The owners of Telluride restaurant La Marmotte, Mairen Reagan and chef Mark Reggiannini, opened Cafe Marmotte at 290 South Downing Street last night after a quick turnaround from previous tenant Spicy Ginger. The new cafe will stick close to the original mountain restaurant's menu of French classics with modern touches and Colorado-sourced meats and produce.
Along with a signature coq au vin (served with bacon mashed potatoes), sole meuniere and hangar steak au poivre, you'll also find playful takes on French favorites: French onion soup is served creamy, with tempura Gruyere; a tartar duo of sea bass and salmon is served in crispy tacos; and an appetizer of steak, bacon, ham and eggs reads like a breakfast dish but is presented as pork belly, steak tartar and prosciutto deviled eggs. Desserts will please Francophiles. too, with creme brulee, molten chocolate cake and sorbets made fresh daily.
On the bar roster, house cocktails highlighted by Colorado-made spirits and bitters share space with Colorado craft beers and a selection of wines curated by Reagan with an eye toward family-owned, small-production vineyards and chateaus.
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Reggiannini says the buildout and opening of the space went smoothly, as his team is used to openings and closings due to the seasonal nature of running a business in a ski town. Regular hours have not been posted yet, but check the Cafe Marmotte website for reservation times. Keep reading for a look inside Denver's newest French restaurant, which fills a void left by the closings of Le Central (whose last day is this Sunday) and Indulge French Bistro in West Highland.