Award-winning Chef Jennifer Jasinski has opened Ultreia in Denver’s historic Union Station.
Ultreia (pronounced uhl trey uh) is the second restaurant in Union Station from Crafted Concepts, which includes Jansinski’s business partners Beth Gruitch, Jorel Pierce, Adam Branz, Matthew Brooks and Jessica Richter. It joins the group’s successful seafood concept Stoic & Genuine.
The word Ultreia has its roots in Latin, loosely translates to “onward” and refers to the words of encouragement shouted to pilgrims on their Camino de Santiago — a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
“We pay respect to the classics and put our own unexpected twists onto them, but we’re not Spanish,” Jasinski says.
Ultreia embraces the Beaux Arts style of the building but injects inspiration from the Iberian peninsula to create a rich dining experience. Original plaster moldings and terrazzo floors are complemented by a new mural based on a 17th-century landscape painting by Aelberg Cuyp that covers the walls and ceilings. A new dining mezzanine above the open kitchen allows patrons to climb the stairs and dine under the clouds. A custom-built, 8-foot diameter chandelier floats below the sky.
The bar features a granite slab and a six-tier back bar that displays a large selection of wines, gin and sherries.
Open for lunch and dinner daily, the Ultreia menu reflects traditional Portuguese and Spanish methods translated into the vision of chefs Jasinski and Branz and includes Ajo Bianco, an Adalusian almond garlic soup with grapes; Pan con Tomate, ciabatta, olive oil, garlic and tomatoes; Estofado de Pulpo, a stew of octopus, pork rib, chorizo, beans; and Asado de Cordero, roasted leg of lamb, north African spices.
“Our trips to Spain and Portugal confirmed the passion for ingredients and techniques that we expected from the Iberian peninsula,” Gruitch says.