The blocks behind Union Station are quickly becoming Denver's newest dining destination. The Pig & the Sprout arrived last summer, and Public School 303 rang its opening bell in October. And this weekend the neighborhood will welcome both Stella's on 16th and Hearth & Dram, which begins dinner service on Saturday, January 28, at the foot of the brand-new Hotel Indigo.
While the exterior of Hearth & Dram is clad in glass, inside it's a little more rustic, with leather-clad chairs, country-kitchen wainscoting and plaid upholstery to soften the modern, angular space above polished concrete floors. The "hearth" in the restaurant's name is the big, wood-fired grill in the kitchen that will turn out roast meats and vegetables, including "whole beast feasts" that must be ordered five days in advance and will feed six to ten diners. Choices include whole suckling pig, dry-aged glazed duck, salt-crusted whole sturgeon and a standing rib roast.
The "dram" side of the equation is a big, big whiskey list — some 360 strong, the largest selection downtown, according to the restaurant. There will even be whiskey on tap and a whiskey cart with special selections for connoisseurs with deep pockets. Of course, there will also be craft beers on tap and cocktails made with all manner of spirits, both clear and brown.
Executive chef Jeffrey Wall moved to Denver to take the job; he's cooked in French, Southern and rustic American kitchens in Atlanta and brings those skills to play with H & D's menu, which focuses on a Rocky Mountain brand of Americana. But Wall sources his ingredients from wherever he can find the best, noting that "supporting local is good for the economy, but it's not the only source."
Hearth & Dram will initially be open for dinner only, from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; the restaurant plans to add lunch soon. Guests of the attached Hotel Indigo can also avail themselves of the kitchen's services.
Keep reading for more photos of Hearth & Dram.