Denver's Best Brunch: Beatrice and Woodsley

Locals can't get enough of this reservation-only restaurant

Beatrice and Woodsley in Denver
Aimee Heckel

Colorado knows how to brunch. Every spot on our top 19 brunches in Colorado is worth a visit.  

One in Denver should be at the very top. 

If you haven't tried brunch at Beatrice and Woodsley on south Broadway, make it a top priority. And plan ahead. Because this intimate, unique restaurant only has a handful of tables that you can only get in by reservation. If you're lucky, you can score a spot at the bar counter without reservation. B&W, as it's known, could make a killing cramming in extra tables and packing the bar counter, but instead it preserves a slow-paced, leisurely atmosphere with lengthy reservation slots and plenty of time to unwind and catch up with your friends or date.

 

Two other features set B&W apart from the other brunch options in the area: its completely unique atmosphere and its menu — equally as innovative.

Bringing the outdoors inside

First, the space, because it's like no other restaurant in the state.

B&W is decorated ceiling to floor with real, reclaimed aspen trees. The trees frame the walls, they set the background for the cozy dining nooks and they decorate the restaurant throughout. A yellow-tinted front window makes the restaurant stand out, even driving past, and inside, that subtle tint makes the room look and feel like you're sitting inside a grove of trees during the sunset.

The carefully designed lighting here sets a mood of relaxation and peace. Lanterns hang from the ceiling and intentionally positioned track lights shine onto parts of the trees, creating the illusion of sunlight speckles. Every little detail matters here. Even the restrooms are an experience, in and of themselves. The doors are hidden inside a wall of wood; imagine you are a little elf and your room is built into the side of a tree. Inside, the extremely high ceilings are adorned with rolls of toilet paper.

Then there's the hand-washing station outside of the toilet. A long rope hangs next to a cascade of chains from the ceiling. If you pull the rope, a gentle waterfall streams down the chains from way up high. 

If you get a table near the restroom, you can watch with amusement as other patrons try to figure out how to work the unusual contraption through the glass windows surrounding it. 

Back in the main space, a cozy bar counter with a full bar completes the space — and is a reminder to make sure you check the drinks menu. 

Drink this

As fits in an intimate atmosphere, you can order drinks to share or separately. For brunch, make sure you try the French press coffee, hand's down one of the best coffee fixes in town. 

For the drink-sharing experience, B&W's BrunchaPuncha (rye whiskey, Pimm's, cucumber, mint, fresh lemon, simple, ginger beer) comes in a portion big enough to split between six. 

Or if you're looking for a classic brunch beverage, B&W has mimosas, tea and a bloody Mary — but not your ordinary versions. Here, the bloody is a Bloody St. George, made with a spicy green chile vodka (oh so Colorado; we love green chile everything). The Earl Grey tea here is actually tea-infused gin mixed with lemon juice and thyme essence.

Health nuts feeling naughty will love the Boozy-bucha: house-made kombucha (peach-mint shrub, blackberry and sage, soda) with vodka. 

Our other favorite brunchtail with a carbonated kick is the Garden of Jewels: bubbly, St. Germain and pear vodka. And no, it's not too early for vodka.

Fill up

If B&W hasn't already won you over with its decor and brunch beverages (unlikely), it surely will when the food comes. Rarely do you find a restaurant where every item on the menu is equally as delicious, but there's no way to go wrong here. 

You've got to start with the Monkey Brains; that's B&W's signature. And no, it's not Indiana Jones style. Monkey Brains is just B&W's version of a sticky bun covered in frosting and nuts. It's enough to fill you up, but don't let it. Because pimento cheese grits also exist, and you will want to put them into your face. 

Accent your main course with a variety of side small plates, like those heavenly grits, biscuits with fruit butter or Hamachi Crudo (hamachi, grapefruit, blanched green beans, pureed meyer lemon, roasted almonds and a hard egg).

For the grand finale, it's hard to pick a favorite, but the benedicts are pretty incredible. If you want a protein-packed brunch, go for the Open Face Ham Sami (house-smoked ham, English pea puree, mornay, salsa verde and a sunny egg on sourdough). For a creative and vegetarian spin, the asparagus benedict is just as scrumptious, with grilled asparagus, perfectly poached eggs and a flavorful herbed hollandaise on a ciabatta. 

You won't have the space or the need for dessert — or, quite possibly, dinner. 

Stay a while and indulge, and feel like you're having a five-star brunch picnic in the Colorado mountains, right in the heart of south Denver.