From the start, Glaze by Sasa seemed an unlikely combination: a bakery with a crazy horizontal rotisserie cake oven built for turning out German/Japanese baum cakes and a sushi bar headed by Wayne Conwell, one of Denver's most revered names in raw fish. Still, the merger of the former Glaze with a sushi concept quickly became a favorite spot after it debuted in Congress Park in June, even making our list of the fifteen best new restaurants of 2014. But now Glaze has announced that Sasa is no longer involved in the operation. While the bakery continues operations, a new dining concept will take the place of Conwell's sushi and Japanese-inspired small-plates menu, according to owner Heather Alcott.
Alcott says the decision to part ways with Sasa was mutual. "We really tried to make it work," she notes. "Both parties are disappointed."
Sasa will no longer be part of the name; the eatery will continue to operate as Glaze and will roll out a new savory menu, starting with lunch and brunch, toward the end of January. Alcott has hired chef Kris Paladino, whose previous experience includes Bittersweet and Jax Fish House, to design a menu that will incorporate the Japanese rotisserie oven in more savory dishes. "We have not tapped into the full capabilities of that oven," Alcott explains. One of the new dishes will be a lobster pretzel roll that she promises will be unique.
"We want to be a neighborhood eatery that embraces Congress Park," she adds. "It will be a very simple menu, with an Asian spin." In fact, she says she keeps in touch with the Japanese company that built her oven in order to stay on the leading edge of both sweet and savory possibilities.
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Dinner service will be added once the menu has been developed and tested and lunch and brunch are running smoothly. Alcott is also planning a cocktail menu to complement the food and baked goods, and hopes to add patio seating once the weather warms up.