Having lately heard a lot about BRU, Boulder’s newest restaurant and craft beer nano-brewery, we sat down last night as a party of six and spent three hours soaking up the space, beer and food.
The experience was an out-and-out flavor fest, starting with the beer. We ordered two flights. It came cold and nicely labeled; a complete tour – from light to deep and dark. Yum. I’m a beer amateur, but know enough to appreciate that it’s an art to achieve across-the-board smoothness, even in sharp and zesty beers.
We found variety and depth in the creatively presented cuisine – everything from small plates through dessert. This is sophisticated food.
The Meat and Cheese appetizer is a good pairing for the beer flight. It includes dry cured pork and beef, briny pickled vegetables, a nice selection of cheeses and warm, crusty bread. Our favorite? A lemony homemade ricotta that was simultaneously rich and refreshing.
The sourdough pizzas are thin, charred and nicely topped with inventive ingredients. Mine: a beer infused red sauce, sausages, kale and shallots. The BRU Chop salad twists tradition with a rasher of smoked sausage amid the greens. A just right hard-boiled egg tops it off.
The Bone-In Pork with charro beans entrée is a lush cut of meat with a nice seam of fat, served hot and crisp-tender. The Colorado Trout is firm and mild, expertly deboned table side, and served with some bitty light biscuits. Delightful.
The young people working here are invested in BRU’s success. Warm, attentive and knowledgeable out front. Intent and focused behind the line of the open kitchen. Our waiter was first rate.
Inside, weathered wood and modern seating combine to create a sparse but comfortable look and feel. Many found elements: old doors, mason jars, a palette turned wall art. These make the interior both interesting and familiar.
The location is curious, set in the corner of a mature strip center next to Boulder Jazzercise and Cloud Nine Float Center. Boulder’s east Arapahoe corridor has come a long way in the past few years with spots like Ozo Coffee, Pica’s Mexican Taqueria, Dizzy’s Donuts and Fate Brewing creating a whole new ambience despite the six lanes. BRU is added vibrancy.
The restaurant and beer making are headed up by owner and well known Boulder chef Ian Clark (formerly the chef at Centro). His passion is evident in the BRU experience and also on his blog.
Whether you have 30 minutes for a beer and bites, or 3 hours to savor, BRU is a worthwhile destination.