Photo Courtesy of Linger RestaurantOverlooking the Denver skyline in what is arguably the best view of the city, Olinger Mortuary has been a constant in Denver's history. Opening the Crown Hill Cemetery in 1907, Olinger has become synonymous with beautiful mausoleums, internment services, philanthropy and civic leadership.
Linger Restaurant is now at home in the former mortuary, the iconic Olinger sign's "O" has been turned off, leaving "linger," and the "mortuary" neon lights have been converted to "eatery." Nods to the former inhabitant's line of work, menu items play off the macabre theme offering cocktails such as the Corpse Reviver shown on a medical chart drink list, formaldehyde bottles for water service, and dessert menus printed on toe tags. A nirvana for eclectic diners and foodies looking for something new, Linger hits the nail on the not-to-lively head.
Focusing on a small-plate, round-the-world experience, Linger brings foods from across the globe with influences from Asia to South America. Clever titles found at the headings of the menu read "Karakoram Highway" for Asia, "Avenue of the Americas" for Americas, "Bhindi Bazaar" for South Asia, "Shouk" for Africa and Middle East, "Autostrada dei Laghi" with Europe, and "Spice Bazaar" for Eurasia. Explained as the ownership's own twist on street foods from their worldly travels, the portions are best ordered a couple per person.
Miso-butter popcorn is the pre-dinner snack while overlooking the pristine view of Denver's skyline. From a sunset cocktail to a late-night bite, Linger offers some of the best views to be had in the city. To feel like a celebrity, order off-menu for a light and refreshing Ginger Cooler with a silver straw and keep your focus on the delightful cocktails. Fun originals such as the Hombre Muerto (Dead Man) join classics on the cocktail and wine list for a wide variety of what the restaurant, and sister restaurant Root Down, are known for: mixology.
Seasonal Sesame Civiche appears in the "Avenue of the Americas" section and is phenomenal, even for a land-locked state. The wild-caught, sustainable and responsibly sourced fish offers a refreshing take on the Latin and South American dish. From the "Spice Bazaar," the Goat Cheese and Melon Salad with watermelon prepared in a sous vide, or vacuum-compressed, style is wonderfully juicy and garnished with chile-lime pepitas.
Other fresh takes from the menu include vegan or gluten-free options, a move away from carrot sticks and celery stocks available for vegetarians and health-conscious foodies alike without sacrificing flavor or exciting pairings of quality food.
The international theme continues into dessert, with options such as Moroccan Chocolate Flan, Italian Coffee and Doughnuts, and Mississippi Mud Pie to satisfy sweet teeth. With the building an adventure in itself, from the accounting offices-turned-bar with Light Brite countertops, to rooftop patio and fine dining beneath the softly glowing linger sign, the uniqueness is undeniable at the newest addition to the Denver culinary scene. To make reservations, visit LingerDenver.com. Come for the drinks, enjoy the food, take in the view, and leave with the story of spending your evening in a converted mortuary.