After a long day on the show floor, I just wanted to sneak away to grab myself a nice dinner by myself. Some place quiet where I could just watch the Rockies game, lose myself in whatever was going on on the iPad, and relax. I found what appeared to be just the right place in the Corner Office.
The Corner Office is a small restaurant and martini bar just off the 16th Street Mall. Looking at the website, I definitely saw a type of retro cocktail lounge…the type of place where you loosen your tie, it’s quiet and dark, and everyone is enjoying their drink and post work conversations. A total throwback kind of place. When I walked in though, it was quite as “loungy” as I had expected, and there were a lot fewer people in heels and suits than the pictures had shown. But, it still had a post-work drink kind of vibe that I was looking for, and the Rockies game on the TV, so I made my way to the bar and ordered myself a tonic water (the bartenders always give you a look…almost disappointment…).
Perusing the menu, the menu, I was actually surprised by the make-up. The predominant flavor profile was Asian. Things like Korean Fried Chicken, Kalbi beef lettuce wraps, and kushiyaki. Of course this was intermixed with Classic American (chicken and waffles), Baja (fish tacos), and Italian (bolognese) just to name a few. I think “eclectic” is the best way to describe the overall menu. The only problem…well my only problem…was that by the time I got there, all I had left as a part of my meal plan or the day was protein and vegetables. And the current food plan precluded things like lobster mac & cheese and lomito saltado. This was one of those moments where I considered breaking the plan, but I didn’t. I ended up ordering the Hamachi crudo and the orange chicken, after I was told that they could make it for me with grilled chicken instead of fried chicken.
In between glasses of tonic water, my crudo arrived. It was an interesting presentation different than my expectation of thinly sliced tuna with citrus flavors. Rather, it was thick cut, more sashimi style, and served with minced olives, almost like a tapanade. The olives provided an interesting meatiness and brininess to the dish, but for me, it was a little off. I’m not a big olive fan to begin with (though I keep trying them), so that didn’t help. The fish too seemed a little off; just not as fresh and light as I expect. And I missed the little bit of blood orange that was supposed to be on the dish. After the first piece, I ended up eating around the olives, but was still a little disappointed in the fish.
I was looking forward to redemption when the orange chicken made it’s way out. The presentation was very nice, complete in a take out container, and there was a distinct orange smell coming from it. And unlike most orange chicken that I’ve had, the sauce wasn’t syrupy, but more brothy. The flavor was very subtle, but definitely noticeable. And it really worked with the ingredients that were more accepting of the flavors like the broccoli. But for the peppers, the sauce didn’t do a whole lot. As for the chicken, it definitely took on some of the sauce flavors, but the chicken was overcooked and a little dried out. In fact, it probably would have benefitted from a slightly stickier sauce.
I ended up having a nice night just sitting at the bar, watching the Rockies and disconnecting from everything else that was going on. But unfortunately, my meal just wasn’t that great. I know, and appreciated, that they ended up doing something different with the chicken dish to help me stick to my own nutritional plan. And I’m sure some of the other things that I was salivating over would have been delicious. But neither dish really wowed me and both left me feeling a little disappointed. It’s definitely a cool spot, and one that I would like to check out again with the freedom to order anything on the menu… sometime.
Final Verdict – 2.5 Stars