^
Keep Westword Free
4

Avanti Close-up: MiJo from Johnny DePierro and Michael Nevarez

Ramen is king noodle in Denver right now, but chefs Johnny DePierro and Michael Nevarez are out to dethrone the popular Japanese dish with udon — which they're serving several different ways at MiJo inside Avanti Food & Beverage. The two have been mastering their Asian chops at Frank Bonanno's Bones, where they're exec and sous chef, respectively. MiJo — Spanish for "son" and the combination of the names Michael and Johnny — takes a slightly more street attitude toward noodle bowls and other kicked-up fare than Bonanno's corner shop, and the result is a lip-smacking tour of bold flavors and bright colors.

Customers choose a starch (udon, rice or rice noodles), a protein (pork chicken or tofu), and a sauce and veggie combo such as donburi, curry or yaki. There are also smaller bites like spicy, salty hot wings doused in a house-sauce that comes in somewhere between sriracha and nuoc mam, or fusion tots with Japanese miso and furikake and Mexican cotija cheese. Those wings are lightly dusted in potato starch and rice flour before being fried, and the glaze gets a boost of umami from Vietnamese fish sauce.

DePierro says the final push to open Monday was tough, since he's still heading the kitchen at Bones, but now he's just excited to see who shows up. Does he think Avanti will continue to be packed to the rafters? "Yeah, it's gonna be great," he states.

This week we're spotlighting the seven fast-casual food counters inside the brand-new Avanti Food & Beverage building, which just opened on Monday. Here are our other Avanti close-ups:
Poco Torteria from Pinche's Kevin Morrison
Farmer Girl from Chef Tim Payne
Brava Pizzeria from Dave Bravdica
Souk Shawarma from Jon Robbins of Bistro Barbes
Bixo Mexiterranean BItes from Marco Gonzales
Quiero Arepas from Igor and Beckie Panasewicz

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.