When Harman’s Eat & Drink first opened in Cherry Creek in June 2013, it came with lofty expectations from the team behind the acclaimed Pullman in Glenwood Springs. But since the Denver restaurant scene continues to roll and everyone continues to look toward the next great thing, Harman's has fallen under the radar a bit. Settling into a role as a neighborhood gem, Harman’s was the perfect option for our large group to sneak in mid-day during the holidays, with a wait at the door only long enough for the removal of winter coats. Hangover hangries avoided, we settled in for a relaxing brunch — Denver's most hipster meal.
Brunch is available both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., yet it seemed to be a bit of an afterthought, taking up just a corner of the large menu dominated by lunch options. What is there, though, is pretty dang delicious and well edited. The atmosphere is bright and airy in a huge two-level space centered around the bar. But more important, the venue checks all the modern restaurant boxes. Reclaimed wood and red accent wall? Yup. Oversized metal industrial finishes? Obvi. Quote about bacon? Of course. Brussels sprouts and fancy tater tots? Duh. As formulaic as the recipe for a Denver brunch spot has become, it all boils down to how tasty the food is.
Harman’s has a full bar, but you won’t find any Blood Marys or mimosas on the all-day cocktail menu. You can get whatever concoction you can dream up, though, or stick with a simple local draft.
A solid gastropub that satisfies everyone from the trendsetter to the tried-and-true “good food without the frills” friend, Harman’s cooks up brunch options that are surprisingly delightful and unexpectedly above and beyond the menu descriptions. The duck confit hash was the table favorite, which, despite a roasted-tomato Hollandaise as a selling point, ended up being the mildest in flavor. What arrived was less of a hash and more of a large latke (to keep me in the Hanukkah spirit) made with shredded potatoes, caramelized onions and bites of duck, topped with poached eggs and slathered in Hollandaise with a dollop of rich, creamy goat cheese.
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The pastrami Benedict came across as another deli favorite — with the side "potato salad" a play on words. Instead of the expected mayo, potato and egg mixture, this was an actual bed of greens topped with warm roasted potatoes. The lightly crisped half-rounds of potato mixed wonderfully with the whole-grain mustard Hollandaise of the Bennie.
The Veg Head hash packed some real heat from the chile-mint crema base, a creative combination that held a layer of sweet potatoes, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts hidden under two sunny-side-up eggs for foraging — an edible, earthy scavenger hunt.
Lesson learned: The old dogs can hang with the best of them. In fact, at not even three years old, Harman’s already comes across as one of the OG pioneers of hipster brunch.