The Ultra5280 crew had the opportunity to dine at the new LoHi restaurant Bremen’s Wine & Tap in anticipation of their new Fall/Winter menu that debuted Monday, October 23. We were very impressed with the variety of dishes, the quality of food and flavors, and the overall presentation, complete with drink pairings. While savoring, we got to know new Executive Chef Isabel Ranney, Bremen’s eco-friendly practices, and learned the restaurant is entirely woman-owned! Bremen’s Wine & Tap features handcrafted, seasonal, American cuisine, craft cocktails, local beers, and an extensive wine list.
“The inspiration behind the menu is based on the seasonality of the produce and of the herbs and spices that are beneficial to our bodies at this time of year,” said Chef Isabel. “Also, I cook food that I like to eat. The fall menu includes soul-warming dishes that are perfect for the cool weather. The new items are a play on comfort foods that people crave when the weather is cold, but they are refined.” The new menu includes dishes like their Seasonal Butcher Board, Kale and Beet Salad, Farro Bowl, Lamb Shank, Duck Breast, Prime Rib Sandwich. Especially fun for the season are their Pumpkin Coconut Chai Martini and the Earl Grey Old Fashion.
Prior to becoming executive chef, Chef Isabel was the sous chef at Bremen’s and previously at the Magnolia Hotel. She has held a number of positions across Colorado and in Washington since starting in the restaurant industry when she was 15-years-old. Aside from her spectacular, seasonal dishes, we love her commitment to the environment, ensuring good practices in both the front and back of the house. She has spearheaded the restaurant’s composting program, aims to use ingredients in three different ways, and always looks for ways to improve their carbon footprint. Chef Isabel is a certified herbalist and uses this knowledge to incorporate ingredients that are beneficial to our health and energy per the season, “The lamb shank uses elderberries and rosehips which are packed with antioxidants and are antiviral, so they help people’s immune systems without them even realizing because of how delicious it tastes.” She also focuses on growing relationships with farmers and vendors to bring the best ingredients into the restaurant and its guests. What a woman, and what a chef!
Both Chef Isabel and owner Dina Castillo have have really taken the time to make this experience as environmentally friendly and local as possible. Chef Isabel serves her Butcher Board on a rustic wood board from Colorado beetle-killed trees, and picks fresh produce and herbs for a farm called Rebel Farms located right here in Denver. They have a strong passion for supporting local businesses, so at Bremen’s you will see local beers and wines featured from right here in Denver, Colorado. While digging into the dishes we also learned the name Bremen’s was created from a favored children’s book that was written about the city of Bremen, Germany.
Whether you’re in the neighborhood, live on the other side of town, or are just visiting Denver, Bremen’s is a must visit within the thriving culinary scene here in Denver. With their wide variety of dishes and selection of wines and local beers on tap, there is something for everyone. Bremen’s is open for dinner Monday - Saturday, happy hour daily from 4 to 6 p.m. with lady’s wine night on Wednesdays, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Read on for a detailed description of the dishes we devoured and photographed. http://www.bremenswinetap.com/
Asparagus Pear Tartare: This dish is a play off traditional tartare, featuring raw asparagus finely diced, mixed with red onion, scallions, avocados, pears, pear-herb vinaigrette, and surrounded by heirloom grape tomatoes, tangerine oil and topped with crispy asparagus ribbons. Served with house made lavash rubbed with jalapeno agave syrup.
Butcher Board: Chef’s choice (changes bi weekly) of charcuterie and cheese, house made grain mustard and pickled vegetables. We tasted Prosciutto di Parma – aged 18 months, High West Whiskey Salami, Ossau-Iraty (French sheep’s milk cheese, dates back to one of the first cheese ever made), and the aged English Cheddar. Also served on this beautiful beetle kill board from Colorado, are house-pickled, seasonal vegetables. Boards come with toasted sourdough bread from local bakery, Hinman’s, “34 Degrees” crackers and salted almond crackers.
Maple Leaf Duck Breast: House made potato gnocchi that are seared to create a crispy outer glaze. The gnocchi get tossed with a wild mushroom and leek mixture deglazed with white wine and finished with butter and fried sage.
Fresh Catch of the Day: Three pan-seared sea scallops served atop a bacon and corn risotto, topped with a red wine vinegar reduction and fried mint. (This was divine!)
Isabel’s Seasonal Crumble: Tequila-soaked pears topped with Bremen’s secret pecan crumble, served with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
Words by Tiffany Candelaria Photos by Samantha Bliss