When you step inside the soon-to-open Dorchester Social Eatery, the look is reminiscent of an English regency manor, but featuring modern touches. With the 1800s building transformed, the aesthetic ties into the theme of global cuisine from the perspective of the British Empire. Once open for dinner service on Saturday, August 9, the restaurant will serve executive chef Michel Wahaltere's menu that is divided into Old World and New World offerings, with an emphasis on shareable small plates—the social side of dining.
The influences of chef Wahaltere's travels can be felt across the menu, with the dishes prepared as they would be in the country of origin. Wahaltere, a native of Belgium, has also spent time in the kitchens of Aspen, most notably Campo de Fiori, Mirabella, and Trattoria Caffé.
On the dinner menu, the Old World section features Europe, North Africa/Middle East, and Asia, and New World is divided into North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. Look for dishes like beer-battered fish and chips with mushy peas, Moorish chicken tagine, ahi tuna tacos, and baked meatballs with onions, golden raisins, and Belgian beer sauce, a favorite dish from Wahaltere's home country.
Lunch will start on Monday, August 11, with Saturday and Sunday brunch to debut on Saturday, August 16. Lunch offers small plates in addition to a lineup of salads, sandwiches, soups rotating out weekly, and larger dishes. Brunch is separated into sections of Salt, Sugar, and More, with Belgian-style waffles, a flatbread with smoked salmon, and roasted Colorado lamb sirloin among the choices. Wash things down with a brunch cocktail—gin Bloody Marys, bottomless bellinis, and Irish coffee will all be offered, and a sharable punch-style drink is also in the works.
Libations will include microbrews, craft cocktails with infused spirits, and an international wine selection, with happy hour offered daily.
Though the blue-hued lounge space won't be open initially, it will later have its own menu of small plates that are easy to share and eat with your hands, while seated in the large booths. The 4,000-square-foot rooftop patio, however, will serve as an extension to the downstairs dining room, where patrons can order off the full menu and take in views of the Denver skyline. In addition to tables and a separate bar, seven cabanas are part of the seating arrangement.
Interior designer Jeffrey Elliot put his touches on the space, like false grass lining the stairs leading up to and walls of the patio, mimicking a privet hedge of an English estate. During the renovation, several Denver Post newspapers from 1943 were also discovered completely intact, which will be refurbished and displayed in the future.
Dorchester Social Eatery is located at 1448 Market St. The kitchen will be open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, and the bar until 1:30 a.m.