Tupelo Honey
Chicken Fried Love: A tray of chicken, biscuits and fixin’s to share.

Just yonder, behind Union Station, is a place where you can put some south in your mouth. Tupelo Honey, with locations in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas,  has graced Denver, its furthest west location. The comfort of southern foods like fried chicken, biscuits and grits get elevated, set against the glimmer of shiny highrises outside.

Tupelo Honey offers spacious bar, dining and patio areas and plentiful, large-format plates of food and drink that encourage sharing and sociability (or individual portions too for doing your own thing). The restaurant offers lunch, brunch, happy hour and dinner, as most restaurants do, but there are several things that Tupelo does that really stand out to us:

Tupelo Honey
The Corpse Reviver #2 Cocktail – to share!

House Party Fare during their Dirty South Happy Hour, Sun.-Thu. 4-7pm. Highlights include the Chef’s Mason Jar Dip – your choice of roasted apple tahini & hominy, bacon & pimento cheese, creole roasted eggplant, pimento cheese, each dip served with tri-color carrots, Idaho potato chips and biscuit crackers.

Chicken Fried Love – serving 2-4 people, it’s a round, metal platter with a whole bird, brined 24 hours, sprinkled with their signature “bee dust,” plus a grilled apple, pickled blueberries and a hot honey sauce that cries out to be drizzled all over your chicken. Do it!

Corpse Reviver #2 cocktail – serving 2-6 with gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe and fennel, served in an absinthe fountain, poured over the traditional sugar cube and cut-out absinthe spoon. Everyone gather ’round the absinthe fountain, now!

The Mountain Smokecocktail, made with High West Campfire Whiskey, rosemary simple syrup, housemade Cuban cigar bitters (!), and coffee and rosemary smoke.

Tupelo Honey
Part science experiment, part stroll through a foggy, southern morning, The Mountain Smoke cocktail is delicious and dramatic.

There are also  54 taps, primarily beer (almost all of them past GABF award winners) but also sparkling wine and even a dry-hopped sweet tea.

Sunday-Thursday, 9pm-close, is the Moonrise Brunch featuring the Pork Belly Hashlette with tarragon potato cracklins, a poached egg and onions; Pimento Cheese Grilled Cheese on Brioche; Cinna-Biscuit with pecans and foster rum sauce.

Low Country Shrimp & Grits from the dinner menu, with head-on prawns, chorizo peperonata and Adluh goat cheese grits (best grits we’ve had, including in the south).

Tupelo Honey
The Tupelo Chef’s Table: take a spin with it!

Another special thing about Tupelo Honey is the Tupelo Chef’s Table , with a built-in tap. It’s the only one of its kind in the country, and one of three in the world. It rotates 360 degrees so that anyone at the table can pour their own beverage, with portion-control technology. The Chef’s Table is available by reservation only, with the option to tap any beer on the Tupelo Honey draft list as well as just about any beverage in the extensive beverage program, including sparkling wine, batched cocktails and even dry-hopped Carolina sweet tea. Booking the Chef’s Table also allows you to work with Chef Chris Kobayashi to design your own special occasion menu, perfect for group dining.

With friends and family in the south, we’re suckers for Southern sensibilities that include hospitality, homeyness and comfort foods. Tupelo Honey offers that in spades, with the elegance that James Beard Award finalist-chefs can bring, in a spiffed up, open, cool atmosphere. Tupelo Honey is located at 1650 Wewatta St., Denver on the Denver Union Station Platform.