For Dinner, Dems May Look To Fruition In Denver

Host Liane Hansen speaks with Paul Attardi, co-owner of the Denver restaurant Fruition. Known for its "sophisticated comfort food," the business expects a good share of VIPs will sit down for a meal or two during this week's Democratic National Convention.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

Denver will have its mind on politics this week. But that doesn't mean people will be eating PowerBars for dinner. A Denver restaurant called Fruition reportedly has been accepting reservations for certain prominent United States senators. The place is known locally for its sophisticated comfort food. Paul Attardi is a co-owner of Fruition and its maitre d'. He joins me on the line from his podium at the front of the restaurant where he's been confirming reservations. Thanks for taking the time for us.

Mr. PAUL ATTARDI (Co-Owner & Maitre D', Fruition Restaurant): You're most welcome.

HANSEN: Now, you were pretty coy about exactly who's coming to dinner when you spoke with the Denver press this past week. Can you confirm any names on your guest list?

Mr. ATTARDI: Oh! Usually when people are making appointments or reservations, they don't give their real names. There is someone in their entourage, someone who's a press secretary, someone who's an assistant or a personal assistant. I can mention one senator who has a booked a couple of spaces with us, and that's Senator Byron Dorgan from North Dakota. We're quite excited. Of course the entire neighborhood have been asking me on a regular basis who's coming in, who's coming in, who's coming in. And my answer to them is I really don't know.

HANSEN: Let's play hypothetical.

Mr. ATTARDI: OK.

HANSEN: A certain senator from Illinois.

Mr. ATTARDI: Hopefully.

HANSEN: What would you recommend?

Mr. ATTARDI: I'll probably recommend the summer melon salad to start with, which is baby arugula, watermelon radish, fabulous Oregon sheep's milk cheese, and pistachio vinaigrette. And then I would tell that person to probably have the black cod afterwards. A little bit lighter, something that won't sit so heavy on the stomach for the next day's work at the convention.

HANSEN: All right, so would you suggest something different for say a certain senator from New York?

Mr. ATTARDI: Absolutely.

HANSEN: And her husband?

Mr. ATTARDI: Yes. Yes, I would. For that senator and her husband, I would probably say, well, he's going to want the pasta carbonara right off the bat, probably the richest thing on the menu. It's homemade, house-made cavatelli. It has a six-minute poached egg on top, a Parmesan broth, and house-cured pork belly. I mean, he's definitely going to want the duck breast.

HANSEN: Oh, my goodness, my arteries are hardening just listening to you.

Mr. ATTARDI: Yes, he'd be happiest with that, I think. And then she's probably going to want something like the Fruition salad. A very light, tossed watercress green salad with grilled asparagus, red onions, avocados, and crispy shallots on top. And she'll probably do, I would say, probably the scallops, which are one of my favorites, too. And then a white truffle beurre fondue, or white truffle butter sauce, over the top. It's a killer.

HANSEN: Oh, yeah!

Mr. ATTARDI: It's a killer.

HANSEN: Paul Attardi is the maitre d' and co-owner of Fruition Restaurant in Denver. Thanks a lot for your time.

Mr. ATTARDI: Thank you, my dear.

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