Happy Hour

The Happiest Hour: Rooftop Chicken and Cava at Low Country Kitchen

Low Country's happy hour deviled eggs.
Low Country's happy hour deviled eggs. Laura Shunk
Sure, the solstice is still a few weeks away. But by all other measures, it's summer in the Mile High City, and that means it's time to duck out of work early so you can while away a glorious evening on a patio. One prime spot for such an activity is Low Country Kitchen; that rooftop at 1575 Boulder Street has been luring patrons since the address held Vita (going back all the way to 2006).

Before the high-rise apartment complex went in across the street, this patio looked out over the downtown Denver skyline. But even with that view gone, it's a pleasant place to spend a few hours, with its dedicated bar and umbrella shade. Low Country has also sweetened the deal considerably during happy hour, which runs weekdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 2:30 to 5 p.m. During those hours, you should zero in on one particular deal: the $32 buttermilk fried chicken and cava combo.

click to enlarge Low Country's compelling offer: five pieces of fried chicken and bubbles on a patio. - LAURA SHUNK
Low Country's compelling offer: five pieces of fried chicken and bubbles on a patio.
Laura Shunk
Of all the wine and food pairings on the planet, few match the harmony of fried poultry and bubbles. Effervescent wine gives a nice, sharp counterbalance to the decadent, oil-crisped skin of the bird, and if you get wine with a little heft and rounder fruit, you also have a complimentary flavor profile to carry the chicken itself. Low Country has long offered its five-piece bucket of bird with a bottle of cava during brunch; now you can get the $32 deal during happy hour, too. The restaurant's chicken is juicy, with a nice crisp casing, and is even better if you ask for it with hot sauce. And the deal goes a long way: We usually split it among four people.

click to enlarge The happy hour pimento cheese spread at Low Country. - LAURA SHUNK
The happy hour pimento cheese spread at Low Country.
Laura Shunk
The rest of the deals here also hew to Low Country's southern roots, though none are as much of a pull as that bucket. The deviled eggs are a little unwieldy, perhaps because the eggs are sliced the short way instead of the long and overstuffed with a filling that, despite being underpinned with Abita beer mustard, is just kind of bland. A little more tang or salt would help. And while the pimento cheese makes a nice drinking snack, it, too, doesn't have the addictive punch that you usually get with pimento. Biscuits are a better choice, especially at $3 a pop, but the best is the chicken biscuit enlivened with red-pepper jelly — something you're unlikely to order if you're already springing for a bucket.

Once you guzzle the last of your wine, head straight for the cocktail list, which has plenty of fodder to keep you anchored to your seat. We could drink a pitcher of the Deep South limeade, which is loaded with gin and pepped up with mint and thyme.
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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk