

**** Michael L. Westminster, CO
My girlfriend and I went there for a birthday celebration on a Friday night. We started the evening with a specialty cocktail (awesome) and the duck confit gnocci which was awesome. We both ordered the 12oz NY strip which came with mushroom risotto, veg, and a short rib. The entree was very good, but the risotto had a little too much acid (sherry vinegar i think) . For dessert, we had a creme brulee (better than average but not memorable) and a strawberry rhubarb panna cotta (very memorable YUM!). I am one of the few who don't really care about the service as long as the food is tasty and I don't have to wait an unreasonable amount of time. With that being said, I thought the service was great. On a side note, it was not as busy as I thought it would be on a Friday night.


*** Michael S. Denver, CO
Friends and I did a restaurant week dinner at Strings last night and enjoyed excellent atmosphere and service. We weren't wowed by the food, but none of us were disappointed either. It was good. It just didn't blow any of us away.
All were in agreement that dessert was the best course.   The service was great though, and the staff was very friendly.
I'd only had brunch a few times at Strings, and never dinner. It's one of my favorite places for brunch. I think I'll stick to daytime dining with them, personally.


**** Amanda G. Denver, CO
I want to give this place 4.5 stars. Damn yelp and the no halve-sees. It wasn't "Woohoo! As good as it gets!" but it was pretty darn good. I could see where previous reviewers might say "for old people," this is definitely somewhere you in-laws would feel comfortable at; but, we're not old and we definitely enjoyed it.
Boyfriend and I went there on a Friday night to celebrate my passing the bar exam. It was sort of perfect for that type of celebration. We felt fancy but not stuffy (I was in heels which were totally appropriate but the guy next to me was in jeans and a patagonia...that's Denver, I guess). The food was good to great. I had the roast red pepper tomato soup (great!), boyfriend had the cesar (good), I had pasta (good +), and he had the calves liver (which he said was great, I opted to trust him on that one). The service was awesome and they even gave us coupons for free mimosas when we come back for brunch (which we'll be doing). We also thought reasonably priced for a nice meal. We had the food mentioned above and I had a martini and our meal came to $65.
If you looking for a tasty meal in a classy environment I would recommend it.


**** Dana R. Denver, CO

I'll start with the good...Fireman's Eggs. No idea why it is called this, as there are no suspenders, hoses or spiciness on the plate, but instead only a crazy good combo of buttery brioche topped with a poached egg, perfectly cooked bacon and wilted spinach served with a side of diced fruit. Holy heck. I'd like another. The coffee was good too.
Not so good - our waiter - sweet guy, but nervous and let my coffee cup remain empty for a little too long. Not bad, just thinking it is his first day working brunch or something.
Why I've never been here before is beyond me, but considering that I'm salivating writing this, I'm thinking I'll be back real soon.


   ***** R. Jonathon J. Denver, CO
Noel rocks!
Cindy at the bar is the best!
the menu is great. happy hour is really nice. I was there just the other night meeting other people just sittin at the bar. Everyone is really approachable and fun. The food is amazing. One of my favorite places.


Happy hour-McNoel Nuggets is a must
Brunch-sirlion benedict / blueberry pancakes
lunch-steak salad


**** Nick C. Denver, CO
Apparently my reviews are a bit drawn out and maybe a little too detailed.  To appease my critics, you individuals should know who you are, I have composed the following review in a suggested style that may be more suiting to these detractors.  As difficult as it is for me to abbreviate my reviews, I'm going to give it a shot so here goes.

A few of us met up at Strings for a weekday happy hour which runs 3 to 7 Monday through Friday.  We grabbed a seat on the outside patio and here is what I liked:
     1.    Great patio with adequate size for large parties
     2.    Attentive service with a bar designated for patrons on the patio
     3.    Beef Carpaccio was awesome and in a more compact form
            making it easy for sharing amongst friends
     4.   Good small plate options for only $5 with the tuna tartar
            stealing the show
     5.    Plenty of specialty drink options at $4 and $5

Here's what I didn't necessarily like as much:
     1.    Beer options on happy hour only included Coors Light and
     2.    A happy hour price for Coors Light is not so happy when it is at
            $3 and not even on draft
     3.    Little leafs from the tree above kept falling in my drink
     4.    They seem to be a bit conservative with their liquor to soda
            ratio as their rum and cokes were rather weak

All things about the evening measured out in a clear and condensed manner, shows I had a great time at Strings who offer up a pretty good happy hour


***** Erika K. Laveen, AZ
As an adopted daughter of Denver (I travel the Denver for work from my home in Phoenix), I follow the word-of-mouth trail for where to eat.
On this past business trip this week, my  friend gave me a choice of web site menu's to choose, and I was drawn to Strings by the Roasted Baby Artichoke starter encrusted with lemon and Parmesan cheese with a garlic aioli. The appetizer did not disappoint, by the way.

The service was impeccable. As an example, my friend and I couldn't decide on a wine, so the waiter said, let me bring you out a "taste" so we could make our decision. The "taste" I thought was a generous pour and a lovely opportunity to sample.  We ended up ordering a bottle.

Strings is affiliated with the D-Bar next door (which I have also reviewed favorably on a separate trip to Denver). My companion had a craving for the Lemon Cupcake they serve so our waiter ran next door, and brought over the dessert and just billed us on our Strings tab!
While I'm surprised by this level of service, I guess I shouldn't be. The owner, Noel Cunningham, has long been involved in philanthropic service (read about them at: ).

This restaurant certainly didn't need my positive review. It sounds like everyone loves it! But I wanted my voice heard because not only is the food marvelous, but the owners (and apparently the wait staff) are committed to service and I want to promote those kinds of businesses.
Until my next visit....can't wait!


***** Kelly H. Denver, CO
I've eaten here twice and both times have not disappointed.  The first time I had the prix fixed meal offered on Sunday.  The second time we went, we didn't realize what a great Happy Hour they have through the week.  We were able to order $4 glasses of wine and outstanding $5 appetizers and then ordered our entree off the menu.  I usually get their fish selection and thoroughly enjoy the flavor and presentation overall.  Have yet to try D Bar afterward, but looking forward to it.         


**** Suzy S. Denver, CO
When I was invited to Strings, I of course had to check out the reviews and see what people have to say.  After seeing many below average reviews, I was skeptical, but did my best to keep an open mind.
It was a big night for us, so we were dressed up and ready for fun.  The service was great from Valet to the hostess, to the waiter.  We were in a bit of a hurry since we had tickets to a play, and they accommodated us easily. 
Both the dishes served were both attractive and tasty.  My only complaint food wise is the appetizers seemed a little pricey so I didn't get one.  We didn't have time for desert, besides I was stuffed! 

The decor has a lot to be desired...they could use an upgrade for sure.
All in all, I look forward to returning when not in such a rush.


**** Eric P. Tampa Bay, FL
Strings has a new chef - aaron whitcomb.  You might remember him from Table 6 -
Aaron is heading up the kitchen - bringing his kick ass menu to this classic restaurant.  Strings is about to celebrate it's 22nd year.
I highly recommend Strings to anyone looking for chef inspired food in denver.


**** Jessica L. San Francisco, CA
Excellent food.  Attractive and appealing decor.  Friendly staff.  Overall, this place is a wonderful place for dinner. 
I've been here a few times and consistently had a great meal and a very good time.  It's somewhat pricey, which makes it a great place for a special occasion meal.  I look forward to returning.



About Noel Cunningham

Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1949, Noel Cunningham followed his family into the culinary world at age fourteen. He proved a quick study, hired as an apprentice at London's famous Savoy Hotel after just three years and attained the rank of sous chef by age 23 - an especially notable accomplishment for a non-Frenchman.

Noel and his family relocated to Los Angeles, California in the 1970s and Noel took a job as sous chef at Harry's Bar & American Grill in Century City. He advanced rapidly over the next few years, rising to executive chef in charge of Spectrum Foods, the corporation that owned Harry's Bar and several other notable California-based restaurants.

In 1980 Noel was tapped to be chef at Touch, an exclusive Beverly Hills private supper club that was the top choice for celebrities. He held the post until 1986, when Touch was sold. A former colleague soon convinced Noel to come to Denver to open a new restaurant on 17th Avenue - and Strings was born.

In 1989, Noel started a second restaurant in Lakewood, Colorado, named 240 Union, and two years later opened the contemporary Italian Trattoria Ciao Baby in Southwest Denver. Noel subsequently sold his majority share in Ciao Baby and still maintains Strings and 240 Union.

Noel and his wife Tammy are very active in the global community. 



Noted Denver restaurant owner Noel Cunningham dies at age 62


By JOEY BUNCH | | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: December 1, 2011

“He was my best friend in the world,” she said. “And I will miss him dearly.

“He was a wonderful man.”

Denver public-relations executive Wendy Aiello worked as a waitress for Cunningham at Strings in the 1980s.

She found herself immersed in community causes and charity events, a trait that defined Cunningham as a community business leader and as a person, she said.

“He knew no boundaries,” she said. “I honestly don’t know if he kept anything for himself. I know he was rich in friends

“He had a wife who adored him and many, many friends who adored him.”

Lobbyist Lacee Artist also called Cunningham a good friend.

“I am deeply saddened that we have lost someone who has been so strong in our community,” she said. “We will miss him deeply.”

In addition to the Cunningham Foundation, which benefits African causes, the Cunninghams were involved in numerous community fundraisers at his elegant eatery.

According to his biography on the Strings website, he joined his family in the restaurant business when he was 14.

“He proved a quick study, hired as an apprentice at London’s famous Savoy Hotel after just three years and attained the rank of sous chef by age 23, an especially notable accomplishment for a non-Frenchman,” according to the biography.

He and his family in the 1970s moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a sous chef at Harry’s Bar & American Grill in Century City, then later as executive chef in charge of Spectrum Foods, which owned Harry’s Bar and other California-based restaurants.

He became chef at Touch, a private supper club for celebrities in Beverly Hills, before moving to Denver and opening Strings in 1986.

He opened 240 Union in Lakewood in 1989, and two years later opened Italian Trattoria Ciao Baby in southwest Denver.

Cunningham was the Denver Business Journal’s Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2004 and was inducted into the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame in 2007.


UPDATE: In the fall of 2013 Humboldt Farm Fish Wine restaurant opened in the defunct Strings location in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. We all wondered if it would be a worthy successor. Seven years later with the kitchen led by Executive Chef Kollin Gateley, Humboldt Farm Fish Wine remains offering modern American cooking at its best.

But we must admit, we still miss Strings!