When chef Mary Nguyen opened Olive & Finch at 1552 East 17th Avenue in 2013, she never expected it to be anything more than a passion project. "The success of Olive & Finch has been a surprise, because I really opened it to meet my own needs," the chef explains.
But now the homey cafe, bakery and restaurant has become her whole restaurant world (she closed her first restaurant, P17, last summer) — and that world is about to expand. A new Olive & Finch will open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, in Cherry Creek North. Located at the corner of East First Avenue and Cook Street, the younger sibling to the Uptown original will include more square footage to allow Nguyen to present a wider range of menu items and pastries for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast is served all day, but at 11 a.m., lunch sandwiches (many named after Nguyen's family and friends) and plated entrees are added, giving options of sixteen hot and cold sandwiches, a variety of meal-sized salads, daily soups and elegant, plated dishes that are new to the Olive & Finch repertoire. Nguyen uses sous-vide techniques and high-tech combi ovens typically found only in full-service restaurants so that proteins can be cooked to temperature while service times are kept low in the fast-casual setting. So a six-ounce, demi-glace-laced bistro filet comes out tender and medium-rare atop a bed of succotash and chimichurri, for just under $15.
The pastry program has also been expanded, so you'll find more baked goods at the new Olive & Finch, courtesy of pastry chef and assistant general manager Amber Otis, who has been with Nguyen since the original opened. Many items are gluten-free, including home-style cookies as well as fancier desserts like coconut cake and mousse-filled chocolate domes.
The new Cherry Creek location will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. beginning on March 1 that will include $3 drinks, tartines and small plates. Once the weather warms up, a spacious patio facing Cook Street will be decked out with lounge-style seating and a kids' area. Keep reading for more photos.