The decor at Courier, the restaurant and bar located on the ground floor of the Grand Hyatt Denver, pays homage to the golden age of writers and journalists. So on a recent brunch visit, I immediately felt right at home among tables constructed from old library card-catalogue cabinets, walls covered in images of antique typewriters, and even a cocktail menu inspired by newspapers and books.
Despite its nod to history, Courier's menu is forward-thinking and inventive, making it a place for celebration beyond basic brunch.
Two cocktails in particular stood out: the Ghostwriter, a Mexican twist on an Old Fashioned with tequila instead of whiskey, and the Page 17, which was nothing short of a tequila-raspberry dream. Raspberry purée, lime and simple syrup made for a light and refreshing splash of flavor completely appropriate as a brunch pairing.
Chef David Lillich has added unique variations on breakfast classics and created a few new a.m. dishes of his own. I started with the thin, almost crepe-like ricotta pancakes, enlivened with lemon in the batter and a chunky blackberry coulis spooned on top. Next up was the zucchini bread French toast, which makes you wonder why you hadn't thought of it yourself. The dense cake was served crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and topped with shaved coconut and bananas. Lillich notes that this dish changes seasonally depending on the fresh produce available.
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I usually steer clear of biscuits and gravy in restaurants, mostly because they're all pretty similar (and pretty plain). But Courier's biscuits are waffled, giving extra nooks and crannies in which the rich gravy pools and hides. I topped mine with fried chicken (the default, although you can order it without) for a tasty combination of chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy.
The gnocchi mac and cheese strays far from the brunch canon while remaining comforting and filling, especially considering how much of the potato pasta came in the large portion. This particular iteration captured the flavors of a Caprese salad, with basil-flavored gnocchi, mozzarella cheese sauce and sun-dried tomatoes.
Lillich explains that he gives his staff free rein in the kitchen and encourages them to experiment and try something new, and the results are dangerously addictive. I'm on board with the chef's approach, as long as Courier keeps coming up with creative and delicious bites.
Courier Market Bar is located at 1750 Welton Street and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a breakfast buffet is served daily starting at 6 a.m. For more information, call 303-603-4171 or visit the restaurant's website. Hot tip: Some NFL teams stay at the hotel before game days, so camping out in the lobby for brunch could offer a possible sighting.