Two years in the making and built from the bones of a shuttered Cheesecake Factory, Avanti F & B Boulder is ready to make its debut this Saturday, October 3, at 1401 Pearl Street. This is Avanti's second incubator-style food hall, after the original at 3200 Pecos Street in Denver.
Avanti's unique incubator model allows chefs to test out new concepts with short-term leases, offering a rotating roster of international foods to guests. The Boulder lineup is almost entirely new to Avanti, with the exception of Quiero Arepas, the Venezuelan street food eatery that has anchored the LoHi food hall since it opened in 2015. But among the others, familiar names populate the six ground-floor counters and the indoor-outdoor rooftop deck on the fourth floor.
Starting with breakfast, Method Coffee Collective will offer espresso drinks made with its own beans, along with grab-and-go food. "We'll be offering something from each of the other kitchens here — that's the collective part of it," explains Method co-founder Alex Rawal.
Here's a rundown of the other vendors, along with some tantalizing photos of the food:
This the second location of Jerrod Rosen's Rye Society, after his original deli on Larimer Street in Denver with partner Ross Goldberg. Rosen comes from a long line of Denver restaurant and market owners, and many of his recipes have been handed down over the generations. "We have video of my great-grandmother rolling matzoh balls when she was 101 years old," he says.
So expect matzoh ball soup, latkes, Reubens and breakfast sandwiches on New York City bagels, as well as items unique to this location such as everything-spiced tots and Jewish nachos that use bagel chips instead of tortilla chips.
Rooted Craft American Kitchen
Former Vesta executive chef Nicholas Kayser adds an upscale menu of American classics and market-based dishes that lean on local farms for seasonal produce and sustainably raised meats. "I'm a big advocate of Slow Foods, and a lot of that definition starts with sourcing," the chef explains. "But that doesn't mean the service is slow; it's more about taking the time to find and prepare good food free of pesticides and additives."
Kayser is also a proponent of zero-proof cocktails, and last winter he presented a booze-free cocktail dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. He explains that the seasonal drinks he serves at Rooted are based on shrubs (which combine vinegar with seasonal fruits and herbs), and that serving a high-quality alternative to alcohol-based beverages is about hospitality as well as respecting people's choices. "My philosophy is that you don't ever compromise the guest's experience," he adds.
Chef Chase Devitt, who also owns two locations of Mr. Miner's Meat & Cheese and is a partner in Brider, and Charles Troup, who has served as general manager at Safta, Departure and Oak at Fourteenth, met at a Jewish summer camp in Wisconsin when they were in the fifth grade. They've been friends ever since, and both ended up in the restaurant industry through different paths. "We've been dreaming about opening a restaurant together for a dozen years and planning Boychik for the past three or four." Devitt says. "We're making Israeli street food with a little modern American twist."
Dips and spreads such as baba ganoush, labneh, muhammara (made with walnuts, red peppers and tomatoes), whipped feta, hummus and labneh (a spreadable yogurt cheese) can be ordered solo or in sets of three with pita or veggies. And chicken shawarma or falafel sandwiches are served as pita wraps. Most of the food is gluten-free (other than the pita), and there are also several vegan options, including a smoothie made with almond milk, tahini, dates and banana.
Pig & Tiger
This is the first eatery from chefs Travis Masar and Darren Chang, who met while working together at Shirley Chung's Ms Chi Cafe in Los Angeles (and Masar appeared on Top Chef with Chung). Chang's Taiwanese-American childhood was filled with traditional food; he says "some of the items on our menu are based off my family's recipes." Don't miss the deeply flavorful Taiwanese beef noodle soup, made with beef shank, hand-cut noodles and pickled mustard greens. Other specialties include bao, dumplings, cold sesame noodles and popsicles and mochi doughnuts in seasonal flavors. This month's popsicle is Colorado sweet corn with miso caramel.
Igor and Becky Panasewicz have been serving arepas in Denver for a decade with a food truck, a freestanding restaurant on South Pearl Street and now two Avanti counters. The corn-flour based arepa shells come filled with slow-cooked meats, black beans, avocado, plantain, tangy sauces and other savory combos. The hefty sandwiches are also naturally gluten-free.
Chef Steve Redzikowski makes the quick jaunt from his first restaurant, Oak on Fourteenth, to fire up the state-of-the-art PizzaMaster deck oven on the rooftop deck on Avanti's fourth floor (the second and third floors are offices). Ride the elevator or take the stairs to find pizzas made on a crust that combines three kinds of flour (bread flour plus rye and spelt from Boulder's Dry Storage flour mill) and topped with a variety of traditional and inventive ingredients, including sausage from Denver's own River Bear American Meats. Soft bagels are made with an entirely different dough, and there are also five styles of burrata served with fresh flatbread. The chef calls his pizzas "Neo-New York," combining the best of Neapolitan and New York-style pies.
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