Some nights call for gathering on a patio with friends for a few drinks. Others, however, are reserved for a more intimate, traditional sit-down dining experience. River and Woods, chef Daniel Asher’s and restaurateurs Josh and Katie Dinar‘s new Boulder project, is prepared to play both (and many other) roles.
Start with the design: Located in what was once John’s Restaurant, a beloved fine-dining spot on Pearl Street, the petite, cottage-style building has been remodeled with a spacious, modern aesthetic—but its charm remains intact. The team tore down various walls to open up the eatery, and exposed the beams from the original architecture to foster a warm, homey feel in an otherwise crisp space. The most impressive thing, however, is the multitude of experiences that awaits guests when they walk through the doors. Aside from the main dining area, there’s also bar seating, a separate room with a chef’s counter, and a grassy, light-strung backyard with both full-service tables and an open cocktail area.
Our recommendation? Start your meal off with the Sloe Hair cocktail (sloe gin, grapefruit bitters) at the bar, and be sure to check out the wooden tree rooted in the back corner, its branches holding up the extensive, Colorado-focused selection of tipples. Then, grab a table outside for dinner, where you’ll be surrounded by a fence crafted from tree trunks and a “river” made of cross-cut logs.
The eclectic menu is laden with Asher’s flavorful creations, such as the Wild Chatham Mussels flavored with an apple cider, Dijon, and shallot broth. Perhaps the most exciting components of the menu, however, are those that have been “community sourced.” Community members (that includes you!) can submit their favorite recipes here in hopes that they land on the menu. Each month, Asher and Co. will choose new submissions. The Miller Royale cheesecake, which arrives drizzled with wildflower honey, is one such item.
Whether you decide to settle in for a full meal or simply wander out back with your cocktail to hang out, River and Woods is sure to become your new favorite spot.
River and Woods is currently open for dinner and brunch.
2328 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-993-6301
—Photo by Rachel Adams