Citizen Rail1899 16th Street
Citizen Rail, beneath the Kimpton Hotel Born, was one of a wave of chef-driven restaurants to open in boutique hotels over the past several years. The kitchen focuses on artisan food production, with dry-aged steaks (some for up to a year) and handmade bread and pasta. The heart of the restaurant is an open kitchen with several wood-burning grills, where everything — from those flavor-packed steaks to cocktail garnishes — is kissed with flame and smoke. Behind the scenes, a larger kitchen holds a butchering room where sides of beef, pork and lamb are brought in and broken down, providing cuts typical of steakhouse slates but also leaving room for oxtail, lamb sausage, rabbit loin and a decadent burger made from fresh-ground short rib and brisket. Yes, it's a meat-lover's paradise, but it's also so much more.
Death & Co.1280 25th Street
New York City cocktail pioneer Death & Co. opened in the lobby of the Ramble Hotel in 2018, where tufted upholstery demands that guests settle in and enjoy a high-end cocktail in the decidedly swanky space. But this isn't just a re-creation of the East Coast original: The menus (both food and drink) are unique to Denver, while the service is characteristically Colorado (read: casual), so guests will always feel right at home, no matter what part of the country they hail from.
Hearth & Dram1801 Wewatta Street
The Indigo Hotel is located behind Union Station in one of Denver's hottest new instant neighborhoods. The draw here is Hearth & Dram, which combines wood-fired cooking perfect for meat lovers with a towering bar stocked with one of the best selections of whiskey in the city. Lunchtime is an eye-opener, with a variety of sandwiches stacked with hearth-roasted meats, and a "whole-beast feast" awaits groups who book ahead for a special occasion.
Kachina Cantina1890 Wazee Street
The Maven is filled with art and fanciful decor, and the lobby entrance to Kachina Cantina looks as much like an installation as it does a segue into a delicious meal. Quite frankly, we go for the fry-bread tacos and margaritas, but the entire menu is worth exploring, with the Southwestern allure of chiles, corn, beans and slow-roasted meats.
Panzano909 17th Street
Now more than twenty years old, Panzano was one of the first hotel restaurants in Denver to prove that chef-driven cuisine could draw customers from the entire city, not just from the Hotel Monaco's rooms above the eatery. The culinary team at Panzano has as its motto "Chi mangia bene, viva bene" (Those who eat well, live well), and although we can't guarantee how you'll live, or even sleep, at the Hotel Monaco, you can certainly live it up in the elegant yet comfortable dining room that specializes in perfectly prepared northern Italian cuisine. In addition to the impressive menu, there are regular specials, and the attached bar has both an excellent happy hour and a few very cozy booths that are just the spot to sip martinis.