It's been fifteen years since Olga moved to Denver from Russia and began a career as an accountant. But the grind of crunching numbers all day, plus working for other people, she says, wasn't giving her the fulfillment she was looking for. "I was a CPA and working in the corporate world, but I dreamed of working for myself and doing something unique -- something that lent itself to spending time with friends and having a good time," she notes. And late last week, on Friday, that dream became a reality when she opened Le Rendez Vous, a restaurant and Champagne lounge in Cherry Creek.
"Good friends, good wines and good times" is the focus, she says, adding that the two-level space, which she and her mother, Tamara, designed, is suggestive of a "beautiful, intimate place that emphasizes finer dining" complemented by a lengthy sparkling wine and Champagne syllabus, curated by sommelier Matthew Yoss, who teaches professional wine certification courses for the International Wine Guild and spent time behind the bars of Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, the defunct Sketch and Cellar Wine Bar, now the Truffle Table.
"We have right around twenty sparkling wines and Champagnes, along with some amazing vintage Champagnes," reveals Yoss, adding, too, that several of those sippers are available by the glass and half bottle -- and in cocktails, which are mostly classics. At the moment, there's no beer list, but Yoss is considering adding a few brews in the future, but storage space, he admits, is limited. "We're trying to figure out where we'd put it -- literally -- but I'm hoping that we'll find some space to that we can have beer in the future," he says. In the meantime, the bar also pours world-spanning wines, available by the glass or bottle.
The quarters, which exhale with old-world lavishness, are full of elegant eye candy: tufted, ornate, pearl-hued sofas and chairs plumped with pillows; opulent crystal chandeliers; an entire wall of shelved glass devoted to bubbles; hand-crafted wooden chairs, their seats surfaced with cow hide; antiqued mirrors; and an upstairs living room furbished with a cow hide rug, leather chairs, plush loveseats and showy tables, some of which are footed with the heads of lions. "We wanted to create something unique in Cherry Creek -- a restaurant that was intimate and unlike anything else in the neighborhood," explains McLeod.
Brandon Benjamin, the chef, comes to Denver via Los Angeles, where he cooked at Cafe del REY and Chloe, and his menu features sharing plates that pair with well with wines and bubbles: deviled eggs, roasted quail plated with a Tuscan salad, house-cured artichoke dip, and a pear salad with walnuts, cranberries and blots of blue cheese, for example.
Le Rendez Vous is open from 3 p.m. to close Monday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to close on Saturday and Sunday. And starting this Sunday, the restaurant will introduce Champagne brunch.
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