On Saturday night, the new incarnation of Satchel's on 6th unlocked its doors, uncorked the wines and unearthed a small, tidy menu that trumpets the talents of exec chef Jared Brant, who's done time in the kitchens of Bones and Mizuna. The fifty-seat space, kitted out with exposed red brick, tables constructed from reclaimed wood, candy-apple red chairs and a sociable bar that was buzzing last night at 9 p.m., is reminiscent of the original Satchel's Market, Andrew Casalini's food temple, at 5201 East 28th Avenue, that shuttered last fall in Park Hill. (That space will reopen as Pary's on 28th.)
But unlike the Park Hill address, which is isolated from foot traffic, the new Satchel's resides on a stretch of pavement that not only sees plenty of walking shoes, but also lays claim to some of the city's top restaurants and markets, including Fruition, Alex Seidel's restaurant at 1313 East Sixth Avenue and The Truffle, our pick for Best Cheese Shop in this year's Best of Denver. And Brant, who's sharing kitchen duties with sous Lindsay Woodcock, who worked the line in New York, at David Chang's Momofuku Ssäm bar, considers that a very good thing. "This is a really progressive street when it comes to restaurants, and I feel extremely lucky to be cooking on the same road as Alex Seidel - to be in a great neighborhood with great neighborhood restaurants," says Brant.
The menu is "full of things that we, as a staff, like to eat and drink, and the restaurant is all about what's on the plate, and what's in the glass," explains Casalini. "It's all about creating space, putting things in their place and watching the energy that emanates from that."
Brant's board is short and simple -- "I like it that way," he says -- but his flavors are vibrant and bold, as evidenced by a terrific spring salad of asparagus, the stalks accessorized with shavings of country-style ham, blots of ricotta and a jiggly poached egg that spilled rays of sunshine. "We'll continue to refine the dishes, but the whole idea here is to share plates and build your own tasting menus," notes Brant.
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Satchel's is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 5 p.m., and for "punch brunch" on Saturday and Sunday, when Brant and Casalini will offer two seatings: one at 10 a.m. and the second at noon, coupled with glasses, bottles and bowls of liquid punch, enlivened with cava, red or white sangria. "Brunch is going to be killer," promises Casalini, pointing to the fact that Satchel's is going to serve, among other dishes, pork belly croissants. "The brunch menu is small," says Brant, "but the flavors are hearty and big."