Now that official COVID-19 dining restrictions are a thing of the past in Colorado, bar and restaurant openings are making a big comeback. Also making a comeback is our First Look series, which offers an inside assessment of the latest additions to Denver's culinary scene. Next up: Edge Restaurant & Bar, which reopens May 31.
What: Edge Restaurant & Bar
Where: 1111 14th Street
When: Open daily from 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and 5 to 10:30 p.m. for dinner
For more information: Visit edgerestaurantdenver.com
What we saw: The Four Seasons is not a place that most Denver residents would think of popping into for dinner, but with a fresh look, a new chef and a reimagined menu, the team behind Edge, the hotel's restaurant, are hoping they'll reconsider. Talks of a renovation for the classically dark, masculine steakhouse began pre-pandemic; the property turned a decade old in 2020 and was due for an update. Now, following a seven-month closure (during which it still managed to win a Travel Guide Star Awards nod from Forbes), Edge is reopening with a lighter, more open feel. "It's casual and chic at the same time," says general manager Javier Munoz.
"Casual" isn't the word we'd use to describe anything about the Four Seasons, but the refreshed look is certainly more welcoming — especially if you use the entry off Arapahoe Street, where you'll be greeted by a new wine case on one side and dry-aged meats on the other. Nothing quite says, "Hello, let's eat," like a bison ribeye (if you're a carnivore, anyway).
The space includes a street-side patio with greenery-covered dividers to give it a garden feel (and to shield you from the non-curated sights of the Denver streets); three bars, one of which specializes in bubbly by the glass; and three private dining rooms if you're planning to splurge for a special occasion.
What surprised us: Square potato chips, which were laid atop velvety corn chowder with Manila clams, bacon, pickled beech mushrooms and crème fraîche. "If you find someone making perfectly square potato chips, let me know," says restaurant chef Jessica Biederman when asked if she's making the angular salty snacks herself. Why is it so important to her that they're square? "I like to have things pop out at you," she explains. That's a simple way of saying she's not afraid to put in extra work to make her food more, well, her.
What's cooking: Biederman began her culinary career in her home state of South Carolina; she later spent time working under Eric Ripert at the Ritz-Carlton's Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C., and Michael Mina at Bourbon Steak in Nashville before joining the Four Seasons brand at Bristol, the restaurant in its Boston property. A brief, pandemic-related hiatus from the kitchen gave her time to try out wine harvesting in Oregon and teaching in Boulder before she landed at Edge, where she's been developing the new menu.
Food should "bring your own story in" with your guests, Biederman says of her culinary approach, "even though we've never met." You can see that sentiment in the foie gras appetizer, where she uses flavors inspired by the Fluffernutter sandwiches that her mom used to make. The result: seared Hudson Valley foie gras on top of toasted pistachio and fennel pollen meringue that looks like marshmallow fluff but tastes far more complex and savory. The dish is finished with a dusting of salty "espresso soil," as well as rhubarb and pickled Rainier cherries, an homage to the fact that her mother used to add jelly to the classic sandwich "because she was fancy."
Biederman plans to change the menu seasonally, and while Edge is definitely still a steakhouse, she promises vegetarian options that won't seem like an afterthought. "It's a different kind of steakhouse," she says, "with equal dining opportunities for everyone."
Or at least everyone who can afford to give this new softer, brighter Edge 2.0 a try.
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.