DENReview

photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

a round piece of bread on some mole blanco.

Brutø

Latin American

Lodo

$$$$Perfect For:Fine DiningUnique Dining ExperienceDining Solo
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Having a meal at Brutø, a tasting menu-only spot in the Free Market, can feel like attending a TED Talk on fermentation and grains. In between bites of crudo in plum aguachile, the staff will likely chat with you about processes like hand-massaging persimmons every night to make hoshigaki. 

Brutø’s apothecary-like displays of ingredients (and the high price tag) might seem like a trap designed to lure shoppers in after browsing Aesop soaps and leather goods, but it’s one of Denver’s toughest reservations to snag. And for good reason: This is one of the city’s most exciting restaurants, where it’s actually worth it to drop a few hundred bucks for a six-course omakase that will leave you full and daydreaming about tender lengua and fluffy bread for months to come.

Brutø's open kitchen.

photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

Dishes largely fall under the Latin American umbrella, but the common thread is a focus on chiles, masa, and ferments, with influences across Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Ingredients like huitachole are often highlighted with fun facts by your server, or repurposed in different courses or cocktails. The smoky corn fungus brings a ton of earthiness to the tostada’s babaganoush, and dessert comes with three different iterations of sweet potato in its buttercream, miso ice cream, and accompanying sotol cocktail. 

The mixed beverage pairings ($75 for cocktails, $55 for the NA option) are necessary for rounding out the whole experience. A summer squash sour easily compliments the dollop of squash sauce on the lengua taco, and a refreshing mole blanco michelada helps cut through the rich mole blanco and blistered piada in the grain course. The reuse of ingredients is done thoughtfully, and it’s nice to know your tasty cocktail also helped eliminate food waste in the kitchen.

Crudo.

photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

Bread being pulled from an oven.

photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

Brutø's open kitchen.

photo credit: Anne Cruz

Crudo.
Bread being pulled from an oven.
Brutø's open kitchen.

By the end of the night, you’ll be sent home with a paper menu and a few talking points about fermentation, so you can more accurately brag to your friends about the meal at your next dinner party. Which is infinitely better than only coming back from the Free Market with a fancy bottle of hand lotion or a new pair of sunglasses.

Food Rundown

A beef lengua taco with habanero hot sauce.

photo credit: Jeff Fierberg

Omakase Tasting Menu

The exact ingredients used in the six-course tasting menu rotate seasonally, but you'll typically start with a crudo before diving into meat and masa dishes. They also offer a caviar and truffle supplement, but it's totally skippable.

Beverage Pairings

The mixed beverages stand out even next to the incredible food dishes, so you should definitely go for one of the drink pairings. The NA drinks receive just as much love as the cocktails, but tend to be a touch sweeter. And since you get a decently-sized beverage with each of the tasting's six courses, it's a great option if you're a lightweight.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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