There was a time, several years ago, when the word “gastropub” was on everyone’s lips. In Denver, the trend of elevated pub cuisine resulted in Jonesy’s Eat Bar, Colt & Gray, and the late-Argyll in Cherry Creek North. While Jonesy’s and Colt & Gray are still local favorites, Argyll closed in 2011 with owner Robert Thompson promising the eatery would be back. On Monday, a refined version, now called Argyll Whisky Beer, opened in Uptown.
Argyll is just what this somewhat haphazard corner of Downing and 17th Avenue needs: A neighborhood place that’s casual enough to function as a lunch, dinner, or brunch spot but is polished enough to sit in for date night or a business meeting. With chef John Broening (best known for his time at Duo and Spuntino) at the helm, the menu feels lighter than before, more French, and more in tune with the seasons. Ryan Conklin (Euclid Hall and Old Major) and Kamuran Mataraci (Ste. Ellie) head up the bar program, which boasts a deep beer selection and an impressive 200 whiskies.
On the menu you’ll find pub staples like the Scotch egg, a mini English breakfast (which is worth ordering just to see the classic dish in miniature), and a lamb burger, but don’t overlook the simple-sounding orange, olive, mint salad (pictured). The bright, citrusy combination is heightened by a touch of spice, and it’s an anchor dish for any meal. Likewise, don’t miss the heavenly potted shrimp, the richness of which is cut by a topping of green olive pesto.
Argyll has been open just five days. I’ve been once, and I can’t wait to go back—again and again. And based on conversations with others who have dined at Argyll, the feeling is mutal.
1035 E. 17th Ave., 303-847-0850
—Photo by Rachel Nobrega