Duy Pham and Michael Degenhart, together again at Epernay

Long before Linger and Bittersweet and Twelve, there was Tante Louise, a French restaurant at 4900 East Colfax Avenue that Corky Douglass ran for over three decades. There were many storied periods during this run, but one of the most lauded was when the kitchen was under the direction of Michael Degenhart and a kid named Duy Pham (he was actually 24 at the time).

See also:A rocky romance -- Jason Sheehan's review of Tante Louise

That was when Tante Louise earned AAA four-diamond and Mobil Guide four-star ratings, as well as a long long list of kudos from the press, both local and not.

Roughly fifteen years and many kitchens later, the power duo of Degenhart and Pham has teamed up again, this time with Pham in the executive role, at Epernay, the restaurant that opened at the edge of the Denver Performing Arts Center nine months ago. Epernay serves a mix of new American, sushi and French (Epernay is the champagne capital of France, after all) in its stylish digs.

This should be a great spot for before- and after-curtain snacks. But does Epernay live up to its advance billing? Find out when my review is posted at westword.com tomorrow.


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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz