Grand Cru has grand plans for the Landmark complex

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Grand Cru, a restaurant slated to open in the Landmark project in Greenwood Village on November 1, has very grand ambitions. According to its website, Grand Cru "has created a restaurant designed to enhance the clientele's enjoyment of their dinning experience tasting fine wines, elegant warm service, with stunningly delicious food, and in perhaps the most intimate and opulent dinning [sic] room Denver. Grand Cru will bring your experience in the restaurant to the level of Art, because you deserve it."

See also: Four Colorado restaurants, including three in Denver, land on OpenTable's roster of Best U.S. restaurants for foodies

Jonas Brown is the owner/executive chef of the new restaurant that was originally to be called the Velvet Room, but last month was changed to Grand Cru. "Due to issues with the Landmark and a tenant there, we are changing our name to Grand Cru (French for great growth) is a regional wine classification that designates a vineyard known for its favorable reputation in producing wine," states an August 5 post on the Grand Cru Facebook page.

"The Velvet Room was my name and I am the one who decided to change it," Brown says now. "It was an easy change as we did not start much under it."

The new name also better reflects the emphasis on wine, he notes. Grand Cru will have classic wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, and also offer a selection of wine from Rhone, Alsace and Champagne - all stored in a temperature and humidty-controlled cellar, then served from their recommended style of Riedel wine glasses. "Food and wine are intended not only to complement each other, but to inspire one another," he says.

Having come from a AAA five-star, five-diamond restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas, Brown wanted to create something special in Greenwood Village. "This location attracts the clientele we are looking for, and I want to achieve AAA five-diamond status in the Denver area," he says. That goal is reflected in the requirement of evening/business casual attire. "I know most places don't require it, but we are not trying to be like most places," he notes.

His experience in Las Vegas influenced his vision for this restaurant. "At the hotels I worked at in Vegas, the team keeps a close eye to their 'wailers,' or high-rollers," he explains. "They pay attention to their product preferences during their stay, and when that guest came back, they would have those products in their room for them so they are more inclined to come back." He essentially wants to provide the same service for his dining guests: "Most restaurants settle on being good, but great restaurants are the ones that get recognized."

So he says his staff will be trained to go above and beyond for their guests, and are encouraged to find out if their guests have special plans for the evening. "We are close to many places of entertainment," he points out. "Our staff can ask if they can reserve tickets to a show or event." The kitchen will also go above and beyond. Brown is planning to change the menu every ten days; each one will offer two different, five-course meals to choose from, both featuring local and seasonal produce and served on special plates. "The plates are what I love the most," Brown says. "Each course will come on a different- shaped plate, and we only have enough for one service, so we wash between services to have enough."

But Grand Cru will have only nine tables, he notes, with each seating set to last two and a half hours -- for a maximum of eighteen reservations on any given night.

Grand Cru has grand plans indeed. To help the restaurant achieve the desired status, Brown has set up a donation site at foodstart.com where future diners can contribute to his plans. Donors will be rewarded with various gifts, such as a free bottle of wine, two tickets to seasonal openings, and even their name etched in the Grand Cru investment display.

Grand Cru is located at 5370 Greenwood Plaza Blvd Suite #1-106, and will be open for dinner Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 303-770-1484 or visit the Grand Cru website.

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