A restaurant with a big reputation in Texas makes its quiet Colorado entrance today. After a few soft opening dinners, James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole’s Uchi will start serving modern takes on Japanese sushi preparations at the corner of 25th and Lawrence streets this evening. The Denver outpost is part of a now seven-restaurant group that’s gained a cult following over the last 15 years in Austin, Houston, and Dallas.
Framed on one side in red brick and tiny glass windows, the sprawling Uchi Denver is hidden away from RiNo’s current dinner path. But this block along Lawrence Street will soon be teeming with 100 new housing units. Uchi sits right underneath an onsite greenhouse for the surrounding S*Park condominium development. Altius Farms runs the vertical aeroponic growing system inside, which will provide the restaurant below with some seasonal produce. Uchi’s menu combines fresh fish with unlikely additions, from candied quinoa, to coconut, Mediterranean olive oil, and cured Spanish anchovies.
For the Denver location, Cole, chef de cuisine Brandon Brumback, and pastry chef Ariana Quant collaborated on the menu. Quant is known for art-piece desserts like the “fried milk” with chocolate ganache, a cocoa tuile, and blondie crumble. Diners should look for Brumback’s sake toro aburi — salmon belly, stonefruit, and horseradish — which he created for the Denver menu. Otherwise, as in Texas, “cool tastings,” “hot tastings,” fried bites, rolls, and sashimi are all available. The “sake social” happy hour is a steal back in Austin and will be offered from 5 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Eater got a first look at the space, which officially opens at 5 p.m. for dinner.