A Fine Mess

Why Hearth & Dram chefs Adam Vero and Jeff Hickman like to chow down at Yabby Hut.

Photo by KIira Abelardo

What they like about Yabby Hut

Vero, above right: “We love that it’s a unique flavor profile that combines the American South crawfish boil with Asian flavors; very few places in Denver do that. These guys do it even better—they have the best quality of seafood, and the best seasoning. They have a secret spice blend, the Yabby Cajun spice, that’s better than at any other place that boasts this kind of food.”

Hickman: “We also love the atmosphere; while it’s super casual, they take great care of us. The owners are true hospitalitarians—they believe in hands-on dining. They greet you by name, remember what you like, get you anything you ever think you’ll need. They even tie the bib around your neck to protect your clothes. Eating here will require clean-up!”

Their favorite dishes and why

Vero: “It’s an order-by-the-pound situation, so we always order a pound of our favorites—clam, crawfish, lobster, and both Dungeness and snow crab. Order it hot with Yabby Cajun seasoning. That’s the best and, in my opinion, only way to do it.”

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Hickman: “They spread a sheet of paper down and dump it all out together, traditional boil-style, right on the table. Eat with your hands! Get in there—be a part of it.”

How it’s different from Hearth & Dram

Vero: “The biggest difference is that Yabby Hut is very casual and fast, both in the ambience and the style of service. They do one thing—and they do that one thing really, really well. Although, in that way, I guess they’re more like Hearth & Dram than we thought!”

Hickman: “They also have a limited menu. We love coming in here and not having to think about anything. We spend all day thinking about our guests and taking care of them; it’s nice to come here and have someone take care of us.”

Vero joined Hearth & Dram as executive chef in spring of 2018, and brought Hickman on as chef de cuisine. Together, they’ve revamped the menu. “The new menu is a reflection of our deep ties working together in many restaurants and our genuine friendship,” says Vero. “It’s the result of six months of collaboration, experimentation, and successes in the kitchen.”