Denver Union Station’s Newest Restaurant
Yesterday was an exciting day. Making last minute dinner plans in our active city often means playing detective in finding a seat (or two) at any of our awesome Downtown Denver restaurants. While we aren’t yet like New York where reservations can be consumed weeks in advance, it certainly is busy enough that a last minute search on a Thursday night at prime time can be tough.
I was more than pleasantly surprised when a new name, one that I recognized from our previous posts, appeared in the available list. That new name was Stoic and Genuine, the newest addition to the Denver Union Station and Crawford Hotel offering.
We grabbed ourselves a reservation and raced over early hoping for a nice spot at the bar to relax before dinner. Unfortunately, while we were fortunate to snag a reservation by the time we arrived it appeared the rest of Denver had heard as well. It was packed with the energy and excitement of Denver residents checking out the new hotspot in town.
One of the owners was there appeared and kindly introduced herself and we spent a few minutes waiting to spring on any vacating bar seats. However, there was no signs that anyone would be giving up a spot at this hot spot anytime soon. With 30 minutes we decided to adjourn to the nearby Cruise Room for a retro and cool pre dinner cocktail.
A Denver Urban Bump (a good thing) to the Cruise Room for staying classy. We didn’t mind spending some time there waiting for our Stoic and Genuine reservation one bit. For those of you who haven’t been the the CR for some time it still is a great gem of the city.
We wrapped up at the Cruise Room and returned for on time for our reservation to find they were ready for us. I mention this because it was only their second day of being open to the public, they were packed, and still they were running right on schedule. Opening week for all restaurants should go so well.
The place is amazing from a design and architecture standpoint. There is a great mix of old and new with some custom iron and wood pieces adorning the walls, ceilings, lighting, and more being paired with the historic structural elements such as columns and small finishes. There is a huge bar seating area with open glass to view the ocean delights on one side and a large social (filled with laughter and smiles) bar opposite serving up spirits and vino. The ceiling are high, the energy is fun, and you can even watch the Union Station fountain light show outside via the windows. This place is cool!
Now on to the food. We saw oysters flying out of the seafood bar and to almost every table, clearly one of the most popular items on the menu along with a series of crudo dishes such as Big Eye Tune with jalapeño and friend avocado (yum on the avocado folks). We tried some crudo and the soft shell crab which comes with a corn soup creation that was delicious.
Another popular items our server recommended, which we didn’t try, was the lobster roll. I think 25% of the people eating last night had a lobster roll delivered to their table. I would have tried it but you have a tough time getting me to eat anything cooked when I can have raw. After all, we don’t have an ocean next door so when the opportunity is there I say go for the freshest item you can.
Which is why I ordered the Uni salad appetizer as well. The Uni was fresh and tasty, and lately it has been impossible to find it at any of the area sushi restaurants (believe me I try weekly) but sadly there just wasn’t enough of it. But keep in mind I’m a purist, and I am sure the salad with a little Uni combination is probably what the majority would prefer. I would much rather have a pure bite with a touch of lemon, so I’ll just have to wait for the Uni return at my local Sushi spots.
Last, but not least would be the dessert menu which had a ton of favorites including the Whoopie Pie that our server recommended. I did not try it but my friend has a pregnant wife waiting at home and was smart enough to order her one to go. Whatever was in the desserts it certainly was a hit. The table next to us had desserts all around at a table of 6 and they were consumed in a flash of forks and smiles.
Needless to say, I’ll be back. The place is so warm and inviting that Stoic & Genuine is good for a full dinner or just a quick drink and oyster tray happy hour. Wonderful.
Now I can’t wait to see the new Crawford hotel. From the restaurant the second floor hallway and room doors is visible, which means those guests will have a tough time resisting the draw of the great ambiance and energy of S & G below. If Stoic and Genuine is any indication of the overall Crawford Hotel experience I am guessing this will be the new hot spot destination for Denver.
Dana Crawford was even there with friends, enjoying the great food in a hotel named in her honor. The gentleman at the table next to us shared that he and a group were enjoying a nights stay in the Crawford. Color me jealous.
Alright Denver Urban fans, this is your Union Station Update. Let me know if you go to check it out and any favorite items on the menu.
Congrats to the great team at Stoic and Genuine and the Crawford Hotel. This might just change our best oysters in Denver poll so make sure to vote after you give Stoic & Genuine their turn shucking ocean treats for you too.