About as much like a restaurant as your aunt’s slightly dowdy rec room—your aunt who’s a really, really good cook—Gastropod in deepest SoDo is the casual culinary offspring of craft brewery Epic Ales. Itself a culinary enterprise, Epic devotes itself to the use of uncommon grains, aromatics (lemongrass, spruce tips, chamomile), and sour-mash fermenting to create beers of exceptional wildness and funk. The restaurant, the domain of Epic co-owner and chef Travis Kukull, extemporizes food—gloriously seasonal and local—to match. Organic carrot greens might ruffle salads of roasted carrots and grilled apricots and slivers of preserved lemon; swoony chunks of lamb belly and roasted garlic aioli enliven the classic BLT. Roughly a dozen inventive plates show up nightly, including a version of the Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki, done up to new seasonal specs—perhaps salt cod, asparagus, purple fingerlings, romesco sauce, and a softly fried egg—nightly. Why hasn’t anyone else thought of that?

Published: September 2013

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