The word "grilled" is used liberally on the new menu for Citizen Rail, set to open behind Union Station in the new Kimpton Hotel Born by the middle of August. And this is no oversight nor accident, as an exposed wood-fire grill serves as the heartbeat of the upcoming restaurant.
Taking its name from the nearby train lines, and its inspiration from old-school Americana technique and Colorado’s legacy of simple, savory fare, guests can expect lots of house-butchered and aged cuts of beef, pork, lamb, game plus a good selection of seafood to balance out the meats.
Executive Chef Christian Graves, a Kimpton restaurant veteran who recently moved from California to Colorado, will be smoking, searing, and grilling proteins and veggies on a variety of woods, including oak, mesquite, and fruit woods.
What's Citizen Rail's differentiator in the bustling Denver dining scene? Rather than appeal to "some trend," the restaurant aims to offer "sophistication and maturity," Graves says.
The final touches are being completed on the space whose interior design is described as modern rustic, with seating for 150, including a 12-person chef’s counter and 36 patio spots.
The meat-heavy menu includes a handful of hearty starters, such as the hickory oxtail on crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside rice porridge cakes, as well as wood-grilled oysters drenched in cilantro butter. Chef’s boards will range from traditional charcuterie – highlighting the dry-aged and cured meats made in-house – as well as a "from the field," version with spring pea humus and a bright cauliflower tabbouleh. Main dishes include the bone-in, melt-in-your-mouth smoked short rib on a pile of sharp horseradish potato puree and rabbit loin and sausage with roasted morel mushrooms, english peas and leek soublis.
The bar program is curated by Chris Burmeister formerly of Linger, who is focusing on signature but also classic cocktails, plus wine and a wide selection of Colorado craft beers.