What: Work & Class
Where: 2500 Larimer St., Suite 101, Denver
Pro: Work & Class, situated in a beautifully designed space, offers incredible food and drinks at a decent price. For every meal, you have the option to choose your portion size as well as which sides to accompany. Our favorites are the chickpea croquettes. Try them once and you’ll be hooked for life.
Con: The menu is a little daunting. With different price options for almost every step of the meal, you’ll have to spend a little extra time talking to your waiter about portion sizes. Also W&C doesn’t take reservations and the place can fill up quickly. But it does offer a $3 craft cocktail to anyone waiting for a table.
“Although Work & Class is only 32 ft x 40 ft (exactly the dimensions of the four shipping containers it is built from), the small but smart space packs a punch in every square inch. From its reception table, constructed with salvaged conveyor belts, to the interchangeable custom welcome sign, the aesthetics of this restaurant are straight out of a design junkie’s wet dream. But despite all the bells and whistles of this hyper cool space, W&C has a fairly straight forward philosophy.
Although Work & Class is only 32 feet by 40 feet (exactly the dimensions of the four shipping containers it is built from), the small but smart space packs a punch in every square inch. From its reception table constructed with salvaged conveyor belts to the interchangeable custom welcome sign, the aesthetics of this restaurant are straight out of a design junkie’s wet dream. But despite all the bells and whistles of this hyper cool space, W&C has a fairly straight forward philosophy.
“It’s a square meal, stiff drink at a fair price” according to Delores Tronco, CEO and Owner of Work & Class. “It can’t be too fussy or unfamiliar. We ask ourselves, is it filling, is it real food?”
The menu at Work & Class directly mirrors this philosophy by highlighting only high quality ingredients that are fairly straightforward. For example, for each meal you have the option to choose a protein, then a side and a bread. And for a drink you even have the ability to choose a brand of alcohol. It’s almost like an adult school lunch, but what comes out of the kitchen resembles nothing of the sort. That is probably because the kitchen is manned by one very special and incredibly talented lady…
Dana Rodriguez, or Loca, as her friends call her, is the Executive Chef/Owner at Work & Class. And although W&C is her first restaurant as owner, this is not her first rodeo. Rodriguez has been behind some of the best restaurants in Denver, including Rioja and Bistro Vendome. Working side by side with Celebrity chef Jennifer Jasinski, Rodriquez has helped her make a name for herself as a talented cook. I was personally very excited to see her in her own venture and taste some of her individual creations. luckily, everything at Work & Class is exceptionally made with precision and care.
“It’s all traditional family recipes. We all have something on the menu that is our own.”
“We are probably 50 percent Latin and 50 percent American” explained Tronco.”It’s all traditional family recipes. It’s a little bit of everything. We all have something on the menu that is our own, like, that is my dish,” Tronco said, pointing to a plate of tasty looking meatballs and polenta.
The goal is to highlight different family recipes, which explains the mix-matched menu. From New Jersey Meatballs to Blue Corn Empanadas, you can get a taste from a wide array of regions. I enjoyed the Braised Goat and the Salmon Fritters quite a bit but my favorite dish was probably the most simple. The Chickpea Croquettes, technically a side dish, were so light and crispy that I could eat them every day for the rest of my life. They were that good.
This dish, among many others, reminded me of how much talent was behind this project. With the low prices, cool atmosphere and amazing food, Work & Class really epitomizes the new Denver restaurant. They the have passion, creativity and drive that makes the food scene in this city so exciting. I can’t wait to see how they grow and change through the first year. Make sure to stop by and try out this amazing menu and even cooler restaurant.
All photography by Camille Breslin