Unlike drinking alone at home, drinking in a friendly tavern is a great way not to end up in a fistfight. Socially sip and snack with today's Groupon. For $10, you'll get $25 worth of drinks and English-style comfort food with a kick at Rack & Rye Gastropub. Metromix Denver awarded the suds-soaked eatery Best New Restaurant 2009. The Goldilocks of watering holes, Rack & Rye creates just the right blend of cool lounge and low-key neighborhood bar, with very few porridge-eating bears.
A step up from collegiate-era O-bombs, Rack & Rye's cleverly crafted tongue wetters are not to be missed. From the champagne-splashed lime-and-lychee-flavored Gilded Lily ($8) to the Wild Willy (with Jack Daniel's, ginger syrup and ale, fresh Fuji apple, and a spritz of lemon juice, $7.50), the drink menu is full of inventive options, as well as a well-edited selection of draft and bottled beers. Counter potency with finger-beckoning small plates like the spam fries with chili-oil aioli ($5) or grapefruit-glazed baby-back ribs ($6). To temper more-sizable stomach rumblings, Rack & Rye also serves up large platters of upscale comfort food. Fork oozy helpings of bacon-and-mushroom-studded mac & cheese ($7 for lunch, $9 for dinner) or the fried chicken bedded atop maple-drizzled cornbread waffles ($10 for lunch, $12 for dinner). The dessert menu, boasting doughnuts with mascarpone dipping sauces ($5), bread pudding with bacon brittle ($5), and peanut-butter-and-jelly wontons ($4), continues with the fancy yet classic theme.
Rustic trimmings, walnut-stained white oak, and dim lighting breathe new life into the interior-décor oxymoron that is industrial chic. Capitalizing on classed-up comfort food and stellar sips, Rack & Rye is a smart choice for midday bar posting, late-night cravings, or dates with a stoic royal guard on his five-minute lunch break. Stop in for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Call ahead to make your reservation, or write your wish on a feather and blow.
- Ah yes, the gastropub. A nationwide trend, and one that's popular for a reason, a gastropub is the classy affair between an upscale eatery and get-your-drink-on bar. It's different from your typical fine dining restaurant experience with a beefed-up drink selection because it plays no favorites. The food and the drink are equally important in a gastropub, and this concept is most certainly upheld at Denver's newest watering and grub hole, Rack & Rye Gastropub. At Rack & Rye, the mesh between a pub and a restaurant isn't the only thing being mixed up. The owner and creative genius behind the joint, Violet Chan, has put together a menu of traditional comfort food infused with a Southeast Asian kick. – Alex Jimenez
- Hot wings get their kick from a kung-pao glaze. Potato croquettes are breaded with panko. A braised short rib entree comes with curry. And all of it can be washed down with a Budweiser. The decor has a modern twist, taking the deep brown and wood of an English pub and spiking it with steel accents and clean lines. The space is relatively small, keeping the feel comfortable, not sterile. – Kathleen St. John, Denver Post
- ...a self-styled gastropub that offers comfort food with a twist. Think gooey, sticky, cheesy and crispy. – Jon Solomon, Westword