Southern belle Julep offers a casual brunch in the heart of RiNo for those looking to start their weekend off right. Chef Kyle Foster just rolled out a new spring menu, which includes rotating specials to go with the restaurant's classics, so there's something to delight everyone in your party.
Biscuits are the best place to start at any Southern eatery. Here a rustic wooden board comes loaded with crusty, crunchy drop biscuits made with a recipe that Foster keeps close to the vest but that includes buttermilk. They're light and fluffy on the inside, making it easy to eat all five. The board also comes with a generous slab of salted butter, local raw honey and housemade jam that changes regularly; this week happened to be lemon. "Each week we make a new jam, and it always has sweet and savory notes," general manager Jake Louik points out. "This week was lemon, and we used the rinds to get a deeper flavor. And last week it was a cranberry-onion preserve."
Julep serves up plenty of savory snacks, but if you’re looking for something sweet, indulge in an order of raisin-studded banana-bread pudding covered in bourbon butterscotch sauce and a crumbly streusel topping.
Roasted vegetables add flavor to the weekly quiche; mine had carrots and shallots, but next week's could be different, depending on what's available or in season. The quiche is baked in a flaky pie crust and comes with a small quinoa salad made with Rebel Farm greens. For a true Southern dish, don't miss the eggs Sardou, similar to eggs Benedict, but with creamed spinach and artichokes instead of Canadian bacon. Foster serves his version on toast, covering the poached eggs in creamy Hollandaise. Another Southern favorite is the Kentucky hot brown, an open-faced sandwich stacked with smoked turkey and bacon and drowned in cheesy Mornay. It also comes with tomato jam, yet another savory-sweet element on the menu.
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Julep's double-battered chicken shouldn't be skipped; orders usually come with a thigh, wing and drumstick, and the plating varies from week to week. This week, I found chicken and savory waffles that were much paler than typical waffles but were still flavorful. Keep in mind that the chicken is fried to order, so it will take longer than other dishes, and there is limited availability.
And you wouldn't set foot in a restaurant named Julep without partaking in the namesake cocktail. The mint julep here stays true to the classic recipe: a whole lot of bourbon and a hit of fresh mint served in a silver cup packed with crushed ice. A mint sprig on top gives a fresh, aromatic burst with each sip, making this a good drink to revive your senses if you’ve had a long night.
Julep is located at 3258 Larimer street and serves brunch on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about brunch, call 303-295-8977 or visit the restaurant's website. Hot tip: Louik notes that although Julep doesn’t have a gluten-free or kids' menu, the kitchen can modify any dish or create dishes for special dietary restrictions.