9 Upcoming Culinary Eateries, Chefs and Delicious Menus in Colorado
Experience something different this summer with local restaurants you may not have heard of before
Who: executive chef and owner Andrea Frizzi / chef de cuisine Bryce Love
Il Posto’s patio is the perfect spot for a weekday lunch or happy hour. Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday. Look for the return of CAMPARTY (a patio party with deep discounts on spritzes, negronis and Americanos with complimentary small bites) sometime this summer. Andrea Frizzi is a Milanese chef who owns Il Posto, located at 2601 Larimer St., Denver, as well as Vero Pizza and Tammen’s Fish Market, both of which are located inside Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer St., Denver.
Who: executive chef Tim Lu and pastry chef Lillian Lu
Noisette recently launched brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant is now offering a prix fixe menu on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with two savory courses for $48. And this summer, the bakery will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings for drinks and light snacks. This husband- and-wife team, both graduates of the French Culinary Institute in New York, offer a comfortable and elegant atmosphere with emphasis on technique, service and refined presentation. Lo- cated at 3254 Navajo St.
Who: executive chef Ludo Lefebvre
Lefebvre launched new seasonal menus for (all- week) brunch, lunch and dinner service this spring. New menu items include a seared foie gras, organic chicken roti (tableside for two), duck breast a l’orange, grilled asparagus and an upgraded rendition of the smash burger, which might be the best in the city! Chez Maggy is a love-letter to Margaret, Ludo’s mother-in-law, who lived to help others in Colorado. It’s also a celebration of the land of Ludo’s childhood: Burgundy, France, a place steeped in natural beauty and with a deep connection to the earth. Chez Maggy pays homage to Lefebvre’s French roots while synthesizing his rich culinary traditions with the naturally abundant ingredients of the Mountain West, reimagining continental cuisine at the Continental Divide. Located at 1616 Market St.
Who: executive chef Carlton Halaby
Bar manager Lex Madden is collaborating with Point Easy’s pastry chef to develop yummy slushies for the summer season. First up, a tasty gin-and-tonic sorbet served with lime cordial and a gin swirl, and a light and refreshing negroni-inspired slushie. In addition, they will be showcasing rosé and orange wines (with help from Quorum and Craft/Old World) every Wednesday in July for Wine Wednesday. And this Au- gust, Point Easy will be hosting a winemaker dinner to showcase the organic wines of Robert Sinsky out of Napa Valley, Calif. Halaby has been in the culinary space for 12 years and brings his expertise and creativity to the already innovative menu at Point Easy. Expect out-of- this-world greens, potatoes and okra from Cure Farms, peppers from Thistle Whistle Farm, and puntarelle from Esoterra Farms, as well as peaches and other fruit from the Western Slope. Located at 2000 E. 28th Ave.
Who: executive chef Eric Navratil
BurnDown is a modern eatery and music venue that opened this May. Navratil’s menu highlights the best from local farmers, ranchers and purveyors like Red Bird Chicken, Boulder Valley Beef, Colorado Catch and Superior Lamb. Signature dishes include pan de campo, a buttermilk flatbread with whipped chèvre, mushrooms, cardamom tomatoes and cress with a balsamic reduction; tacos adobada made with guajillo and morita-marinated pork inside tallow-grilled corn tortillas topped with cilantro, onion, radish, frijoles charros and salsa; Szechuan hot chicken, a gluten-free fried chicken thigh with chili-garlic crunch, sweet-heat pickles, chili mayo, challah toast and vinegar slaw; and Grains of Truth, a mixture of farro and japonica rice topped with roasted mushrooms, roasted sweet potato, onion, greens, parm broth, Grana and lemon. The name BurnDown originates from the building’s history, when a 1978 fire scorched many of the structure’s original beams. The owners preserved and reinforced the vast majority of the charred posts, alongside the space’s dis- tressed brick, adding a unique character to an otherwise modern aesthetic. Located at 476 S. Broadway.
Little Finch/Olive & Finch
Who: executive chef and owner Mary Nguyen
Chef Nguyen is a well-known, highly regarded member of Denver’s restaurant and culinary community who just opened her newest concept, Little Finch. It joins Olive & Finch which, opened in the Uptown neighborhood of Denver in 2013, with a second location in Cherry Creek in 2017) plus the commercial concepts O&F Bakeshop and Finch on the Fly. A daughter of immigrants, Denver native Nguyen started with a career in finance before discovering a passion for food, opening the acclaimed Parallel Seventeen in 2005 and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro in 2011. (She’s since closed both.) Little Finch is located at 1490 16th St. Mall.
Create Kitchen & Bar and Lucina Eatery & Bar
Who: executive chef and owner Erasmo “Ras” Casiano
Chef Casiano opened Create Cooking School with his longtime friend and business partner Diego Coconati in the Stanley Marketplace when it opened in 2016 and then expanded their culinary reach, bringing brick-and- mortar restaurant Lucina to life in Park Hill in 2022. Casiano’s mother, Santa Lucina (Lucy), is the inspiration and motivation behind his career in food and beverage. His newest concept, Lucina Eatery & Bar, is named after her, and the menu is based on her inspirations plus Casiano’s Mexican-meets-Argentina-meets-Pe- ru-meets-Bolivia style of cooking. Create Kitchen & Bar is located at 2501 Dallas St. #128, Aurora. Lucina Eatery & Bar is located at 2245 Kearney St. #101.
Rooted Craft Kitchen
Who: executive chef and owner Nicholas Kayser
Kayser may be best known in Colorado as the executive chef at Vesta, but when it shut its doors in 2020, he struck out on his own to open Rooted Craft Kitchen in Boulder’s Avanti Food and Beverage hall, followed by Del Mar at Rooted. His first brick-and-mortar location, Rooted Craft Kitchen in Denver’s West Highland neigh- borhood, opened in May. A Cincinnati native raised in Denver, Kayser earned his bachelor’s degree at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Colorado and has served under several of the world’s top chefs, including Bryan Nagao, Thomas Valenti and Richard Sandoval, with stints in New York City, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and beyond. Located at 1401 Pearl St., Boulder.
Who: executive chef Darren Pusateri
Before joining the team at Kini’s in Cherry Creek, Pusateri was with the Gastamo Group, and was executive chef at Barcelona Wine Bar in Denver and Philadelphia. He’s also been lucky to spend time working in the kitchens at Frasca, TAG, Guard and Grace and Sushi Den. Featuring a great patio, Kini’s recently launched a spectacular new whole fish program. Guests can order from a selection of fresh Mediterranean fish sold by the pound, which is presented tableside before being roasted in the wood-fired oven and then dressed with field herbs and citrus. Located at 233 Clayton St.
A proud Canadian living in Denver with a well-rounded journalism career, Kerrie Lee Brown is quite hungry after writing about all these creative chefs and their culinary delights.