The Conference: bourbon, rye, Calvados, Cognac and Bitters for $16. (Sara Grant, The Know)
Fans of New York City’s Death & Co may not have gotten what they were expecting when the East Village staple opened its first expansion inside Denver’s Ramble Hotel in May.
And by that, we mean there was natural light.
Suite 6A, Death & Co’s third bar to open inside the swanky-yet-funky RiNo hotel on Nov. 8, will be much closer to the New York experience.
Any by that, we mean it’s dark … really dark.
“This is what the New York bar feels like, but darker,” Death & Co beverage director Tyson Buhler joked during a media preview Wednesday night. “We really wanted to bring what that New York feel is, a more curated experience, to Denver,” he added. “You can be really engaged not just with the person you’re with, but with the bartenders.”
While the New York bar seats 54, Suite 6A is so exclusive that is has just 21 seats. Small candles offer what little light will illuminate your companion’s face while you peruse the menu of cocktails and small bites that will change weekly. While it has a menu for your jumping off point, the key word at Suite 6A is “curated.”
The experience will start with an amuse bouche to cleanse your palate as you decide what will tickle your fancy that evening. The four highly trained bartenders will then pick the best Death & Co cocktail for you from the thousands that the bar has created over the last 12 years.
Do you like an Old Fashioned? You’ll have an in-depth conversation with your bartender, who will then take the wheel. One of the lead bartenders, Jon Feuersanger (formerly of beast + bottle), trained for this job for six months but said it felt more like the culmination of his whole career. He has a Rolodex of a few hundred Death & Co cocktails in his brain at any moment, with access to over 2,000 drinks that have been tried and tested by the New York bar and the Ramble lobby bar downstairs.
One of the lead bartenders at Suite 6A, lead bartenders, Jon Feuersanger. (Courtesy of Elliott Clark)
Drinks are prepared on lights built into the bar that illuminate the special large block ice and mixing mastery, an idea beverage directors got from Japan and Austin, Feuersanger said. On par with the cocktail presentation, from creation to creative glassware, the small plates are just as impressive.
“The only rule we have here is we try to keep it to two bites,” executive chef Wes Hamilton said of the experimental menu, “sometimes even for things that wouldn’t be considered dishes, like caviar on beet sorbet.”
The inaugural menu included that beet sorbet; cured ham paired with fig, quince and mustard seed; Colorado lamb tartare with crispy grain, espelette, endive and egg yolk; and La Tur cheese with apple, walnut tuile and chives. Dishes ranged from $8-$10.
The Colorado lamb Tartare from Suite 6A inside RiNo’s Ramble Hotel served with crispy grain, espilette, endive and egg yolk for $10. (Sara Grant, The Know)
Denver’s Death & Co inside The Ramble Hotel is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily., The Garden (when it reopens for the season) is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. and Sun.
Suite 6A is open Thurs.-Sat. at 6 p.m.-midnight. For reservations, email email@example.com. Walk-ins will be welcome if seats are open.