Bramble & Hare, Black Cat chef/owner Eric Skokan's farmhouse kitchen and pub, opened in downtown Boulder at the beginning of the month after a great deal of anticipation. Opened as a casual sister to the Black Cat, the 45-seat restaurant serves a $29 three-course menu that changes nightly as well as an a la carte pub menu with entirely seasonal offerings. And, bonus, it's open until 2 a.m. every night. Of course, the diners in Denver, Boulder, and the surrounding area have already been in and filed (mostly positive) reviews. Check out what the Yelpers, bloggers, and amateur critics are saying right out of the gate.
The Good News: 303 Magazine hits up Bramble & Hare early and finds an instant classic on the menu: "if you order only one item, make it the grilled les freres. Bramble & Hare’s take on a grilled cheese starts with creamy Les Freres cheese from Wisconsin melted together with leeks and prosciutto...Delivered perfectly from plate to mouth by way of warm, crusty bread, each bite took a detour into a glob of homemade mustard, eliciting an audible and hard-to-come-by “Mmmmmm!” out of my companion. This dish was also the talk of tables nearby and will no doubt be a hit with lasting power for this evolving menu..." [303 Magazine]
The Not So Great News: One Yelper loves the atmosphere but wasn't as wowed by the food: " expected to be further impressed by the food than I was... nevertheless considering they serve a menu that continues through early am hours its a very welcome healthy real-food addition to sparse to late-night options...service lacked timing & felt rather impersonal. I waited 10 minutes or more for any acknowledgement from a server...Bar area visually disappointing; fluorescent lights barring from the kitchen. A little design help could work wonders... integrating the bar area better and making it feel as comfortable as the main seating area." [Yelp]
The Great News: Another Yelper is 100 percent on board: "B&H is a welcome addition to the Boulder food and drinks scene. We went twice the second week it opened. It's primarily one cozy room, some more tables in the back hall connecting through to Black Cat and a small bar with a half dozen stools and a few more along the wall. The piano isn't just a prop; it gets played with skill. When the music isn't live, there's old jazz in the background (Django), trending towards old school hip hop after midnight when it's full. For food there is a 3 course pre-fix menu and a la cart small plates. Some things I've tried and really liked: buffalo sweetbreads with fresh herbs and blue cheese, beet steamed bun, any of their fresh salads. Why I really love that this place opened is that they are striving to do late night service till 2 am every night of the week. God bless. We are so looking forward to having some place to go on Monday for a cocktail and a small plate of interesting food after midnight." [Yelp]
The Fantastic News: This shouldn't really count because she went for a friends and family dinner, but note that Ruth Tobias is head over heels for the place: "the list of hits—most fully realized, a few potential—went on, & on, & on, from the steamed bun filled with chopped beets alongside a dollop of beet-dusted chèvre mousse that called to mind my beloved gnocchi di prugne to gorgeous, giant Hama Hamas on the half-shell with kimchi vinaigrette to duck liver mousse-filled sourdoughnuts with grapefruit marmalade..." You get the point. [Denveater]
More Good News: Blogger (and contributor here) Grace Boyle writes on her personal blog: " It’s opening week and they’re still working out some kinks (nothing major) but I foresee a lot of success from this little restaurant, especially as their prices are just about right (lunch is usually under $10). It’s particularly impressive because everything is still made-in house, the quality is high and the food is local. You can see the food we tried in photos, below. Everything was perfectly executed, simple but with flavors that burst. I can’t wait to try their pre-fixe or indulge in some late night food." [Grace (full) Plate]
Bramble & Hare [Photo: Grace Boyle]