For a few days late last summer, Ian Kleinman, Denver's Willy Wonka double -- and the founder of the Inventing Room, a catering company that centers around magical, mystical, molecular marvels -- took over the dining room at Table 6, where he morphed the rusticated space into a doughnut paradise, dishing out whimsical long Johns to morning revelers.
And later this month, Kleinman will repeat the pop-up ritual at Bittersweet, Olav Peterson's charming, dinner-only restaurant in Washington Park, which Kleinman -- and his doughnuts -- will occupy from 6 to 11 a.m., January 23-26.
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This second pop-up, says Kleinman, is in preparation of the brick-and-mortar he's perusing. "Essentially, it's another trial run to test the menu and costs before I open a storefront," explains Kleinman, whose vision is a multi-use space that will give him the freedom to expand his already burgeoning catering company, strut doughnuts and coffee during the morning and afternoon hours and offer additional square footage for private events, tastings and dinners. "I want the Inventing Room to have a real home," he says, "and we want to expand and grow -- we have all sorts of really fun stuff planned -- and this will be an open-ended concept where we can do whatever we want," he adds.
But Kleinman stresses, too, that pop-ups also give him the creative outlet to push the envelope, and since those crazy-good doughnuts will be front and center once he solidifies a space, it's important, he notes, to keep playing and refining. "I love doing pop-ups, and I'm obsessed with doughnuts, so I'm doing another doughnut pop-up, which will include several new doughnuts that I've created since the Table 6 pop-up," he says.
Kleinman reveals that he'll feature ten doughnuts at Bittersweet, three of which are new creations. "I've added a tropical fruit doughnut with brown sugar-glazed pineapple and pomegranate bubbles, a carrot cake doughnut with rum-soaked raisins, candied carrots and edible walnut paper, and bread pudding doughnut with rose petal ice cream," Kleinman says. And if you require a jolt of caffeine with your sugar high, you can get a cup of coffee from Novo.
"It should be a lot of fun," says Kleinman, adding that he chose the Bittersweet location for his latest pop-up for several reasons: "I have an amazing relationship with Olav -- he's a great friend -- and his restaurant is in a central location. People can stop in for doughnuts on the way to the office and zoom in and zoom out." He notes, too, that the Bittersweet dining room will be available for lingering.
Several of his doughnuts sold out -- fast -- at the Table 6 pop-up, so Kleinman strongly recommends that you order them in advance -- especially if you want a large quantity -- which you can from the Inventing Room website.
And if you want an early glimpse of the doughnut menu, it's on the following page.
Pop-up doughnut menu
Apple pie Green apple, pie crumbs, candied pecans and toasted cinnamon liquid nitrogen ice cream
Oink Maple pastry cream, bacon-Nutella powdered sugar, spicy house-cured bacon and salted chocolate
Lemon brûlée Buttercream, lemon sugar, lemon curd and sous-vide blueberries
PB&J Buttercream, burnt peanut butter marshmallow and grape caviar
Almond Joy Coconut mousse, "flexible chocolate," shattered almonds, chocolate and caramel
Tropical Coconut mousse, brown sugar-braised pineapple, pomegranate bubbles and mango buttercream
Theobroma Hot fudge, chocolate pop rocks, exploding whipped cream, salted chocolate and fresh raspberries
Banana-rama Buttercream, warm banana foster and salted caramel
Carrot cake Buttercream, rum-soaked raisins, candied carrots, walnut paper and cream cheese
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Warm doughnut bread pudding Milk, hot caramel-cold caramel and candied rose petal ice cream