A Look Inside Two Hands: An Australian-Inspired Restaurant

Photo Courtesy of Lizzi Hammer
Photo courtesy of Jon Scotty

We are excited to introduce you to the newest culinary addition to Tennyson Street – Two Hands Restaurant.

Two Hands Denver takes a health-conscious, forward-thinking culinary approach rooted in local sourcing to ensure a sustainable and delicious experience. With multiple locations in New York, Tennessee and Texas, Two Hands Denver is the next destination for all things food and drink for a chic night on the town with friends, colleagues or loved ones.

303 Magazine had the privilege of getting a sneak peek into this community-focused Australian restaurant as well as asking the founder and CEO, Henry Roberts, and Chef and Culinary Director, Barney Hannagan, a few questions to provide you with an insider view of what you can expect regarding this full-service dining concept that will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

303: Henry, tell us about how you got started in the industry and what inspired you to create Two Hands.

Henry Roberts: I started as a busboy (in Australia we call them “glassies”) and then moved up to work the “pokie room” at my local pub. After working in different pubs, restaurants, and catering kitchens for the next couple of years, I moved to NYC in 2011 and worked at a restaurant in Soho for two years. I loved the energy of hospitality in New York, but there were elements of Australian cafes that I missed and couldn’t find in the city. That was when I first started to develop the idea to open an Australian cafe in NYC. My inspiration has always come from Australia’s hospitality industry, which is thriving and innovative in Sydney, Melbourne, the Barossa Valley, and many more cities and regions across the country. I love the freedom of Australian cuisine. We are a young country with a lot of immigrant influence that has shaped our culinary scene, and we are not pigeonholed into any one style of cooking.

303: What guided your decision to bring the concept to Denver?

HR: I think Denver is very similar to Sydney in that people tend to be very health-conscious, active, and outdoorsy. As soon as I visited for the first time, I connected with Tennyson Street and the surrounding neighborhood. I think Two Hands will be a great addition to the community.

303: It is our understanding that you not only are a restaurateur, but you and your wife own a farm where you raise beef, pork and lamb. How does your farming knowledge guide the sourcing of ingredients used for the Two Hands’ menu?

HR: Since my wife Tara and I purchased our property in 2017, our mission has been to try to vertically integrate our farm into the business. That has been a big dream of ours, and we have worked very hard toward it for the past seven years. It has made us appreciate and value the work of farmers more than ever and focus on not only the quality of food, but also the way it is farmed or produced. When our product is not available, we work closely with local and national family farms with values that align with ours, like Range Wagyu Beef in Montana, Vital Farms, Upstate Farms in New York, and Capra Farm in Texas.

303: What can those who may be familiar with Two Hands expect from your locations in other states? What can those who are brand new to Australian-inspired cuisine expect?

HR: The locations we have opened outside of NYC are at least twice the size of our original spaces, so we have definitely evolved our design and layout, but our goal is always to maintain a cozy, intimate feel. What to expect is fresh, intentional, flavorful dishes, amazing coffee, and delicious cocktails that fit well into an active, health-conscious lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of Lizzi Hammer

303: Chef Hannagan, as the Culinary Director, when curating the menu for the Two Hands Denver location, how important was establishing relationships with local farmers to that process and what you all call the ethos of Two Hands?

Chef Hannagan: A large part of sourcing food from local and family farms is cultivating relationships, which is important to me and the entire team at Two Hands. This way, we can be sure about what’s in our food, where it’s coming from and the positive effects it has directly on the producers. We’re also in the business of hospitality, so working together to build organic relationships that develop into a stronger partnership with our local producers is always our goal.

Two Hands’ menus change seasonally to introduce variety to its guests. Some of the current favorites on the brunch menu include:

  • Salmon Quinoa Bowl – grilled salmon, soft egg, turmeric quinoa, hummus, crunchy shaved veggies, avocado, cucumber, seeds, and puffed rice
  • Two Hands Seasonal Scramble – soft ribboned eggs, fresh peas, mint, snap pea salad, white balsamic, feta, lemon on toasted sourdough
  • Strawberry and Key Lime Pavlova – classic Australian pavlova, coconut, marinated strawberries, key lime curd, and soft whipped cream

Current highlights on the dinner menu include:

  • Pesto Cavatelli – house-made ricotta cavatelli pasta, macadamia nut pesto, sourdough crumb, lemon, and parmesan
  • Pan-Roasted Half Chicken – Chef Bamgali’s west African-style chicken, aromatic spices, coconut wild rice, Ivorian sesame gravy, lemon
  • Steak au Poivre – 8-ounce seared range Montana wagyu, crispy herb frites, green peppercorn sauce

The beverage program features a variety of handcrafted cocktails, including the Boozy Lavender Lemonade made with Empress Gin, crème de violette, lavender, and Limonata, and the Two Hands Banana Bread Espresso Martini made with vodka, espresso, oat milk, and crème de banane, and a menu of wines, local beers, and mocktails. You can also enjoy coffee drinks and specialty offerings including chai, matcha drinks, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices.

Two Hands Denver opens for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with coffee service starting at 7 a.m. daily. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 to 6 p.m. with $3 off signature cocktails and $2 off beer and wine. Two Hands will accept reservations via Resy. Parties of eight or more can email [email protected] for reservations. 

Two Hands is located at 3985 Tennyson St., Suite 120, Denver.

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