Rack & Rye Gastropub‘s Korean Reuben sandwich got me thinking: Just how many trends can a restaurant seize upon before it becomes gimmicky? I ask because this almost-two-week-old restaurant’s menu is a laundry list of culinary fads (think pork, kimchi, mac and cheese, sliders, and salted butterscotch).

To wit, the bacon jam took me back to the fourth episode of Top Chef, when Kevin Gillespie won a quickfire challenge by whipping up a dish of escargot fricassee with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and candied-bacon jam. The Korean Reuben, with grilled rib-eye, kimchi-spiced slaw, Swiss, and chile mayo brought to mind the playful, big-flavored cuisine of New York City super-chef David Chang. And the maple-bacon peanuts had me comparing them to Colt & Gray‘s addictive bacon-cashew-caramel corn.

That said, the Reuben, layered with perfectly cooked beef, funky kimchi-spiced slaw, and gooey cheese has great potential. Extra slaw with a little more Korean flare would make it all the better. The most promising of all: Rack & Rye’s spot-on, salty-sweet fries. I’ll go back for the fries—and dip them in the bacon jam.

1320 15th St., 720-620-4920

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.