Chef Nicholas Kayser and Scott Ericson, both Vesta alumni, just opened Rooted Craft American Kitchen at Avanti Food & Beverage's new Boulder food hall, and they're following it up with a new project named Del Mar, which will debut at Avanti's Denver location, at 3200 Pecos Street, later this month.
Call it pescatarian (Kayser and Ericson do), or just call it seafood; either way, Del Mar will serve a variety of fish and shellfish prepared raw, fried, grilled, broiled and roasted. Vegan dishes will round out the menu, which will follow Kayser's concept of "slow food, done fast" — so you won't see all the work that goes into each dish, but you'll be able to taste it.
Kayser was the executive chef at Vesta before it closed last spring, and Ericson was the beverage and bar manager there (he's also served as wine manager at Potager). At Del Mar, he'll be adding a mixologist's know-how to a range of zero-proof cocktails similar to the ones already being served at Rooted. The two have been proponents of the zero-proof movement since their days at Vesta; Kayser even presented an alcohol-free cocktail and food pairing dinner at the James Beard House in New York City.
Del Mar will take over the ground-floor space last occupied by The Rotary, which completed its "incubator" mission and is now working on opening a full-service restaurant at 217 South Holly Street. (If you happen to remember the Del Mar Crab House that once occupied the subterranean Larimer Square space now housing Osteria Marco, this is not related.) That leaves one open slot at the original Avanti. Brava Pizzeria closed earlier this year, and the food hall expects to announce a newcomer soon.
Upstairs at Avanti, the second-floor indoor/outdoor bar has hosted Miracle Bar over the past two holiday seasons, and the cheery, Christmas-themed concept returns this year. Reservations are being accepted now for seatings from 4 to 10 p.m. (or possibly later, depending on COVID-related restrictions) beginning November 20 and running through December 28.
All the votes should be counted by November 20, so you'll be able to raise a Santa-shaped mug to toast whoever the next president will be — or drown your sorrows over the results.
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