Food News

Goed Zuur Reopens With a New Focus on Its Chef's Tasting Counter

The new Goed Zuur kitchen extends into the dining area.
The new Goed Zuur kitchen extends into the dining area. Kristin Pazulski
On October 27, Goed Zuur reopened at 2801 Welton Street after closing down nearly three weeks prior in order to renovate its space and menu. Its first night back was a quiet one, which surprised owner Anthony Lopiccolo, since it was also the first snowy day of the season. "The worse the weather, the better we do. But that was exactly what we needed," he notes, adding that the staff was still getting used to the new extended kitchen and altered menu.

The restaurant has been in the Five Points neighborhood since 2017. It originally opened as a bar focused on sour beers, but Lopiccolo quickly found that guests were as interested in the food as they were in the brews.

While Goed Zuur has been more of a restaurant than a bar for a few years, the recent renovations deepen the focus on the food side of things. The bar itself is now partially part of the kitchen; the regular menu is simpler and includes shareables, sandwiches, desserts and meat/cheese/butter boards; and the culinary creativity is focused on the new Chef's Tasting Counter, which will launch on November 5.

This reservation-only dining experience is available for a maximum of ten people, with two seatings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (one at 5 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m.). Lopiccolo will prepare the dishes in the small kitchen that is surrounded by the counter. For $85, guests will get five courses with an optional wine or sour beer pairing available for $60.
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Chef/co-owner Anthony Lopiccolo holds the pâté board that he hopes you won't feel compelled to Instagram.
Kristin Pazulski
"I want people to be full, but not bursting," says Lopiccolo, who notes that the experience is priced, he hopes, at an approachable price compared to similar tastings at other restaurants.

The Chef 's Tasting Counter is intensely personal to Lopiccolo; each course is based on a memory from his life, and he will be sharing those stories throughout the meal, hitting on topics that range from his lack of focus as a teen to his ancestral origins in Italy, where his family owned fig orchards. The dishes will change every twelve to sixteen weeks, and the memoir-based concept will last about a year, Lopiccolo guesses — though he admits that it's a work in progress.

The first iteration of the Chef's Tasting Counter will include an artichoke dish that Lopiccolo's maternal grandmother fed him when he was a baby; a ricotta and fig dish; and pasta e fagioli made with veal, a meal he ate as a child with his mother's godmother.

Lopiccolo recognizes this dining experience is unique, and that was intentional. "I have had a fun and strange journey, and I want people to understand why I do what I do," he explains. "I wanted to do something that, if I moved out of Denver's culinary scene, I've created something that people could talk about for a very long time."
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Get all the cheese and meat with Goed Zuur's new sushi-like ordering menu.
Kristin Pazulski
By the end of the year, the counter will also be used for a ramen special on Sundays, where guests will book an hour slot for a two-course meal of dumplings and ramen with sake for under $40.

One thing Lopicolo hopes he doesn't see at the counter, though, are cell phones. While the restaurant was closed, he spent some of his time off in California, where he got engaged to Goed Zuur's general manager, Rachel Smith. During a meal at a high-end sushi restaurant, he recalls watching one couple's experience. "They sat side by side, on their phones the whole time," he says. "That is so dark, such a glimpse into where socializing is kinda going. I fear the art of conversation is dying."

He adds that the restaurant wouldn't be on social media if it wasn't necessary. "We went dark on social media for about a month, and we saw the downturn in business," he admits. So while it is a necessary evil for business, he's hoping guests will focus on the food and the people next to them.

A few days after the reopening, regulars began stopping by to see the changes. A friend's mother came in with two laundry baskets of tomatoes from her yard; another neighbor picked up a loaf of bread to go and exclaimed how glad she was that Goed Zuur was back as she walked out the door; and there were no phones in sight (other than mine) as a beautiful pâté was delivered from the kitchen.

Goed Zuur is located at 2801 Welton Street and is open 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, and to book reservations for the Chef's Tasting Counter, visit goedzuur.com.
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Kristin Pazulski has been a renaissance faire wench, a reporter, an espresso-shot slinger, an editor of a newspaper for the homeless and a grant writer. She's now a freelance writer covering Denver's restaurant scene.
Contact: Kristin Pazulski

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