Have I mentioned that I have a recently discovered strong love affair with gin? After going most of my adult life hating the taste and smell all it took was one well mixed Aviation by a good friend and suddenly all I waned to drink was gin. Two years later, it’s pretty much the only thing I will drink with the sudden exception of a good Bloody Mary now and again.
When scoping out restaurants that I wanted to try, I stumbled across Ultreia and when I saw that “gin tonics” proudly listed on their website, I knew this was my next destination.
According to Eater, Ultreia is a Spanish Ham and Gin Bar. Well count me in!
Located inside the Denver Train station, Ultreia seats approximately 50, but with a small patio and a nice night, my companion Nick and I opted to sit outside on the patio. This was a good thing as the night air was much cooler than the stifling and loud interior of the restaurant. It also gave a bit more space between our dining experience and travelers shuffling by.
Not bothering to dither over choices, Nick and I both dove in ordering some of our favorites for round one. I decided to start with the Wendy Peffercorn to drink.
I don’t know what I was expecting but I know it wasn’t pink peppercorns floating in my drink. Regardless of that, this was lovely. It did have a slight pepper bite to it but not in a bad way. I did find it a bit on the dry side but all and all it was a lovely drink.
We started with Cod fritters with a garlic aioli and blistered lemon which was the special of the day.
We followed those up with the ham croquettes,
The crispy sesame eggplant,
and the goat cheese stuffed dates.
Nick also ordered the cured trout plate (not pictured) and while I did have a sample it wasn’t to my liking.
Another round of drinks and a final share rounded out our night.
For my second drink, I decided to try the Adventure Land and it was everything I wanted.
Our last share plate were fried shishito peppers and this was the perfect cap on the evening.
While I did enjoy my evening at Ultreia, there were more than one dish that I felt was a bit over done. These included the dates and the cod fritters. The dates were almost too tough to chew and the cod lost all of its lovely creaminess due to being flattened and fried to such a crisp. Maybe that was the intent of the chef, but it seemed to gain all the crunch while losing all the flavor and that makes me wonder if it was really intentional or accidental.
The other thing that made me kinda sad was that I had intended on ordering the chef’s tasting menu since I saw it on both the website and menu. When I inquired about it I found it wasn’t a true tasting menu but rather a standard listing of items currently on the menu and “really isn’t a a thing anymore” according to our server.
If you are in the Denver Union Station area, I would still suggest stopping in and checking out Ultreia. As for if I will stop again… I might give it another try just to have their ham sampler and more G&Ts but I don’t think I would go out of my way.